What is augmented reality (AR)? With AR, an environment is created that has virtual elements added in (often superimposed) over existing views of the surroundings. This is usually accessed through a device, such as a smartphone, tablet, specialized glasses, or headset. The result is a situation in which the individual can continue to see what is around him or her, as well as the virtual components added into his or her reality through the device. Unlike virtual reality, AR keeps the person in his or her normal physical world—it just adds to it.
AR has been around for quite a while, but only more recently has it begun to be used in HR. Let’s take a look at some of the ways HR may utilize AR.
Onboarding and other forms of employee training are probably the clearest examples. More and more types of training may be able to include AR going forward. It could even replace in-person training for hands-on tasks in some cases. Training that utilizes AR can be more immersive, and employees may be more likely to retain what they’ve learned if they can get hands-on practice while learning. (Read more here: https://lddailyadvisor.blr.com/2018/03/promise-augmented-reality-training/.)
Here are additional examples of how AR could be utilized by HR for employee training:
- Things, processes, and even people could be recognized by an AR system, allowing employees to utilize this system to gain information about their workplace. This can be used as another form of informal training.
- It could be a way for employees to transfer knowledge by adding information to the AR system or informational database. This directly impacts HR professionals, who often seek ways to improve employee skills, facilitate knowledge transfer, and increase productivity.
- These methods may mean that employees complete the onboarding process more efficiently and can get to full productivity faster.
- Training on dangerous situations can also be facilitated with AR without actually putting people in harm’s way.
- Training can be done even for complex tasks, as the employee can use the AR software as a guide on the spot.
- Employees can use AR to access HR policies, training materials, manuals, or other information or documentation when not physically in the workplace. This can improve efficiency and productivity, as well as employee engagement. Employees feel empowered knowing they have tools at their fingertips.
Beyond training and HR policy access, HR may utilize AR in other ways. For example, the organization’s use of AR may appeal to potential new hires, which could improve the organization’s ability to attract new talent. Or, HR team members could utilize AR when interacting with employees; the software could theoretically be set up to recognize individual employees and superimpose their profile data for HR when they come into the room.
What has your experience been? Has your organization considered adding AR into any of your training? What ways have you seen AR utilized in an HR capacity?