Businesses that are implementing augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) immersive technology in their workplaces say overwhelmingly that it is exceeding their expectations, according to a new report today by Capgemini.
The survey of 709 companies by the global consultancy found that enterprises that are implementing AR and VR technology “are experiencing over 10% operational benefit in areas such as increased efficiency, productivity, and safety.”
UK companies are falling behind Germany and France in implementing AR technology however, with only 36 percent saying they are using the tech. France leads in Europe with an implementation uptake of 48 percent.
Europe as a whole is falling behind China and America, both of which are reporting AR implementation rates over 50 percent, with the US topping the survey at 59 percent.
Capgemini surveyed 709 individuals from 709 companies, with 73 percent of respondents’ businesses reporting revenue of over $1 billion in 2017. It found that the majority of businesses not currently using some form of AR or VR at present aim to experiment with or implement the technology within three years.
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Lanny Cohen Chief Innovation Officer at Capgemini said in an emailed statement: “Immersive technology has come a long way in a short time and will continue to evolve. Faced with stiff competition from aggressive investors in the US and China, businesses need to streamline investment to seize the long-term growth potential this technology offers”
Augmented reality is the displaying of virtual elements onto a display which overlaps onto the real world. This can take the form of a technical tasks list or an expert watching what your worker does remotely.
Immersive Technology: Boeing Boosts Productivity by 40 Percent
The report highlights some key sectors that are already implementing the technology.
Aircraft manufacture Boeing is using wearable augmented reality devices to enable their technicians to access schematics and instructions while constructing fuselage sections. This allows the worker to operate hands-free, which according to Boeing has reduced production time by 25 percent and increased productivity by 40 percent.
Brian Laughlin, IT Tech Fellow commented in a Boeing blog that: “Using augmented reality technology, technicians can easily see where the electrical wiring goes in the aircraft fuselage. They can roam around the airplane and see the wiring renderings in full depth within their surroundings and access instructions hands-free.”
A second use case highlighted is Siemens where employees are using the technology to preform quality control inspections of printed circuits.
Dr. Gunyer Beitinger VP of Manufacturing at Siemens is quoted in the report as saying: “Employees have to continuously look between a physical circuit board and a screen to compare, validate, and test acceptable quality.”
“AR enables those same employees to inspect circuit boards by augmenting their view and calling attention to various elements they could have missed.”
Immersive Technology Implementation: Key Steps
The study identifies some key strategies it believes enterprises should follow if they wish to successfully integrate AR and VR technology into their business.
The first step is to create an innovation centre or a dedicated central team that oversees the company’s AR/VR implementation. Part of this strategy should be investment in an in-house team of experts that can help you roll out the technology.
These first two steps will help your organisation identify the best use case for AR/VR is in your company, the report notes that for over 50 percent of companies, a key concern is finding the correct use for the technology within their business.
Lanny Cohen CIO at Capgemini notes that: “To drive the highest business value from AR and VR, companies need a centralized governance structure, proofs of concept that are aligned with business strategy, and to be able to drive innovation and employee change management.”