Mixed reality technology, delivered through a head-mounted wearable display, can provide enterprise employees with the best of both the physical and digital worlds.
Users gain a real-time view of actual surroundings combined with an overlay of intelligent virtual objects that allows for new interactions through gesture- and voice-based inputs.
Accenture Labs’ mixed reality research shows that digital businesses in a variety of industries (for example, consumer product goods, energy and healthcare) can apply mixed reality to enable their workforces and expedite processes.
What’s more, our experience indicates that certain categories of mixed reality applications are good bets for getting started. Read on for how we see this playing out.
Based on the unique aspects and experiences delivered by mixed reality, digital businesses are beginning to explore a variety of use cases.
Accenture Labs has identified three categories to explore further, each with differing effects on how employees perform their jobs:
People first applications - Many applications were originally created to display data or information from a centralized location. When enterprises enabled access to these apps via tablets, smartphones or smartwatches, employees enjoyed faster access to the same information.
This greatly changed the way people work, especially in terms of mobility and hands-free work. Mixed reality is the next step. However, instead of arbitrarily providing data to the worker, the software and hardware will work together to display extremely context-relevant information in a physical space.
Sharing real-world virtual workspace - Bringing together multiple mixed reality devices in a shared space will open up new collaboration options. With mixed reality, team members can be networked into a shared virtual world overlaying the physical.
In this connected environment, they can collaboratively work together on the virtual objects and have the items interact with each other and the real word.
Remote experts (over-the-shoulder coaching) - Many enterprises struggle to address all of the support requests from workers requiring expert advice. Mixed reality offers a hands-free method to access an expert quickly and inexpensively.
For example, an oil and gas technician working on a drilling rig in the middle of the ocean can send a video feed of what he sees, and the expert can annotate the 3-D world displayed on the mixed reality headset to direct the task.