The digital age has changed the way we communicate and behave.
The advancement of technology, particularly over the last two decades, has inspired the development of many useful and innovative technologies that we now take for granted.
The internet, smartphones, smart TV’s, and Wi-Fi are now a part of our daily lives. So much so that it's difficult to think about how we could live without these essential devices and services. Technology touches every area of our culture, from ordering a meal to driving to the mall, tech has its place in every action we take.
Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that skills development and job training can benefit from technological advancement as well. Augmented reality (AR,) presents many advantages for employers and human resources departments to teach their employees new skills that improve their efficiency at work.
You may have already heard about virtual reality. It’s a technology that allows users to experience a virtual world. It provides a sensory experience that enables users to climb a mountain, chase monsters through a video game, or feel the thrill of a rollercoaster ride, all without leaving the comfort of their armchair at home.
Augmented Reality (AR,) is a lesser known technology that has had a significant impact on our lives as well. AR allows users to add layers of virtual components on top of a real-world environment. An example of this tech, which most people are familiar with, is the superimposition of animal masks on images in the social media app; Snapchat.
However, AR tech isn’t just for entertainment purposes only. AR has a use in a variety of different sectors, including skills development.
Towards the end of 2016, AR company’s – Accenture labs and Meta, chose to present the results of a study into the practical use of AR in the workplace.
The companies selected the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, as the platform for their presentation. The study shows the advantage of the technology for providing instructions on procedural tasks.
During their research, a random sample of women and men between the ages of 16 and 65 had to complete a simple Lego™ lighthouse set. The test subjects consisted of three groups. The first receives traditional paper instructions, the second a static 3D AR representation of the instructions, and the third a dynamic 3D AR model for assembly.
The results were significantly different, with the third group showing the best results. The outcome included three primary reasons for their success with the construction.
3-D models reduce the need for interpreting instructions. Users did not require translation from the 2-D plans into the 3-D blocks.
Users of the AR technology were able to co-locate instructions with the build. This advantage reduces the time spent in turning their attention between the instructions and the task at hand.
The delivery of AR commands occurs concurrently with the build, reducing time spent between education, execution, and completion. Therefore, dynamic instructions optimize the test subject’s efficiency.
After collecting the data from all three groups, researchers concluded that the group with static 3-D instructions has slower build times than the group with paper instructions. While it’s surprising that the static 3-D group was the slowest, it highlights the importance of dynamic signals.
Apart from the enhanced speed in understanding and executing instructions, AR has numerous other advantages for skills development in the workplace. These benefits also include the consolidation of attention and memory.
It appears that using AR enhances cognitive function and awareness, allowing employees to overcome challenges and learn complex tasks with greater accuracy and speed.
Instead of candidates and employees focusing their efforts on remembering what they learn during the training session, they can reference the information directly, in real-time. This benefit allows them to decrease procedural claims on memory function, thereby reducing the cognitive complexity and demand of completing the task at hand.
Therefore, users of AR tech can dedicate their attention to task completion and receive a higher degree of quality and accuracy in their work.
One of the most challenging parts of game-based learning theory is the transition designers must make between adaptation and application, also known as skills transfer. This challenge determines the measure of return on investment, as well as user experience when creating training programs.
The results of the Accenture labs and Meta Lego™ example prove that skills transfer is reliant on the quality of information delivery. The use of AR provides an environment that’s conducive to the optimal outcome and training experience; for any individual when learning new tasks.
The results should excite any professional involved in the training and development of employees. AR can reduce the time it takes to train a new candidate, as well as teach existing employees new procedures.
Employee training is critical for any business that values a competent workforce capable of following procedures and processes. Unfortunately, employee training is costly. The time spent training new employees reduces a company’s ability to respond to staff shortages and skill gaps.
While implementing AR tech in your job training program may come at a substantial initial cost, the company will receive a return on investment in a relatively short period. You can expect faster skills development, and higher retention of training information, that creates a well-trained workforce competent at handling any part of their job description. Get in touch with us here at VR Vision today to see how we can transform your ideas to reality.