Augmented Reality in Learning: What Is AR And How Will it Revolutionise Training?

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What is augmented reality? Remember Back to the Future 2? Marty takes a stroll around the world in 2015 and is suddenly startled by a digitalised shark from Jaws 19. This is augmented reality. Digital elements are overlayed real-world situations. 

Unfortunately, 2015 is long gone and we still haven’t got digital sharks jumping out at us, or Jaws 19 for that matter…

In education, history teachers can now use this type of technology to walk their students around The Coliseum in ancient Athens. Biology teachers can walk their students around the human body. Physics teachers can walk students around our solar system without the concern of their bodies ballooning to twice their size and their lungs collapsing! Wahey!

This is all great, but how can we use AR to create a better training experience?

Augmented Reality Vs Virtual Reality

Augmented reality is often mistaken for virtual reality, and vice versa. But in reality, they’re virtually worlds apart…

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality (VR) is the process of immersing users in a fully digitised environment. 

Examples of VR in Business:

1. Test Driving

Some car companies have created apps whereby you can test drive their latest models using VR.

2. Virtual House Viewings:

Surely there’s nothing more tedious than house viewings? Not any more! Cut out the annoying estate agent by taking a virtual tour around your new abode with fully digitalised house viewings

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) is where digital objects are superimposed atop real-world surroundings. 

Examples of AR in Business: 

1. Currys Point and Place AR App: 

Customers can see what their potential new appliance would look like in their house before purchase. Currys do this by asking users to download their app. From there users can choose products to see how products look  in their homes, the app then superimposes digital images over the users rooms. No more post-purchase arguments about the television looking too big for the living room!

2. Clothes Shopping

Augmented reality has now mixed with the world of fashion. You can use AR to see how you’d look trying on different outfits!  

Now we know what augmented reality is, let’s find out why so many companies are excited to build it into  their training:

Why Augmented Reality?

As Millennials now make up 50% of the workplace, and indeed will make up 75% of the workplace by 2025, companies are under pressure to revamp their learning and development programmes to appeal to a generation raised on digital technology. Younger staff-members require a training programme which is more in tune with their digital needs. 

Additionally, Gen-Z are the first generation to experience the Internet, social media and whispers of VR and AR practically from birth. 

If your training hasn’t caught up by the time Gen-Z represent the lion’s share of the workforce, then you’ll have more luck asking a horse to book you a holiday than you’ll have with traditional methods.

Augmented Reality in Online Learning

You might be wondering how you could incorporate AR into your training. Here are some examples:

1. In Retail:

The beauty of AR is that your learners can access exactly what they need to instantly! There’s no looking around content libraries, asking experts or watching videos. Simply point your device at the product you want to learn about and the information appears on screen in front of you.

    • Designer
    • Date created
    • A visual representation of it being worn
    • Metals/materials
    • Karat number
    • Price

This type of AR allows the trainees to experience the training in a more immediate and detailed manner. 

The same kind of technology can be set up for all retail outlets, whether that’s perfumeries, wineries, clothes shops, or kitchen goods.

2. In the Office Environment:

Health and safety training in the office used to mean sitting in a stuffy room with a bunch of strangers watching a 1980s clip about how to pick up a box properly. No longer do we have to suffer bad haircuts and brown and orange decor! 

Nowadays, when we take the all-important fire-exit walk-around, the brilliance of AR means we can now enjoy on-screen text that informs you of:

    • Instructions on what to do during an emergency
    • Key fire-safety points
    • Evacuation points
    • Step-by-step instructions on how to use a fire extinguisher

You could even set up a health and safety AR treasure hunt in which onboarders collect digital badges as rewards when they’ve completed certain units around the office.Each badge could contain a clue to the next one!

3. In the Medical Environment:

AR is already revolutionising the way we train our medical staff. AR can be used in training for complex operations to give the trainee an experience much closer to real-life than is possible with other approaches. 

Bio-Flight have developed AR doctor training videos to help physicians and surgeons learn about the latest tools and methods in their chosen areas, as well as refining and boosting their knowledge retention. (Always a comfort to know your surgeon has studied!)

Final Word

We are only now just beginning to understand the mammoth benefits augmented reality offers corporate training. In fact, we haven’t even scraped the surface! From AR rewards and badges, to digitising your health and safety training, the possibilities are endless. Instructors are able to gain the attention of their learners with stunning visuals, and learners get to experience situations that go far beyond anything a bone-dry paper theory can offer up.

Want to know more about advancements in training? Download our guide,’The Future of Gamification.’

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