AR in the Pursuit of Learning

AR in the Pursuit of Learning

Today we are increasingly seeing the potential of Augmented Reality (AR) in various sectors and industries. The technology is advancing, along with AR enabled devices. Many manufacturers of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are using AR solutions to increase the value proposition of these devices and enhance the user experience. This coupled with AR software development kits for easier development and creation of AR apps and experiences and growing commercial use of AR is triggering fresh and innovative ideas on how to use AR, including in learning.

Technology has revolutionized teaching and learning—whereby lectures, seminars and classes no longer have to be in a confined physical space.  E-learning has been around for sometime, with businesses adopting e-learning in the early 2000’s and with the explosion of social media and online learning around 2010.  But we could say that e-learning, virtual learning or distance learning experiences have been a two-dimensional or flat experience. Now imagine the use of AR that provides an immersive and three-dimensional experience that can inspire creativity and spark imagination. In short, AR offers tremendous possibilities to redefine e-learning.

AR coupled with e-learning can greatly increase learner engagement by letting learners participate actively and authentically with the learning content, versus being a passive recipient of information. Imagine—through the use of AR—geometry students being able to check out 3D geometric forms from multiple perspectives and where they can rotate the shapes and view them from the inside. Imagine a technology that can help to teach challenging concepts in biology or math and to innovatively teach about different cultures and places in the world. AR can help learners enhance and manage their own learning, throughout the active interactions with the real and digital environments. Students can easily manage their own learning and change objects which are not real in an augmented environment in order to obtain and acquire understanding and knowledge.

Traditional methods of education as we know it are becoming a thing of the past. They are becoming increasingly digitized, and being driven by technology innovations. In fact, EdTech, the education technology industry, per a study by EdTechXGloba, is expected to reach $252 billion by this year. And a significant trend is the use of AR, with more than 1 billion users expected to join the trend in 2020 —opening opportunities for educational institutions and businesses.

And top eLearning stats from the eLearning Industry reinforce the opportunity for eLearning providers and platforms in the Global eLearning Market, which they estimate to reach $325 Billion by 2025. Other notable stats include:

·       65% Of US Faculty Support Open Educational Resources

·       43% Of US College Students Find Digital Learning Technologies “Extremely Helpful”

·       67% Of Organizations Offer Mobile Learning

If you are working in EdTech or a user of e-Learning platforms and tools using AR, we invite you to share your experiences, insights and predictions for AR in learning.

Assembly Required.   Show it with AR.

Assembly Required. Show it with AR.

Think about how many times you have bought something you had to assemble—furniture, a BBQ grill and kids’ toys—and the frustration of using the provided printed instructions. Think about the times you decided to go the DIY route to fix your dryer, build that shed, install your own thermostat, do some landscaping, etc., and needed real-time help.  After some time spent with written instructions and users manuals—and even maybe a phone call to an 800 number, we fire up our laptops and more often use our mobile devices as we turn to online videos for help. A bit better than the written instructions, but not fully or always helpful.

According to a TechSee survey about self-installation, complexity is a real barrier to DIY-ers. 31% of consumers reported having to give up mid-process and contact a customer service agent for assistance after failing to self-install successfully. Baby Boomers are even more challenged by self-installation, with a telling 87% reporting that they did not find the process easy.

Enter Augmented Reality (AR)—the ability to present the real-world, overlayed with digital information. While some people think of AR as a technology for games and enhanced shopping experiences, its practical applications go well beyond these, and a variety of companies are using AR to enhance their customers’ experiences (CX) along the full customer journey—including to how to put something together or install a product. Assembly with AR is an application that can use a virtual 3D model (a mathematical representation of something three dimensional) and combines it with AR for use in a real live environment using smartphones to help many of us who are challenged with the provided assembly instructions.

By turning to an AR assembly or instructions solution—an AR guide can provide superimposed instructions on mobile phones. This video representation of the physical product (in 3D) can be shown with step-by-step assembly instructions and helpful tips. It can overlay the product—or pieces of the product—with animation that simulates and clarifies the self-assembly process.

AR provides an effective digital interface that displays the content visually during initial setup, configuration, troubleshooting, regular maintenance or for demonstration of proper usage. It delivers an immersive experience, enabling the user to feel self-reliant, empowered and in control, translating directly into a positive CX.

AR is poised to serve as a key technology to improve consumer-product engagement, and forward-thinking companies that are looking to go to the next level of customer service and engagement and customer loyalty are exploring and starting to use AR to enhance their full CX. If you are using AR for your CX, we invite you to share your story.