How Augmented Reality could change your business

Over the next 5 years, the adoption of Augmented Reality (AR) within the manufacturing industry is expected to increase by 20%1. If used to its full capability, AR could improve your productivity and employee efficiency. 

One benefit of AR is its broad range of applications. From streamlining the car manufacturing process, like Volvo using AR on its complex assembly lines2. To enhancing how customers, interact with products like the retailer Ikea and their Place App. Place allows customers to view furniture in their home before making a purchase3. Developing AR isn’t easy and it’s expensive. But, there is a potential solution. Is Cloud technology the key to solving the issue?   

Industry 4.0

The Fourth Industrial Revolution known as Industry 4.0, is founded on automation and data exchange. Augmented Reality is a key part of this revolution.

Industry 4.0 and its technologies are set to shake up the manufacturing sector and bring about some exciting benefits. For example, realising the potential of industry 4.0 in the food and drinks sector can help businesses identify opportunities to increase output, decrease costs and improve quality. 

Implementing Augmented Reality isn’t easy

The main barrier to your business is that developing and managing these applications is complex. Hiring software developers with specific programming skills will generate significantly more cost. But cloud technology can provide a solution to this by reducing these barriers. 

Additional technology is needed to operate and get the most out of Augmented Reality platforms, this includes a combination of machines and data intelligence. It is important to review your existing AR technology and to continually develop these applications. This can be achieved by doing analysis and gaining insights through feedback. 

How Augmented Reality is already shaping the manufacturing industry

There are various examples of how AR is being applied with Industry 4.0. Three that are making real headway are:

IoT Data Visualisation

Augmented Reality applications are able to display data visualisations through smart glasses or by holding a mobile phone over a machine. Using this can give real-time data on how the machine is functioning. Temperature, electrical conductivity and power levels can be shown in seconds which makes troubleshooting and problem solving easier. 

Augmented Reality Manuals

Car manufacturers like Hyundai have already been producing AR owner’s manuals for minor repairs and maintenance. Hyundai’s Virtual Guide4 allows users to visualise, through graphical content, information about their vehicle using a smartphone or tablet. The AR App can instantly detect car parts, tell the user what they are and provide instructions about how to repair or use them. 

Augmented Reality Remote Support

Video calls using smart glasses and mobile devices are becoming a more popular way of improving communication lines between employees. The AR application is able to present instructions onto the user’s field of vision using a real-time AR drawing. It also has capability for messaging, shared media and features to allow instructions to be given remotely. In particular there has been a rise of wearable technology in the construction industry.

Cloud technology and Augmented Reality

As the market for Industry 4.0 technology grows, more developments will appear that will enhance manufacturing processes further. But as already mentioned, developing this technology is not straight forward. The best AR software programs belong to tech businesses that already understand 3D application development.

Cloud technology can lower the barrier to entry of utilising augmented reality to benefit your business. The solution is an online platform that integrates various AR Apps. A cloud based service means businesses can utilise AR expertise through software without adding new infrastructure. With a cloud service no expensive hardware or AR development tools are needed, or a team of developers. 

Once software is installed, the cloud platform can be used by a wider user base like designers or marketers. Programming skills wouldn’t be necessary. A drag and drop ad content library has the potential of changing a specialist developer orientated practice, into a subscription based software solution. 

Companies in other sectors have been making use of cloud based platforms for a while. For example, web developers have been giving people the tools to create websites without any coding skills.

Cloud based platforms could hold the answer

Cloud based service platforms have the potential to increase your productivity, and reduce the costs associated with developing and maintaining these technologies. The cloud can be a powerful tool for keeping up with the sector without breaking the bank. Industry 4.0 is changing things for the better, so make sure you’re not left behind. 



1. www.brinknews.com/augmented-reality-is-a-game-changer
2. www.engineering.com/What-Can-Augmented-Reality-Do-for-Manufacturing.
3. www.wired.co.uk/ikea-place-augmented-reality-app
4. www.theverge.com/hyundai-augmented-reality-owners-manual