Thanks to the global coronavirus pandemic, it seems like remote work is here to stay, at least to some extent. Global research firm McKinsey predicts that remote work in some form or another is likely here to stay, with about 3-4 times the number of people working from home than prior to the pandemic. This looming shift is forcing businesses to critically re-evaluate how, where, and when employee training takes place. While training done virtually in any form is currently driven by health and sanitation measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s highly likely that the benefits that remote training delivers will outweigh the costs in the near future.
We’re witnessing the evolution of a new paradigm in real time, and because new paradigms require new tools, it’s expected that augmented reality (AR) will be an essential ingredient to successful training programs. AR, which can be delivered through a wide variety of devices including smart phones, can provide an interactive method for delivering training content remotely.
However, AR alone is not likely to be sufficient by itself to make training content engaging—and therefore effective. For this, training programs need to also adopt gaming technologies and approaches.
Previously, we discussed how AR is dramatically transforming how businesses provide training to professionals with hands-on jobs, such as repair and maintenance. But by adding the gaming aspect, AR trainings can easily reach into industries that are less hands-on. For example, Facebook shared their own experiments in AR and remote working earlier this year, demonstrating a mixed-reality environment perfect for training information workers.
Training programs that use gaming concepts is called “serious gaming,” and has been around since the 1960s. Serious games are effective because they:
· Set clear goals and tasks for the trainee to accomplish
· Allow trainees to experience real-world problems without real-world consequences
· Encourage trainees to stay focused by engaging them psychologically and emotionally
Of course, the big difference today is using video game technology in a training environment. And AR is primed to be the foremost gaming technology used in training today and in the future.
That said, there are some obstacles firms need to confront in order to take advantage of the benefits that the AR and gaming technology offer. For one, there are no standards in terms of hardware or software, which means that AR training programs might struggle with compatibility issues at some point. An AR program that’s designed to run on specific hardware, for example, may not necessarily be easily executed on a smart phone.
And like many fledgling technologies, privacy and security are also potential issues with using AR in training. Other than those that already exist, there are no laws or regulations that specify how AR data can be used. Because using AR in this context is still relatively new, it’s difficult to know today what data will be collected by employers and what they will do with them.
These are just a couple of examples of challenges that the AR industry must address as it its use in training becomes more widespread. That said, these types of obstacles certainly will be addressed as the industry and the solutions mature.
Want to learn more about augmented reality training? Contact us to see how Avrio Analytics’ AR training is breaking down barriers by providing custom AR training programs for a variety of industries.