Augmented reality, also known as AR, has been growing in popularity over the years due to its presence in games such as Pokemon Go, sightseeing applications and navigation maps. Basically AR is a combination of virtual reality and the real world. Often through the use of smart phones, tablets or smart glasses, spectators can experience the world with layers of digital data over it. Even though these mainstream applications have helped AR enter into the public eye, this advanced technology is now being widely used in a number of industries, including L&D.
According to HR Drive, surgeons and nurses are able to utilize AR in healthcare by wearing special glasses that allow them to view a patient's vital signs as they are carrying out treatment. In addition, AR has also positively effected the construction industry by allowing workers to map plans against the work space so they can see what they should be doing in 3D. The advanced qualities that AR possesses have proven to be a top tool in learning and development.
With AR technology, professionals have the ability to move around and interact with content; rather than just be stuck at their desk. According to Vincent Higgins, director of technology and innovation, "these active learning methods use sight, sound and touch, codifying learning." This helps professionals learn and retain information at a faster rate.
In corporate and business learning environments, augmented reality can be used to create brand new learning experiences or act as a supplement to current training initiatives. It is a tool that can be used to make learning and doing a job faster, easier and safer. (Sources: HR Drive and Zappar)
What does this mean for professional development?
In recent years AR has started to become more mainstream and common for L&D purposes in companies. This is expected to grow, due to the rise in tools that make AR easy to work with and more cost-effective.