Augmented Reality Project Planning — The Six Questions to Answer

Greater understanding of the information around an object, like a work of art, is an AR benefit.
Greater understanding of the information around an object, like a work of art, is an AR benefit.
While Augmented Reality glasses are not available for consumer use in 2015, many people might be surprised to know that AR Goggles have been already successfully applied
in pilot programs for “desk-less workers” (people who work with their hands and whose workload would benefit from being able to put down handheld devices), such as HPs Visual Remote Guidance program.
At a recent Augmented Reality Meetup in Manhattan, Pete Wassell, CEO of Augment, noted that AR may be in use even more than we think. Thinking of it as a “secret weapon,” he believes some companies may be keeping their AR-investments and pilots under wraps until they are six months or a year into their programs.

Assessing The Need For Augmented Reality

Successful Augmented Reality Project Planning requires mastery of many diverse fields, including everything from hardware and software development, to data entry, UX, graphic design, and even ergonomics.
Luca Bertuccelli, founder of the UX team at United Technologies Research Center, stresses that Augmented Reality is just one tool in a toolbox.
“At its core, any new technology has to add value to what the people are doing at that particular point in time,” Bertuccelli says. “The key is zooming in on some of those valuable use cases and very quickly figuring out if that technology makes sense.”

“When implementing new technology, you need to be aware of the whole ecosystem, starting from the humans that are going to be using it.”
Luca Bertuccelli – United Technologies Research Center

Are Augmented Reality Investments Right For Your Company?  Answer these six questions.

When considering the use of AR in an enterprise setting, the following six questions should be addressed:
  1. Does it create a more efficient work environment?
  2. Does it help lighten individual workloads?
  3. Does it enhance collaboration?
  4. Does it create better awareness?
  5. Does it reduce the probable need for later repairs?
  6. Does it increase speed and efficiency in training?

Codeveloping for Augmented Reality

Before or during the creation of a testbed for Augmented Reality applications, developers must understand what the end users do and how they do it. This is why Bertuccelli stresses the need for co-development.
augmented reality“We need to co-develop the technology and really understand if users are interested in it and if they gain value in using it. Whether it’s medical or industrial, the important part is that at the end of the day, you are talking about helping people do their jobs in a better way.”
Bertuccelli describes working with Augmented Reality Usability as a SocioTechnical System. “When implementing new technology, you need to be aware of the whole ecosystem, starting from the humans that are going to be using it.” “It needs to make sense.”

Challenges Faced By Augmented Reality Designers

“There’s a saying in aerospace,” Bertuccelli says, “Technology needs to earn its way into the cockpit.” He is referring specifically to head-up display technology, but the same concept can be applied to any workspace.
It is important to remember that the introduction of AR goggles into the workplace requires retraining as well as sensitivity. Skilled workers have been doing their jobs for years, and as such, they have a sense of earned pride. They have developed workarounds and shortcuts, and may even be distrustful of being “replaced” by technology.
Like the path once taken by smartphones, Bertuccelli reminds us that many careful hours were put into thinking about who the users would be and how they would experience the technology. How is the data being shared between different users, for example?
If you have ideas, technology or solutions that can be applied towards enterprise augmented reality, we hope you’ll consider applying for the $25K Sikorsky EChallenge.  Here’s what they are looking for:  “Real-time augmented reality for collaborative applications and complex manufacturing processes.”  Click here to apply.

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