Many well-known technologists have embraced the potential of augmented reality (AR). According to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, “We’re already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect, and learn. Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever.” Although an AR future sounds promising, the question remains: What real problems have we actually solved using AR? While people are chasing an augmented Pikachu around the globe, could AR disrupt an entire industry?
As UX professionals at an AR startup, our focus was on leveraging technology to create more efficient methods of performing enterprise-related tasks. One such task was the lean assembly of complex products. Could the use of AR measurably improve this process? As our workforce ages, could AR play a vital role in the transfer of knowledge from experienced workers to novices? Finally, is it possible that this emerging technology could eliminate entry-level workers’ production errors? We attempted to answer these questions by conducting an experiment. Our objective was to gather quantifiable data to investigate whether AR work instructions on a head-mounted display (HMD) would improve key usability metrics. In comparison to standard, paper-based, exploded-view work instructions, could AR improve the assembly of an automotive alternator in a lean assembly environment? Read More