It’s no secret that augmented and mixed reality are poised to revolutionize many industrial sectors, including manufacturing, oil and gas, the energy industry, agriculture, and defence and aerospace.
The technology is powerful and benefits have been touted by many early adopters. Research has proven Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) can improve productivity and reduce assembly time, accelerated repairs, enhance maintenance, and increased employee engagement.
Long lists of potential use cases have been published – but how do you know which one is right for you? Industrial use cases can range from training and education, repair and maintenance of complex equipment, virtual inspections, support for remote workers, and assistance for complex assembly.
So, where do you start?
First, know that it’s not an “all-or-nothing” approach. Adopting new technology should be approached in manageable stages. You can start small to ease into more advanced use cases as you progress along your Industrial 4.0 journey.
“Organizations don’t have to be intimidated or overwhelmed at where to start – they can start small and scale up. Mixed Reality is adaptable, and any organization can benefit from several use cases throughout their digital journey,” said Michael Thibodeau, HoloLens & Mixed Reality Lead, Microsoft Canada.
Here are some important tips to help you decide on the unique use case that’s right for your business:
One of the most critical steps is to ask yourself the “why” before you ask yourself the “what”. Develop a clear picture of the unique challenges your organization faces. There’s no point in adopting new technology that doesn’t solve your pain point.
Before you start your evaluation, identify the top 5 troubleshooting situations your organization is facing.
When starting your AR or MR journey, pick the low hanging fruit. Some challenges are easier to achieve than others – choose a first use case that’s less complex but still has measurable impact.
Once these less complex issues are remedied with the technology, you’ll have gained the experience necessary to move on to more complex challenges.
It’s also a good idea to make your first use case the one that has the lowest impact on your workforce. Change management can be a worthwhile but time-consuming undertaking, so set yourself up for success when you start small.
The impact is more manageable with a staged approach, and you can also create a few early employee ambassadors to help you champion the larger project and go forward.
These 3 tips should help you better understand the most effective starting point for your use cases. Here are a few more tips to help set you up for success as you explore AR as an enterprise solution:
Designate a champion
The most important role in any project is the champion. Designating a champion early can mean the difference between success and failure. This person needs to be given the trust, time, and resources to move the project forward and make decisions. They will ensure the vision is achieved, goals are met, and moves the implementation through the finish line.
Choose the right device
There are a few important things to keep in mind when you are researching the right augmented or mixed reality device:
Choose the right software
Once you’ve decided on the device, next you need to consider the software to use with the device. Keep in mind:
Jumping into industrial immersive technology can be exciting, but preparation is key. Taking the time to think these tips through will better position you for success and make sure your time is used wisely.