A couple of years ago, Augmented Reality collaboration was an intriguing concept that didn’t seem very practical. However, with the huge and sudden shift to remote work in 2020, virtual collaboration became a necessity. And though the world is slowly returning to normal after the pandemic, people question whether they really need to return to the office.
Remote work certainly has its advantages on a micro and macro scale.
Employees can work from home, anywhere in the world, saving time and money on commutes. Employers don’t have to maintain large offices and pay expensive leases— nor do they have to limit themselves to local talent. Even the planet benefits from less vehicle pollution, less power consumption, and less waste.
Employees and employers have gotten a big taste of remote work, and it tastes a lot better than they expected. Though remote work isn’t for everyone or every industry, it will continue to be widespread even after social distancing regulations are completely lifted.
A couple of years ago, Dice Insights warned its tech careers audience to avoid Augmented Reality collaboration “like the plague.” They rightfully pointed out that the technology was still “somewhat clunky” and the investment in fancy headsets was impractical. They questioned whether AR was a “step too far.”
Ironically, an actual plague has likely changed their minds. In the past year, there have been two huge changes that weaken Dice’s position:
So, instead of being a step too far, Web AR collaboration has made two giant steps forward. It is far more practical than ever before and no longer clunky. Furthermore, Web AR does not require any headsets or costly apps.
Granted, Web AR collaboration is still overkill for standard team meetings where a video conference would suffice. However, there are practical, real-world uses of Web AR collaboration today. Some Web AR collaboration solutions are already in place, whereas others will be soon.
Virtual work has removed the boundaries of the workforce. No longer are teams required to be in the same time zone, let alone the same country. However, some companies want and even need to maintain a “physical” connection.
Some teams need more than a video display; they need to interact with elements in the virtual meeting space. They need to each be able to “manipulate” products, prototypes, presentations, and more. Web AR collaboration makes it a true team effort, not a one-sided presentation.
Here is a real-world example of remote diagnostics thanks to Web AR collaboration. Someone in the field can contact a virtual assistant. Together, they can break down the problem, piece by piece, until they find the solution. It solves many logistics problems by removing the need for consultants, manufacturers, designers, and such to be on-site or to have the defective product on hand.
Web AR collaboration can be useful not only within teams but between teams. Large-scale projects that have multiple contractors or contributors can come together with Web AR collaboration. For instance, virtual blueprints can be shared and marked up by architects, engineers, contractors, designers, and project managers on a new condo development.
Web AR Collaboration is also ideal for prototyping and problem-solving. Specialists from anywhere in the world can come together to manipulate a virtual prototype or collaborate on a problem.
Just imagine the “Square peg in a round hole” scene from the Apollo 13 movie. But instead of dumping parts onto a table, you dump digital elements with Augmented Reality. Then, anyone from around the world can help solve the problem of fitting a square peg in a round hole using Web AR collaboration.
Virtual training is at the forefront of Web AR collaboration. The medical, military, manufacturing, construction, and many more industries use Augmented Reality to train their people.
Whether it’s training for open heart surgeries or engine assembly, Web AR collaboration gives them “hands on” experience. Plus, they can practice over and over again without wasting any resources.
Imagine needing to train soldiers at military bases across the country on how to diffuse a bomb. Certainly, you don’t want to put a live bomb in front of them. But you can put a “live” bomb in front of them virtually. And you can put it in front of soldiers in any training center, as opposed to shipping soldiers to the same location for the same training.
The surge in virtual collaboration will ebb as people return to their offices, but the tide has already changed. Virtual collaborations are going to continue to flow, and Web AR will sail right along with it.
As we’ve seen with Augmented Reality in general, Web AR collaboration will start with big brands and organizations but will eventually be accessible to businesses of all sizes. That trickle-down has already begun. It’s only a matter of time before Web AR collaboration is considered a norm.
From gaming and marketing to training and collaborating, Augmented Reality solution providers live up to their titles by providing real solutions to industries across the board. At Aircards, we provide AR e-commerce and marketing solutions for forward-thinking brands. Because, in truth, Augmented Reality is no longer “forward-thinking”—it’s now.
To see how Web AR is bringing brands and their audience together, check out our Case Studies. From individual entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, Web AR is making its way into digital marketing strategies everywhere. Perhaps it’s time for Web AR to make its way into yours.
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