We’ve all heard about virtual reality. Fewer of us though are familiar with augmented reality (AR) even though we’ve probably come across examples of it without realising (particularly if you’ve played Pokémon Go). Augmented reality is just that: reality, but augmented or added to. It’s ‘life plus’.

Unlike the fully immersive nature of virtual reality, where you don goggles and descend into another world, augmented reality overlays information to what you can already see via the screen of your mobile phone or a pair of glasses.

Though famous for being used in games, AR is increasingly finding its way into the workplace. As this infographic shows, it can be applied in a variety of different industries, from mining to retail, providing things such as remote guidance, overlaid instruction manuals, or the ability to view potential purchases integrated into a customer’s world.

Imagine a builder who can see where the next beam should be laid, or the required distance between the electricals. A mechanic whose glasses show him just which spark plug to yank. A nurse who can find your veins easily before making that initial jab.

Much of the challenges with implementation currently lie in the lack of standards and inconsistency among capabilities but, once overcome, the benefits to flexibility, safety, mobility and efficiency will be a boon to business.

Why settle for reality when you can have reality+?

Infographic: The augmented reality of work

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