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How to make AR a reality

The basic steps to implemented augmented, mixed or virtual reality

By Jim Montague

There are several essential steps needed to implement augmented, virtual or mixed reality solutions. Individual applications may need others, but here are the basic requirements:

  • Identify the problem or use case that AR can help solve;
  • View online videos or other presentations of the various AR, VR and MR technologies in use to learn how they function.
  • Play with any readily available AR/VR or wearable devices, such as Microsoft HoloLens, Google Glass, Oculus Rift or others. This can be help users explore how AR/VR works, and show where they might be most useful.
  • Determine if the process application where AR/VR could be used is indoors or outdoors, which can affect which technology to employ.
  • Decide if the AR/VR user can use a hands-on device such as a tablet PC, or if they need a hands-free or voice-activated device such as a wearable headset.
  • Evaluate what information should be presented on the AR/VR device and how it will be delivered, such as documents, manuals, real-time signals and SCADA.
  • Decide what remote expertise may be needed by field staff, and determine the best AR solution for connecting them.
  • Design and develop an AR pilot that solves problems identified earlier, gather return on investment (ROI) data, and scale up after pilot proves itself.