Is AR/VR really the future of employment? In a very short space of time, augmented and virtual reality have transitioned from being considered merely as consumer gaming technologies to having a major role to play in the workplace and the future of employment.
It’s true most people are still likely to experience their first taste of virtual and augmented reality through the cameras and screens of their existing smartphones and tablets, playing games like Pokémon GO. Yet, as with other consumer driven trends, these technologies are closer to being a reality in the average workplace than most people realise.
The future of employment
According to the 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report, almost every job will be reinvented for what many are calling the augmented workforce.
As employers across all industries grapple with how best to leverage this technology, worldwide shipments of AR and VR headsets continue to soar. IDC is forecasting triple-digit growth for the full year. Indeed, according to TechCrunch, mobile AR could become the primary driver of a US$108 billion VR/AR market by 2021.
Here are just a few examples of how AR and VR are transforming the way people work:
Already, the future of employment is a reality in the healthcare industry. VR is proving to be near peerless in the area of training, offering a unique chance for medical students and others to benefit from a fully immersed experience in the operating theatre. With VR/AR, medical students get to see the procedure from the surgeon’s point of view, as well as see beyond what the surgeon is looking at.
Elsewhere, hospitals are using VR to guide practitioners through procedures which is a big step up from the PowerPoint slides of old. In both of these examples, students and professionals can use VR to practice essential skills without placing lives at risk.
And there’s no end to the potential of VR applications in the automotive industry. Since car manufacturing involves a considerable degree of modeling, VR is especially useful for designers and mechanics learning about the inner-workings of vehicles. As an example, Ford is using Oculus Rift to create virtual models of cars and collaborate on the design changes with different team members. Using VR minimises the need for Ford to create physical prototypes. For engineers, it also allows more creative freedom in design.
Likewise, engineering company Bosch has used Oculus Rift to provide technicians with training on direct-injection and braking technology.
In another example, ThysenKrupp, an elevator manufacturer, is using Microsoft’s HoloLens to visualise an elevator repair before the technician reaches the site. Once onsite, the technician can use augmented reality to view digital overlays of manuals and repair guides while they’re fixing the elevator.
Attraction and screening of millennials
Apart from skill practicing and training, AR/VR holds great promise for all industries as a means of attracting and recruiting great talent.
Quick to see the potential of AR/VR, the British Army created a unique VR recruitment experience for potential recruits. Capturing exhilarating experiences of tank driving, parachute jumping, climbing and combat training, the British Army built a custom app that allowed potential recruits to choose their experience and then feel what it was like to be there.
Likewise, GE is using VR at career fairs around the US, to allow candidates to experience GE and its technology in a way that would otherwise not be possible. Students wear a VR headset and ride aboard a GE locomotive as it speeds across a Colorado prairie, or they explore GE’s subsea oil-and-gas recovery machines.
The future of employment and attracting great talent is also looking bright for metal fabrication company Lincoln Electric. Also at career fairs across the US, the company invites candidates to test their welding skills and experience realistic welding situations like working in a race car pit or on a high-rise building.
Back at home, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia takes their virtual reality technology to university campuses across the country providing insights into the culture of the bank as well as projects employees are working on.
With virtual reality allowing you to create a totally immersive experience, and augmented reality allowing you to overlay helpful information to a user’s view of his or her environment, the potential uses of this technology in the workplace are infinite. Together, they’ll play a big role in the future of employment.
Download our eBook for more on how virtual and augmented reality will transform HR and the modern workplace as we know it.
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