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3 Sure-fire Applications of Augmented Reality in eLearning

With the peak hype of Pokémon Go in our wake, it's time to think (and dream) about how augmented reality could affect learning. Unfamiliar with augmented reality (AR)? It’s a type of technology that lets you overlay digital information on top of a learner’s environment–all in real time. The device used can be something as simple as your phone or as complex as a HoloLens.

As the technology becomes more and more accessible, what does the future of augmented reality mean for learning?

Think for a moment of a workplace that is completely interactive. Where could you see yourself wearing a HoloLens or taking out your phone to assist in an activity? I see huge potential.

Learning professionals, marketers and sales directors are constantly trying to find ways of getting the information and the point of need to intersect. Currently, most learning takes place hours or even days before the learner may actually need to use it. With augmented reality, there is a huge opportunity to deliver learning and information precisely when it is needed in a highly interactive manner. Augmented reality is the ultimate intersection!

Here are a few examples of how Maestro see’s augmented reality assisting learning to become more experiential and engaging.

1. Onboarding and Exploration

Touring the facility: usually someone helps you navigate through your new digs, or maybe you just get thrown in. But what if a device guided you through your new office?

You could wandering while the AR informs you of fun facts, safety procedures, and even simple things like where the bathrooms are. Or maybe it's a full blown scavenger hunt and you have to capture all 10 company logos that are placed strategically throughout the facilities. Sign me up, please!

2. Performance Support and Job Aids

Nearly all industries and companies benefit from performance support and job aids. Whether you work at a sandwich shop and you have a printed list of what belongs on every specialty sub or you fix cars and walk through countless procedures with various tools each day, having the information you need right by your side is helpful, and AR takes that to the next level.

Or, Imagine trying to learn a new skill such as fixing a transmission or trying to rekey a lock. You’ve got all of the parts in front of you but no idea where to begin to fix the problem. You pull out your mobile device equipped with an AR enabled app and use your camera to scan the area you are working on, next help suggestions begin popping up with detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to fix the problem. You’ve successfully fixed the transmission or rekeyed the lock all while functioning in an AR practice environment!

The information is no longer next to you; it’s overtop the material you're working on. Efficiency just got more efficient.

3. Product Launch

Get to know a new product with augmented reality. Let's say you are a medical device salesman and you're at the national sales meeting. While at the meeting you're asked to wear augmented reality glasses while you go explore three new products, one being a hip implant. As you pick up the hip implant and manipulate it, the AR is calling out and informing you of everything you need to know to be an expert on the product.

As the sales rep, you're learning how the implant compares to the older product versions, how it’s features differentiate it from the competition, and how to respond to possible objections.

What's great about augmented learning is that it's not only experiential and engaging; it is the ultimate personalized learning experience. Learners can literally control their own pace of learning and interact with objects that are not real to acquire understanding and knowledge.

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Sydney Nordquist

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