Often times we have to ask the question, what is the best approach to solve a business problem? Sure Augmented Reality is a powerful way to visualize information, media, and simulate how physical things look in your real world. But we do enter a potential of using cool technology for the sake of using cool technology – and that’s where we straddle dangerously close to gimmickry.

There is a huge value in realism. It’s why the best training is on the job, or jumping in. The best impression and understanding of a new product is seeing it and using it in reality. AR is of course a medium that is artificial so we’re not to conflate AR with true realism. But what if we’re able to take a company employee and evaluated the employee’s total picture of their training, their understanding of the company’s products, their access to information – and somehow “Realify” it by say 30, 50, perhaps 70 percent?

For example, let’s take our client Bridgestone Tires. We have been developing several AR training modules not to replace hands-on training, but to supplement it and add a bit of realism to their total picture. Tires are very complex things. And using different mediums to show how they work can add layers of understanding.

But if you only have text, you’re grasp of what that tire is might be around 20% accurate. If you also see an image online or in a brochure, you might increase to say 40%. Video might up it to 50%. The ideal is getting hands on, seeing the tire in person, and on a vehicle in action doing what it’s supposed to do.

With our AR immersive training we get a lot closer to the real thing. Here’s a list of the realism that AR provides:
Real scale/size of tires
Real proportions of tread pattern/design relationships
Realistic simulation of tire performance on different terrains
Realistic interaction (You move around and explore like you would in reality)
Real design presentation (How it physically looks in a real space)
Real and accurate demo of internals (belt design etc.)

The list can go on, like realistic shape manipulation under different load situations and so on.

For training employees, at Bridgestone or any other company, the ideal is the hands-on experience. Cost and time are prohibitive to do this constantly so training takes place with manuals, online quizzing, classroom training, media (images, video) and occasionally the real hands-on experience.

With AR we propel forward and get much closer to an understanding of the real thing and what makes it special. So if traditional mediums can get an employee to say 50% understanding before a hands-on experience, with AR, perhaps we achieve 80% (These numbers are hypothetical of course, but the aim is that significant uptick).

So ultimately you have well prepared employees at the ideal phase of training when the hands-on experience happens or in actual work situations, when the employee needs to repair, service, prep, or sell the tire (or any product). Also, once trained, the AR experience is accessible any time, anywhere, so there’s likely a lot of retention associated with a more realistic demo of the subject matter that can be revisited.

With Bridgestone, using AR is an accelerator in training employees and stakeholders on their products – and that’s true of nearly any type of business.