AR Learning & Training

Augmented reality is a unique form of technology - it takes the real world and adds augmented elements to it. Unlike virtual reality which completely immerses the user in a new, simulated environment, augmented reality brings digital technology attributes into someone’s real visual world using computer generated sensory information. Augmented reality uses a headset and a clear lens, where information is projected onto. The wearer of the headset is still able to see the real world - it is just supplemented by data from the headset. 

More recently, augmented reality uses the camera/video lens on smartphones and gaming consoles to achieve a similar effect.The goal of augmented reality is to create immersion while using one’s own world as the base, making the transition from real world to digital additions feel natural and seamless. Augmented reality began in the early 1990s and have continuously advanced ever since. AR is traditionally used for entertainment and gaming experiences, but has recently begun its descent into education and information management. The essence of augmented reality stems from the early 1900s, with various authors and scholars drumming up the idea of a pair of glasses that were able to provide visual cues.


Throughout the mid to late 1900s, great strides were made in advancing the augmented reality sector using senses, virtual objects, a heads up display, and finally an augmented reality wearable headset. As augmented reality became more and more of a reality, it ported from entertainment to education, and was used for flight testing, navigation, soldier training, and on the internet. Since 2005, the medical industry has used an augmented reality device to locate veins, and provide surgeons with various displays of data. AR enhances photos of babies inside the womb of their mother, and aids in surgical procedures. The military has used augmented reality to create overlays of information to track space telescopes, and to target people and places of interest. The AR headset for the military attaches to a helmet and has a clear lens located over the eye - the lens is where the information is displayed. Because it is located in eyesight of the physical world, the information is considered to be augmented reality. 


Modern cars also utilize technology like this, displaying the speedometer and various other dashboard measurements on the windshield, digitally. AR is also prevalent on some video game systems, utilizing the camera mode to project digital objects onto your real environment. You can see these objects on the screen of your device or smartphone. Currently, augmented reality is most popular in the form of filters on the social media application Snapchat. Many users take selfies and pictures of things, and add reactive filters to the photo which can interact with the objects pictured. The filters can detect facial features and movements to add special effects to photos. Many applications use augmented reality, such as makeup and hair applications that use a photo of a real person and apply digital hair and makeup to the photo. Aside from that, home decor apps allow you to take pictures of a room and digitally paint the walls, or see how an item of furniture would look in that particular space.


Augmented reality is now able to bring a new dimension to classroom learning and workforce training. As society is advancing, how we learn should also change. Most people do not do well in traditional classroom settings, and the level of engagement is low. Augmented reality training makes training more innovative and amusing. Because learners are able to associate the new information with their physical world, they are more likely to retain a large amount of what they learn without having to study over and over again. The practical application of the learning simulations increase the ability for students to understand information and potentially apply it to real world situations. In the education field, AR has allowed for homework help, book previews, yearbook tributes, science lab safety, interactive maps and posters, along with AR integrated applications for each subject.


Aside from students learning in school, augmented reality plays a very large part in job training. Because AR layers computer generated models over reality, it can add an entirely new dimension to job training. Augmented reality headsets have advanced, and are able to display various training activities. For example, someone training for a job at a factory or plant facility can use AR headsets to simulate the different types of activities that may happen. Combined with data analytics, this proves to be an extremely useful way to immerse the trainee into a learning experience and apply their actions to the job position later on. AR is able to add a layer of supplemental information to trainees, utilizing every element of the job training site as an opportunity to learn more. A study in 2016 compared two groups of people putting together a Lego set - one used 2D instructions, and the other group used an AR headset to create a 3D representation of the model and instructions. Those using the AR headset were less confused by instructions, were able to be followed quickly and in real time. This study was able to project the benefits of dynamic motion cues on an AR headset when it comes to training and learning. Augmented and virtual reality are the future of job training.