Clarity within the cloud: How AR and smartphones will change collaboration forever

A fundamental transformation is underway thanks to Augmented Reality which is altering enterprise communications, logistics, manufacturing, product design, analytics, field services and marketing. In reality, the level of collaboration AR provides us with today will, in scale, change the landscape of industries and the way they work.

Traditional business meetings will change through the use of AR, as multiple devices will enable users to see the same thing in the same space. Participants in a meeting will be able to see the same illustrations and 3D graphs hovering above the table, along with other graphics such as holograms without needing to be together to collaborate physically.

As technology trends have changed over the years, we have seen an array of devices launched on the market. Consumer needs push innovation resulting in new inventions such as Snapchat glasses. In reflection of this trend, the ultimate and foreseeable eventual hardware platform for augmented reality will inevitably be googles and glasses. However, until AR mainly picks up and technology advances enough to enable products such as that on a larger scale, AR will primarily live on more familiar devices such as smartphones and tablets. 

AR uses smart digital information which is then superimposed into our physical world and is creating true pace and headway into the world of technology. The market sector for AR has continually grown, and according to Statista, the market size for it has been doubling year on year, which looks very promising. 

The truth is even the most advanced technologies of today come from very humble beginnings. For now, the industry is focusing on mobile devices such as smartphones as they are ubiquitous, and their nature posses the basic and necessary needs to support AR technology. These include screens, cameras, connectivity, motion sensors, processors, and as we know, their ability to run mobile applications. For this specific reason, together smartphones and AR will change and revolutionise collaboration as we know it in the way of team collaboration, individual efficiency and product development.

Four ways AR and smartphones are improving collaboration

  1. AR, along with its cousin VR, can put employees side-by-side remotely. A range of different studies has concluded that engaged teams are massively productive and creative in comparison to those which are not. AR can give teams the ability to be better connected, resulting in better outcomes. They can interact naturally, sharing common issues and experience across a virtual table. Participants of the table can be from anywhere around the world as AR has no location boundaries and will give them the ability to present virtual-reality based prototypes. AR, in this way, can also help communicate facial expressions and hand gestures as the employees will be able to see one another.
  2. AR allows design, prototyping and development to be experienced virtually by a project team. Not only is this great for a geographically scattered team, but it’s also great for business and cost-saving. Instead of dealing with physical prototypes which are not very easy to change and costly to make, teams can interact with prototypes through a virtual twin experience. The uniqueness of AR means that its possibilities are almost endless concerning its ability to adapt and better any product development, whether it be car engines, manufacturing floor-layouts or ironically smartphones.
  3. AR also gives organisations the possibility to train and support their staff in the field remotely. The use of AR glasses can help service members who find themselves in a conundrum faced with complex novel situations which call for more expert help. Using devices such as smartphones or even glasses can help gain expert advice in real-time without the need to call out another engineer, saving time and money. AR offers organisations the possibility to provide far more improved services with higher quality and efficiency, which is significant.
  4. AR can help handle urgent or emergencies in new ways. Scenarios which are hard or hazardous for response units to get to can use AR to help them navigate through crowds and asses the situation. Deploying drones with cameras means response units can use AR to respond faster and better to situations which would be difficult otherwise.

At large, currently, AR and smartphones go hand in hand and have the ability to work well in unison. Their skills and capabilities together go unmatched, which makes AR a hot piece of technology. As we have explored above, AR can be implemented and used in a range of different ways, even to improve interaction with customers. 

Smartphones have also come a long way from their antiquated green screens and minimal connectivity, transforming our worlds with applications and social media. Over the years, they have helped to make our lives easier and have given us the ability to connect like never before. As consumers, we have adopted smartphone technology so openly that it has paved the way for tech alike such as Tablets and Smartwatches from Smartphone Checker. In the past, new types of technology were dearer, which meant consumers were reluctant to try them. However, our smartphones have helped create a smart tech buzz. 

As we know, the market for AR has grown hugely as the years have gone by. As technology gets better and incorporates more AR functions, we might not have to wait too long until far fetched ideas such as virtually visiting our families in different countries become a reality, even at the consumer level.  

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