How AR is being applied to training and personal development

September 19, 2018

How AR is being applied to training and personal development

Augmented Reality (AR) is the halfway house between reality and virtual reality. Rather than being submersed in a computer-generated virtual world (like the Matrix), participants put on a pair of glasses which add a highly informative visual overlay to your field of vision.

For example, let’s say you were travelling and lost and couldn’t find your hotel, and were wearing AR Glasses. You might give a command such as “Navigate to [name of destination hotel]”, and then visual instructions on how to get to your hotel would appear in your field of vision.

Get it? No? Then think Pokémon Go, or watch this Ikea AR Video.

Augmented reality is becoming a game-changer for training and personal development

AR has game-changing qualities for the training and development sphere. The old-world model of learning is based around doing a training course and then embedding the learning through practice at a later date. AR changes everything and opens the door to a new world of ‘learning on the go’.

When researchers asked a random sample of men and women to complete a simple

Lego lighthouse set, the ones who were given real-time AR instructions completed the exercise faster than those given static paper instructions to follow.

There are so many wonderful examples of AR-powered on-the-go learning and we’ll highlight some of the best of these below.

Leading brands are using augmented reality to develop employees

General Motors use Google Glass, (specialist Augmented Reality Goggles) to allow real-time training of their factory workers. Rather than having to pull workers off the shop floor and send them on expensive typically off-site training courses, to learn how to do difficult tasks like installing grip molding, they put on their bleeding edge Google AR Glasses. The visual overlay provided by the glass allows them to see the correct technique as they perform the task. What about Siemens, the German technology enterprise, who make components and parts for the German national rail network? They are changing the way their students learn in their organization. They use the Soldamatic Augmented Training System to train welders in their organization. In this, case, students can use the visual overlay as they practice welding. The system puts help icons on the screen and it enable them to practice welding much faster and more often.

Take a virtual tour of your new office, and meet your new colleagues

Corporate on-boarding is also being enhanced by AR too. Beam, a digital and designmarketing agency, have built an AR based on-boarding programme. New starters don their AR headset, and they can walk around the business, setting off strategically located AR trigger points that enable them to gain knowledge about the business, facilities and employees.

When users look at a chair, a clickable visual profile of the person who normally sits there appears in their field of vision. Clicking the image will unlock a quick video message from the employee, introducing themselves and telling them how they can help the new starter.

Going into a meeting room is really exciting, because the AR Goggle wearer is then presented with a visual overlay, giving them a list of meetings/workshops that have taken place. The users can click on a meeting and them the room comes alive. The diagrams, pictures, discussions, photographed when the meeting occurred are now super-imposed on the various whiteboards around the room. The AR user can even see who the workshop attendees were and they have the option to follow up with them by clicking on the connect button. Exciting as this is, Beam do recommend that these headsets are used out-of-hours to avoid the potential social awkwardness.

We are still at the early stages of Augmented Reality in learning, but this new real-time learning is set to grow and transform the corporate learning environment.

About the author

Kazim is the Director of, a resource for start-ups and small business. It includes a blog containing career advice, and small business advice articles. Kazim also has writing published on and Time Magazine.

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