Over a million developers have joined DZone.
{{announcement.body}}
{{announcement.title}}

Tailoring Mobile Augmented Reality for Business Needs: Improving Employee Performance and Customer Satisfaction

DZone's Guide to

Tailoring Mobile Augmented Reality for Business Needs: Improving Employee Performance and Customer Satisfaction

Learn about the benefits mobile augmented reality can bring to businesses, from training use cases to QA and product catalogs.

· Mobile Zone ·
Free Resource

About four years ago, augmented reality was only available via such gadgets as Google Glass and HoloLens. As mobile devices gradually gained more power and accessibility, AR started to invade them, too. Today, thanks to the release of ARCore and ARKit, augmented reality is finally here in our smartphones and tablets.

Mostly backed by the gaming industry in the past, AR is now welcomed by various business domains that have acknowledged the usefulness of this technology. In this article, we show the value of augmented reality for business, as well as describe the features an AR business app can have.

What’s in AR for Business?

Augmented reality’s mobile presence has opened new possibilities for enterprises. Instead of appointing supervisors to newcomers, healthcare facilities, car insurance companies, manufacturers and other businesses can now introduce effective augmented reality training. This way, they avoid creating an imbalance in the workload. What’s more, by using the devices employees already own, companies save a fortune on additional training appliances.

However, mobile AR can assist in not only training, but also quality assurance, performance speed-up, and even customer consulting. For instance, Volkswagen introduced a mobile AR app that recognizes the internal components of an auto and shows service technicians what they should do to repair it. HP Support launched a similar app in order to help their users easily change ink cartridges: it uses a camera to capture a specific printer model and then shows the necessary steps on the screen.

Useful Features for AR Business Apps

The key to seeing significant results from augmented reality in business is to make sure the app’s functionality will successfully optimize your workflow. Although AR apps can comprise several features at once, it’s better to start with one and target the right tasks. Below, we give examples of AR features that can be used to improve various business processes.

Augmented Instructions and Manuals

Quite naturally, complex systems have complex manuals. Often, they can be hundreds of pages long and hence hardly comprehensible. Unlike written manuals with static pictures, augmented instructions can be more informative and concise at the same time.

As long as an appliance is in the focus of a mobile device’s camera lens, an AR app can recognize all of its details. Then, a user can select any of the parts, and the app will instantly respond with either a pop-up text window or recorded media (audio, video, 3D model) attached to it.

Hence, what would be a single static picture on a page in a guidebook is multi-layer interactive data in the AR app. With the app’s help, a specialist will be able to easily install even the latest or most uncommon models of the product on a client’s premises.

Quality Assurance

Any sort of directions that are written or said out loud can be difficult to understand and interpret. As an Iowa State University study has proved, such type of guidance can also lead to mistakes, and in some industries, these mistakes can turn out grave.

Quality assurance processes that involve check and approval by at least two other specialists are quite common for manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture and other industries. However, a mobile AR app can shorten this control line and ease the workload.

Using augmented reality for self-check, employees can make 100% sure they’ve avoided mistakes. Service technicians or engineers can point a mobile device at a product or mechanism they are working with, and the app will instantly analyze all the parts and their position and condition.

If everything is all right, the app will let a user know and encourage them to continue their work. In case the app finds errors, it will offer interactive guidance, with pointers and flash graphics right on the screen, helping an employee to fix the situation.

Audit Tool

In terms of functionality, this tool very similar to the quality assurance feature. However, an employee’s main task here isn’t to check the quality of their own work, but rather officially audit the work of others.

Complex AR apps can analyze the visual surroundings and compare them to the entered numeral requirements. For instance, trade marketers can use an AR audit app to scan a shelf with SKU faces. The app will analyze the image received from the camera lens and report, whether the number of the product faces displayed on the shelf is the same as the one officially agreed on.

Virtual Product Catalogue

The use of augmented reality for business isn’t limited to employees’ apps only; AR can also be an impressive gimmick to persuade your consumers with. One of the possible options is to offer your clients free and convenient interaction with a product before they decide to order them online or buy them in your brick-and-mortar store.

Offering an AR product catalogue is making a friendly incentive for your potential clients to try out your products. The AR app can allow a customer choose an item from the app and drag-and-drop it in the ‘reality’, captured by the camera lens of their mobile device.

After a product is virtually placed on a plain surface inside of a mobile device, a customer can inspect it up close: the AR app’s camera lens will treat the object as real and allow a zoom-in. What’s more, since the app creates a virtual object based on the actual product dimensions, a customer can evaluate its size in an almost live situation.

Endnote

Mobile augmented reality is much more than a game now. As Gartner analysts point out, AR technologies pave the way to enterprises to “increase productivity and decrease safety risk.” When used in everyday working processes, they can change the way people address their usual tasks, perform self-checks and gain experience. Besides, AR apps can offer businesses new ways to reach out to their customers. A virtual showroom instead of a common catalogue will definitely pique the curiosity of your target audience.

Topics:
augmented reality ,mobile app development ,arcore ,arkit ,mobile

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}