Augmented Reality Industry Applications

Augmented Reality Industry Applications

Augmented Reality (AR) is a growing technology that overlays additional information over the real world. It has numerous applications across many industries.

It is a great way to train & upskill your workforce. For example, an automotive company can use AR to give technicians a clear set of instructions on disassembling a car engine.

Product Design

Unlike traditional CAD models that are 2D renderings, AR allows designs to be dropped into the real world where engineers can experiment with them contextually. This contextual experimentation and iterative improvement of designs can lead to next-level products that meet customer needs better than their predecessors.

Additionally, AR can allow for multiple design iterations in a shorter period of time than would be possible with physical prototypes. For example, if an engineering team wants to try out different variations of the same design before they move on ar industry to the more labor-intensive process of creating and testing physical prototypes, an AR application can show a holographic 3D version of the model that they can manipulate. This allows for a far more efficient and cost-effective process than the manual comparison of 2D designs with physical prototypes that requires painstaking measuring and marking of each model.

Brenden Monahan CPO at Vusar, a company that develops augmented reality software and solutions including an AR app for viewing CAD models, spoke about the advantages of incorporating AR into product development processes during a presentation at the 2020 Pacific Design & Manufacturing Conference (PDM). He emphasized that one major benefit that AR offers developers is that it allows for faster prototyping, as it cuts down on the amount of time needed to iterate on designs. Another key advantage he mentioned is the potential for remote work, as AR can be used to collaborate with teams in virtual environments from various locations.

Asset Identification

Using AR for asset identification allows maintenance employees to work more efficiently and safely. They can wear AR smart goggles or smartphone cameras to see real-time data superimposed over a digital representation of a machine or equipment. This allows them to view instructions, access a library of previous solutions, or engage with remote support, all while keeping their hands free. This also gives them a better first-person perspective of a problem or issue. It can help reduce downtime and operational costs.

For example, Overlay, an augmented reality (AR) company, has developed AR technology that lets water utility workers assess city assets from a safe distance. This can include streetlights, fire hydrants, roads, cell towers, and other infrastructure. The technology enables the workers to perform a detailed inspection of an asset from a smartphone camera or AR smart goggles, and then come up with repair or maintenance strategies. This improves the safety and efficiency of the job, while reducing the need for travel expenses and time off for employees.

For high-value assets, tamper-evident labels can be used to prevent theft. These are usually made from a combination of optical markings, such as barcodes, data metric codes, and QR codes. They use a unique pattern that machines or cameras can read, and then return important information in the backend system.

Warehouse Picking

One of the main applications of AR for warehouses is order picking. The technology streamlines the process by giving workers visual instructions to pick items from their correct locations, cutting down on picking errors and increasing productivity. It also automates tasks that are repetitive or prone to error such as data entry and modification.

Using smart glasses with AR, ar industry warehouse associates can receive instructions to locate the right product at its designated location. The system’s map and aisle layout is displayed on the device, overlaid with optimal operator routes for the specific task.

Once the employee reaches the desired item, the Smartpick app can automatically find it by simply pointing at it. The app can then display more details about the product and check that it matches the warehouse inventory list. The app can also be triggered to verify the item once the associate has picked it, further reducing picking failures.

Besides reducing travel time, the Smartpick solution improves ergonomics by allowing warehouse employees to work hands-free with clear instructions displayed on their headsets. This eliminates the need for paper lists and reduces manual movement around the warehouse. The system can also optimize the pick route to avoid congestion and increase worker performance. Moreover, it enables warehouse managers to plan and test logistics routes based on historic data.


For industries and professions that are prone to dangerous situations, AR is a safe and efficient training tool. Whether it is learning to fly a plane, undergoing surgery or working with equipment that can cause life-threatening accidents, AR gives trainees the opportunity to develop their skills in a digital environment. This type of augmented reality training can help prevent the risk of injuries and save valuable time, money and resources.

For example, a company that specializes in industrial welding software has created an AR app that allows workers to see the overlay of a welded part on the actual machine, which improves accuracy and reduces the risk of errors. Similarly, an oil and gas company uses AR to train workers on how to operate heavy machinery and to ensure that they understand the instructions correctly.

As the technology matures, it is expected that more companies will adopt AR in their workforce training. This will amplify the demand for better mobile devices and improved AR solutions that facilitate quicker cognitive absorption, safer remote collaboration and more effective content access. This will lead to the creation of a more holistic experience that integrates learning, training and workflow, resulting in higher productivity and efficiency. This will be especially important for companies that are looking to remain competitive in the face of rising labor costs and a shortage of skilled employees.

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