What is Challenging the Future of Industrial AR?

Keyur Bhalavat
Keyur Bhalavat Author By

Do you recall Pokémon Go? Yes, The Pokémon GO game, which was published in 2016. It had a feature that allowed players to see virtual Pokémon standing in front of them, ready to be caught and interacted with, provided by AR Technology 

But Augmented Reality has far more significant, real-life applications such as in industrial settings. No wonder AR devices and services are expected to generate roughly $340 billion worldwide by 2028. It helps industries efficiently manage downtimes, maintenance, repair, employee training, and more. AR technology has positively influenced industries in the manufacturing, telecom, healthcare, automotive, and construction & engineering sectors. 

However, there are several challenges industries face when implementing AR in their factories and manufacturing plants. This article discusses the AR challenges faced by industrial enterprises when adapting it, along with solutions. The article also talks about some of the best AR use cases and the future of industrial AR. So, let’s begin! 

Major challenges with adaptation of industrial AR   

Augmented Reality challenges have emerged regarding multiple aspects of the technology, such as hardware, software, security, technology skills gap, etc. And organizations must be aware of these challenges while implementing Augmented Reality Technology.   

  1. Technology and skills gap:

The biggest concern challenging the future of industrial AR can be resistance from the workforce in industrial settings. The fear and technological or talent gaps are common to any new technology. Thus, your frontline staff may experience a bigger learning curve when adapting AR tools. Moreover, providing the required guidance and training to use the AR tools can pose as another challenge for industrial companies.     

Solution: For speedy learning at the production floors, leverage specially created augmented reality training modules or instructions appropriate to the industry. These training sessions allow employees to be productive while learning real-world skills without risking depletion of resources.      

  1. Implementation Cost:

Another common challenge companies might face when adapting Augmented Reality Technology is the implementation cost. For example, some thousand dollars may be needed to customize an app. However, the cost may easily reach the six-figure range if a business requires a custom program built from the bottom up with unique components.     

Solution: Numerous factors have an impact on an AR app’s final cost. But with ample AR-based SaaS applications out there, you need not go through the trouble of developing an AR application. For instance, Plutomen has white-labeled AR solutions you can easily customize to cater to your specific needs without spending thousands of dollars.  

  1. Hardware issues:

Organizations might also face several difficulties in terms of hardware. For instance, what if the the AR software is not device-agnostic? Even if it works with multiple devices, mobile phone cameras are designed for 2D capture and may not render 3D photos well. Moreover, AR-based softwares require AR headsets that might be too bulky and expensive for mass adaption. If the headsets need to be tethered to a computer or a device, it can make the entire experience limited and inconvenient.    

Solution: While we wait for better answers to these problems, you can employ AR-based remote collaboration tools, such as Plutomen, that are device-agnostic and comes with comfortable wearables that need not be tethered to a device. 

  1. Unsatisfying Experience:   

We expect too much because of the massive buzz around the Augmented Reality market. Because of this, we constantly feel that an AR software is not good enough, no matter how fantastic it is. One factor is that, unlike virtual reality, Augmented Reality (AR) keeps users in contact with real-world things, limiting it from providing a completely interactive experience.     

Solution: Having said that, there is no point in doubting the ability of Augmented Reality Technology to keep users interested. Innovative solutions like Plutomen have the potential to enhance the actual world while removing any distracting graphics that would otherwise harm the user experience. 

Some other challenges that can hamper the future of industrial AR are: 

  • Management buy-in:

The management of many organizations may think that AR has no applications or use cases for their business model. They might also feel it will not give the expected ROI. However, there are now many successful use cases in every industry, especially manufacturing. AR-enabled collaboration and remote assistance tools such as Plutomen can help factories and manufacturing plants reduce downtime, fasten repairs and maintenance, accelerate employee onboarding, and more. 

  • Cybersecurity and regulatory concerns:

Many organizations may also be hesitant to adapting AR due to inadequate regulations for AR technology at the moment. They may feel that AR developers have not done enough to address concerns such as data privacy, copyright or liability concerns. Moreover, there is also the issue of cybersecurity which is too sensitive for industries such as healthcare and finance. 

Despite the challenges, the future of industrial AR looks bright. In the section below, we will discuss the future the of AR in industrial settings and some of its best AR use cases. Keep reading! 

The Future of Augmented Reality:   

What does AR technology’s future look like when the present is already encouraging? Recently, Facebook and Ray-Ban unveiled their new smart glasses. And Apple too intends to launch its own smart glasses and headset in 2022. Moreover, the growth of 5G networks will also make it simpler to host cloud-based AR Technology experiences while also improving their realism, according to experts. It will be simple to pull programs and interactions from anywhere in the world in a split second, thanks to the high-speed, low-latency internet provided by 5G networks. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which led so many businesses to adopt remote work, augmented reality may also find a place in the typical office setting.   

When Facebook announced Horizon Workrooms, its virtual reality office software, earlier this year, many people rolled their eyes. However, this application of AR technology might enable people to remain connected without leaving their homes and feel as though they are working in the same location. In an Augmented Reality meeting, participants might appear as holographic projections, movies, or even avatars in the surroundings. The AR market is expanding rapidly. The inventions that emerged over that time will be intriguing to see, as will how much simpler augmented reality can improve our lives. 

Similarly, the future of AR looks bright for industries such as manufacturing and production. With AR-enabled collaboration tools, the frontline workers on factory floors can instantly connect with experts anywhere n the world. The experts have a 3D view of the machines and equipment, due to which, they can help the workers solve problems immediately. Moreover, the workers also perceive the information accurately and instantly due to enhanced visual representation of the components.  

Below we have talked elaborately about the applications and use cases of industrial AR. 

Best Industrial AR Use Cases:      

  1. Remote Expert Assistance:   

AR enables professionals to be present in multiple locations at once. An enterprise augmented reality (AR) solution can connect a field technician in a remote area with a subject-matter expert (SME) right away if they get stuck while troubleshooting certain equipment. The SME could be located at home, at work, or even abroad. This not only allows the expert to see what the technician is looking at, but it also enables them to replace the target with instructions directly.  

For instance, they could just draw a circle on top of the screw instead of attempting to specify which one has to be withdrawn. The fundamental benefits of this strategy are twofold. First, among the top advantages of is the shorter travel times which directly leads to reduced downtimes. Moreover, experts can now spend the time they would have previously spent traveling to the location on more valuable responsibilities. AR technology also addresses the skills and knowledge gap. Employees with less experience have more access to senior staff members thanks to remote expert assistance AR Technology. 

  1. Learning and Development:   

AR Technology has given industrial frontline workers a valuable new tool to add to their toolboxes. Employees can now receive training from anywhere due to AR technology. In an entirely risk-free setting, AR enables workers to gain expertise with machinery and equipment. Moreover, with tools like Plutomen’s Worflow and Assist, workers have a knowledge repository of digital SOPs, visual step-by-step guides, and much more, which they can refer to at any time when required. 

Furthermore, AR has been shown to produce higher retention rates than conventional techniques. Accelerated training was cited as a significant advantage of AR by 48% of the CEOs surveyed. A lesser number of errors was mentioned as a benefit by 38% of respondents, while enhanced employee safety was mentioned as a benefit by 18%. Everyone is aware that experience makes for the finest teacher, which explains why AR is so successful. Employees have a much better understanding of procedures by simulating actual circumstances.    

  1. Complex Manufacturing:

Manufacturing has already been transformed by Augmented Reality Technology as it is of the essential technologies for Industry 4.0. On the factory floor, engineers and operators wear AR glasses to create complex gear and assist in troubleshooting.   

Boeings AR program, for instance, which uses digital 3D wiring diagrams to overlay on KC-46 tankers and 767 freighters to speed up manufacturing and ensure accuracy, is one of the best AR use cases. The interactive step-by-step instructions can now be displayed above the component of the machine that technicians and engineers are working on, saving them from having to put down their tools and pick up a manual. While they are working, they can consult input signals or even get cooperative support from a colleague or expert who is situated halfway over the world.    

Wrapping Up

Undoubtedly, Augmented Reality is a powerful technology that will give early adopters a significant competitive advantage with numerous benefits and optimistic market growth forecasts. And as for the challenges with adapting industrial AR, Plutomen has just the solution for you. 

Plutomen’s AR-enabled solutions are strategically positioned to effectively integrate into your company’s operations to boost profits and cut expenses. But that’s not all! We also have a pilot programme to ensure your frontline workforce is able to adapt our software and you are able to reap real business benefits out of it. So, book a demo today to discover how Augmented Reality might benefit your organization! 

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