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You may know about augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) from the video gaming world. Augmented reality has a place in manufacturing and distribution, as well, and in fact has become an important part of the supply chain.
It’s all about making the movement of goods and services more efficient, cost effective and potentially error-free.
And now, with both the physical and financial restrictions of COVID-19, more potential uses for AR have arisen and expansions on current uses are in the works.
Though these same restrictions are expected to cause a slowdown in AR/VR spend at first, experts expect the category to strengthen as companies recover and put new technologies in place to adapt. In fact, IDC lists industrial maintenance and logistics and package delivery management among the fastest growing worldwide AR/VR use cases.
Augmented reality is the space between physical reality and virtual reality. AR provides an interactive view of the real world enhanced with computer-generated elements. These elements may include audio, video, graphics and other digital content that change in response to a user’s actions.
Augmented reality is finding its way into multiple industries and channels, from tourism and navigation to healthcare and construction. A well-known example of AR includes Nintendo’s Pokemon Go app, which overlays animated graphics in real-world situations that users encounter using their smartphones. Retailers like IKEA and Wayfair use AR to help customers envision products in their own homes.
When it comes to distribution and manufacturing, as with any of these applications, AR can enrich a realistic scene with additional, valuable information.
Augmented reality is among the newest waves of digital transformation, and it’s changing the face of many supply chains. From the plant floor to the field, augmented reality is making an impact when it comes to how factory personnel, service technicians and engineers interact.
In the manufacturing sector, AR is often applied in two areas: overlaying digital information over physical objects on the plant floor and enabling remote collaboration. Distributors are also seeing benefits of using AR, especially when it comes to inventory management, by providing better ways to monitor and track inventory movement and consumer demand. Here are a few other ways that we’re seeing augmented reality in manufacturing and distribution:
Augmented reality is becoming the new normal within supply chain management, offering ways to combine real situations and digital innovation to do traditional tasks faster and more efficiently. As the industry adapts to new realities imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as companies strategize to build in greater defenses in case of future disruption, AR enables key capabilities for reducing risk in their supply chains.
Are you thinking about implementing an AR solution at your company? Get a free assessment from one of Enavate’s experts about ways an AR solution can improve your supply chain.
Ole has spent nearly four decades in technology, with a history of success leading growth for resellers for Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Oracle. In 1995, he joined Damgaard Data to build a channel for Concorde XAL and Axapta (now Microsoft Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations). Ole served as Partner and Vice President for Columbus IT, a major Microsoft AX reseller, followed by Evergreen Data Systems, Inc. and EFS Technology, supporting both Microsoft AX and Oracle technologies. Ole lives in California and he loves crossfit and indoor cycling.