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What you need to know… about Virtual and Augmented Reality

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What is Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)?

Your mind may draw a blank when you think see the words ‘Virtual Reality’ and ‘Augmented Reality’ – but the concepts are actually very simple when you break them down into their key similarities and differences.

VR and AR are both:

·        Computer generated simulations.

·        “They affect human perceptions of the human mind in an obvious way” according to Cold Fusion TV.

·        Can create packaged experiences for the end user.

The key differences between these computer simulation technologies can be summed up through the following features: 

VR

·        You usually put on a headset to experience VR

·        It is a computer simulation that can replace your current environment 

·        From your brain’s perspective – you have been transported somewhere else e.g. with the Playstation VR headset you can be transported to space in the Star Wars Rogue One video game. The game, when used with a headset, is designed to make you feel like you are flying a real space ship.

AR

·        You don’t need a headset to use AR, in fact we already use it in our smartphones.

·        Rather than transporting you to a different reality or environment, the sensors in your smartphone camera can enhance the real world with computer generated images, by overlaying those images onto real world objects.

·        It can track and target real world objects, this is how social media and gaming apps like Snapchat and Pokemon Go work.

 

 An office worker wearing a VR headset with a smile on their face, enjoying the experience. 

An office worker wearing a VR headset with a smile on their face, enjoying the experience. 

 

How is VR and AR relevant to the workplace?

The examples of VR and AR in the previous section have all been related to how they have improved our leisure time, but there are lots of ways they can improve the workplace.

 

Instantaneous and Easy Access to Critical Information

Safety Compass has created an app for workplaces that need quick updates about any potential safety risks. The app works by asking the user to sign in with their secure log-in details, scan their location using AR and click the correct pin to acquire in-depth safety information about an area in their location. The app uses your phone’s GPS technology to pin point where the employee is and where they are reporting the health hazard. You can see how it works by clicking the video below:     

This is just one example of how AR or VR can make information more accessible.

Improve work manuals, training and professional development practices

Lack of training prompts two-thirds of workers to quit their job and most people only remember 10-20% of written or spoken information. We can however, recall 80% of what we see and do, so VR and AR could help reduce the cost of employee turnover and inadequate training.

For example, if you’re worried about productivity decreasing because your staff are elsewhere doing First Aid training, but know the training it is vital for employee and customer safety, an alternative could be to see if Dual Good Health’s VR technology could bring First Aid training to your workplace. Play the video below for more info:       

Dual Good Health are using virtual reality to train more people how to save lives. By combining VR hardware that tracks hand movements and a physical mannequin they can provide a realistic and engaging simulation. The virtual environment is based on a real street and created in a realistic style for maximum immersion.

Save money on expenses when you have a remote workforce

Flexible working is becoming more common in the workplace now that more people are working from home or on the go, but some employers fear remote working will decrease productivity or have a negative impact on workplace collaboration.

The San Francisco start-up Meta believe augmented reality headsets can prevent productivity decreasing, making accessing your work computer simple by putting on an augmented reality headset.

Video by Meta explaining how new VR and AR technologies will change businesses and workplaces forever.

VR headsets could also enhance software we already have – such as conference call videos.               

How Do I? Digital Marketing and Project Assistant – Zeinab Ali

How Do I? creates video-led training tools that that improve workplace learning for everyone, and as such we’re a company that uses human-centric design to create practical and effective products.

 If VR and AR is something you would like to see from us – contact us and share your ideas at hello@wearehowdoi.com.

Please also feel free to share this handy infographic on social media:

 The infographic gives the following three fun facts: 1 - the first prototype for VR was built by Martin Heilig in 1962 to make films more immersive, it was called the sensorama. 2 - You use AR everyday if you use the Snapchat and Pokemon Go app. 3 - 77% of millennials are willing to embrace VR and AR in the workplace, according to a study by Dell and Intel.

The infographic gives the following three fun facts: 1 - the first prototype for VR was built by Martin Heilig in 1962 to make films more immersive, it was called the sensorama. 2 - You use AR everyday if you use the Snapchat and Pokemon Go app. 3 - 77% of millennials are willing to embrace VR and AR in the workplace, according to a study by Dell and Intel.