The Future Workplace - An Oasis Of Well-Being - Part 1: Augmented Reality

Mediamodifier - pixabay

From inkpots with nibs, typewriters and rotary dial telephones to modern computer workstations, our office has developed rapidly over the last few centuries. While topics such as New Work, Work-Life-Balance and Work-Life-Blending are no longer a novelty today, the focus shifts to the atmosphere of every workplace. Only those feeling comfortable in their surroundings can keep a cool head even when work becomes stressful. In the modern office - alias oasis of well-being - we can focus on the essentials, unwind and regain our strength.

We can' predict what the future looks like. But technical developments show us what could be possible. In our "Workplace of the Future" series, we look at what our work might look like tomorrow.

Augmented Reality

Anyone who has ever played Pokémon Go on their smartphone knows how much fun Augmented Reality (AR) can be: The little monsters are projected into gardens or shopping malls and make our everyday life a little more exciting. With Augmented Reality, our real world is supplemented and enriched by additional information. Suddenly a Charmander sits on our armchair, angrily spitting at us through the smartphone screen.

But AR offers much more than just amusing monster hunts. It enables us to rethink our everyday lives. At work, for example, you can write, craft, paint or glue on the wall during a brainstorming session. With AR, a mind map could not only be visualized on a flipchart but directly as a tree in the middle of the room that the participants can walkthrough. AR has also arrived in schools in the form of the Alzheimer case (Alzheimerkoffer): Students scan brain models with their smartphones and thereby receive virtual information on the progression of the illness.

Interior Design with Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality Interior Design App like Ikea www.youtube.com

IKEA also relies on Augmented Reality: with the IKEA Place (Android, iOS) app, customers can check whether the potential new piece of furniture also matches the sofa before visiting the furniture store. AR is particularly helpful for e-commerce. Anyone who can anticipate how the coffee table will fit into the living room or how the eyeglasses will match their own face shape will, therefore, send the items back less often. Interior decorators, for example, can virtually arrange the desk, computer, telephone, monitor, keyboard or mouse in the office and discuss them with their customers - even before the order is placed. Companies, in particular, must comply with certain legal and corporate identity guidelines. This enables them to assess in advance whether the new facility meets the requirements and if everything is easily accessible and spacious.

AR in Logistics and Manufacturing

Logistics centres today are highly advanced and automated facilities. But here, too, human interaction is required at certain points. Here, AR glasses can support employees in the packaging process, for example, or show forklift drivers where which pallet is to be stored.

Augmented Reality in der Fertigung - AR Welding Assistant www.youtube.com

In production facilities, AR is already in use today, as is the example of product planning and design at BMW. Production scenarios, work steps or instructions are displayed in factory stations via data goggles and guide employees step by step through the assembly process. This leads to shorter training periods and reduces manufacturing errors.

AR in Health Care

In the health care sector, AR and VR are already used today. Like in production facilities, surgical steps can be virtually shown and visualized without having to be immediately performed on humans. For beginners, this is an optimal and safe way to gain experience.

Xpert Eye Use Case - Mending Kids - Surgery www.youtube.com

The company AMA Xpert Eye takes this one step further by using data glasses such as Google Glass to virtually transport experts from anywhere in the world to an emergency location or an operating room. One scenario: A paramedic at the scene of an accident is virtually networked with a specialist. Using data glasses, the expert can see the situation on his screen, instruct the paramedic, draw surgical or medical care steps into the paramedic's field of vision or load and display the necessary information. Especially in times of a shortage of doctors, this approach makes it possible to ensure medical care across borders.

AR in the Office of the Future

Today, we can already project keyboards onto surfaces by laser and thus easily process texts on a smartphone or tablet. In video conferences, we highlight information for our colleagues with a single click or jointly sketch a project plan. That's why a workplace like the one in "Minority Report" or a workshop like the one in Tony Stark's basement no longer sounds like science fiction or far-off dreams of the future. The technologies are already available and we are already coming into contact with them: now it's the time for putting them into practice.

Whether in health care, production or gaming: The possibilities for Augmented Reality are versatile and our examples are only a fraction of what could be reality tomorrow. But one thing is certain: these are exciting times and we are already looking forward to our augmented future.

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