Augmented reality. It’s the next big thing in the gaming world, and we likely aren’t too many years away from the holodecks of Star Trek fame. While Pokémon Go isn’t the first foray into augmented reality (the company that makes it actually has a previous game called Ingress), it certainly has made the biggest splash.
As of July 27, 2016, there were almost 21 million players, daily, just in the United States. San Fransisco saw over 9,000 people gather at the same time to play the game and interact socially. Android even recorded the game as more popular than Twitter on its network. While numbers like these won’t be sustainable, clearly augmented reality has grabbed the public’s attention.
What happens when you take augmented reality out of the gaming world and into the world of training? Some pretty cool stuff. Read on…
Imagine bringing new employees into your retail store before it opens. They take their phone and download your store’s app, and then proceed to wander the store. Down each aisle, a computer-generated customer pops up and describes what driving factors would cause them to shop for the products in this aisle. Then the “customer” shares common questions they would likely ask about the product, and what kind of answers they’d be looking for.
The customer waves (remember this is all being watched on the employee’s mobile device) and walks off screen. Then a representative from the product’s manufacturer walks on screen and explains the product’s creation process and all the features and benefits of the product. After they are done, the employee moves on to the next aisle and repeats the process. Each time, the top margin or best selling items are covered, and the employee finishes their department tour knowing locations and information about all the key products.
Or how about simulating safety incidents at key areas in a manufacturing plant as the new employees take a tour.
Next, instead of a phone, have the new employees experience the same thing, but while wearing Google Glass. Everywhere they look becomes augmented reality. Creating simulations, highlighting next steps, flashing which buttons to push on a machine, calling out warning/danger zones, putting visual bouncing arrows over extinguishers or first aid kits – all this and more becomes possible.
Revolutionary? You bet! Just like the first effective eLearning, or adding video to training. The next 5 years should be pretty exciting in the training industry. Are you ready?