Augmented Reality is shifting how we do business, bringing interactive digital experiences into real world situations. Beginning in 1968 by Sutherland, Augmented Reality was initially used in the construction of head-mounted display systems, enhancing the growth of businesses by its visual overlay. Primarily used in the fields of business, logistics, gaming, manufacturing and the retail industry, it was estimated that 68.7M people used AR at least once per month in 2019, representing 20% of the population. It is also projected that by 2021, 85% of the US population will be using AR at least once per month via any device.
Augmented Reality is applicable in almost all industries, however we’re seeing continued and rapid growth within service and parts, field services & maintenance, as well as education and training industries. Not only can Augmented Reality boost sales, but it can improve efficiencies within spare parts and BIM (Building Information Modeling – an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering and construction professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure), as well as help to train and educate your workforce more efficiently and effectively.
Within spare parts, BIM and eCatalogs, your service teams will be able to use Augmented Reality to help verify part numbers, confirm whether they’ve been superseded by new designs, how that asset responds to environmental factors such as humidity, cold or even industrial environments, as well as view parts within models that are not easily visible without disassembly.
As a training tool, the ability to place technicians or engineers into an environment they are learning about will not only simplify but also deepen the student’s understanding of complex tasks. Not to mention the cost efficiency of leveraging potentially large and expensive models inside an Augmented Reality tool rather than shipping large heavy equipment to a central location, offering additional efficiencies, higher levels of learning and overall more impactful training opportunities.
Field service technicians will be able to pull up service manuals in the field featuring interactive 3D animations to disassemble or explode components or work on equipment which they may not be familiar with, offering greater accuracy of work as well as saving time and cost. This also helps to train maintenance professionals by replacing more classic methods of teaching such as training manuals, printed graphs and potentially out of date materials. Augmented Reality can take things to the next level by allowing you to see – and often virtually perform tasks – by combining a computer-generated imagery and hot spot text overlay on top of a real-life machine or piece of equipment, all from a computer screen or even mobile device.
Within trade shows and field sales, Augmented Reality places fully scaled 3D digital representations of your physical products in the customer’s actual environment or on the trade show floor. Customers can interact with 3D product models on AR enabled mobile devices, giving a real representation of dimensions and scale, in any space or location. Save time and money from having to ship large, heavy and often expensive equipment to trade shows year around, and instead pull up a 3D model within Augmented Realty on an iPad to showcase your products. Augmented Reality allows the customer to see the model completely exploded or animated, with hot spots or annotations, offering a deeper understanding of the product and an immersive 3D experience unlike any other.
With its value being clearly proven within the field service industry, Goldman Sachs predicts that Augmented Reality will be an $80B market by 2025. Leveraging Augmented Reality within field service aims to change the nature of field service management. 30% of organizations believe existing Augmented Reality solutions are ready and easily adaptable for field service.
The ability to augment information onto objects leveraging hot spot technology within Augmented Reality only helps to strengthen and transform the field service industry. Augmented Reality can additionally help technicians to execute field repairs more efficiently, communicate and consult with colleagues on or offsite, review a service case in advance, and better prepare and expedite the field service process in general.
Augmented Reality is expected to reduce the cost to train workforces by 20-50%, delivering clear cost savings, reducing travel time, extending expert reach, as well as simplify the training and education of new technicians. The significant time and operating cost savings coupled with the ability to manage, educate and guide workers from any location only bolsters the benefits Augmented Reality can provide to organizations of any size and industry.
You need to ‘fish where the fish are’ and that’s online, where customers are searching for the parts or components they need.
Here are the steps you need to take to do so – you may have done some of them already:
1. A website containing all your product or part data – probably in the form of a searchable digital catalog or alternatively in the form of a product configurator. More > How to Add 2D and 3D CAD to your Product Configurator
2. Each part detail page or configured product needs to include visuals (pictures and/or viewable CAD models and drawings) – do you already have CAD files of all your parts/products or a configurator that generates them? More > For Downloadable CAD do CAD Formats Matter?
3. Build your own or choose a 3rd party CAD download solution that integrates into your website and/or configurator – More > 10 Questions to Ask Before Selecting an Online CAD Solution
4. If you have a configurator or CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) solution choose a 3rd party CAD download solution that integrates with it – More > 10 Questions to Ask Before Selecting an Online Configurator Solution
More > CAD Marketing – Get the FAQs