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AUGMENTED REALITY: WHY THE INDUSTRY STILL RESISTS (A LITTLE)

 

New technologies, digital transformation, industry of the future – bringing innovation onto the industry sector is a hot topic. How can we fail to consider today that every industrial company should adopt technologies that enable to improve efficiency & competitiveness?

Among these innovations, augmented reality (AR) with remote assistance, workflow operations and training solutions is clearly one such game-changing solution for the industry.

However, a recent study led by the European commission states that “the first obstacle is (…) a lack of awareness on the part of entrepreneurs of the potential of technologies and of their beneficial impacts on the development of their business” (SME envoy Network, December 2020)

These AR solutions are easy to implement and relatively inexpensive; and there are many applications today. The first step is probably for us, AR entrepreneurs, to increase AR advertising and make AR solutions more visible & accessible to the industry.

Find offers, compare them: a time-consuming exercise

Augmented reality solutions have become popular in the industrial sector, particularly with the pandemic that has created urgent needs that AR solutions can cover. However, the numerous offers now available are not always visible.

And finding a hardware manufacturer, an application supplier, an integrator, can be a complicated and time-consuming journey.

Although there are specialized companies that offer these services, industrial companies want to consider their options. And sometimes it’s time-consuming to gather enough information to compare and decide.

It therefore often requires dedicating a person to this task or calling on a consulting firm; in both cases it can be profitable to quickly find the options most suited to the specific needs of each industrial company.

The costs: some false beliefs

It is surprising to see how the cost perception of AR solutions remains sometimes biased. It is true that to look separately at the hardware, the applications, the integration, the figures can represent costs for which the return on investment is not very clear.

Yet integrated solutions exist at extremely competitive prices. The ROI calculation can be then quickly made; especially when we consider the use of AR tools that lead to substantial savings in time and resources, and when we consider the potential benefits: increased productivity, reduced costs, improved efficiency.

The implementation of remote assistance solutions, for example, has proven time and time again the substantial savings related to the saved trips (1,300 euros on average per trip, source Motus). And implementing AR for remote subject-matter-expert assistance can result in 70 percent increase in worker productivity (Artillery report, November 2021)

What about “integration”?

One last barrier for industrial companies that be the “integration” aspects: how to find solutions that can perfectly adapt to their IT environments & security needs?

The fact is that augmented reality solutions are not more complex to integrate than all IoT systems being deployed; and many specialized field integrators have the experience to cover these topics effectively.

In conclusion, there are many simple augmented reality solutions that are relatively inexpensive to use and perfectly integrated into the system of today’s industrialists.

It is important for the company to be able to maximize the time spent finding these solutions and the use of a consulting firm is often a good alternative. It allows us to give an objective opinion on the state of the market, the different solutions, and the different materials, and to direct towards the optimal solutions for the customer.

And this is the right time: in Europe, the commission just announced a €2billion investment to accelerate the digital transformation, and many subventions will become available for the industrial companies.