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Augmented reality is set to become integral to office safety and productivity in the future, according to a research firm.
According to Gartner, augmented reality will help workers of the future to quickly identify potential hazards, making the office environment safer and more productive.
Using sensors to identify and analyse the user’s surrounding, augmented reality currently falls into two camps – location-based or computer aided vision. Location-based functions use a device’s motion sensors to provide information based on the user’s location, whilst computer-vision-based services such as Google Glass use facial, object and motion tracking algorithms to identify images and objects.
The technology has the potential to quickly identify objects generating levels of heat or radiation, which could present a potential fire hazard.
It could also be deployed to help direct employees in low-visibility environments, or provide information on objects such as its distance, size or level of danger presented to the worker.
For example, fire fighters could use augmented reality to analyse the temperature of a burning building, as well as its layout and potentially dangerous areas.
“Augmented reality is the real-time use of information in the form of text, graphics, audio and other virtual enhancements integrated with real-world objects,” said Tuong Huy Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner.
“AR leverages and optimises the use of other technologies such as mobility, location, 3D content management and imaging and recognition. It is especially useful in the mobile environment because it enhances the user’s senses via digital instruments to allow faster responses or decision-making.”
The technology could also benefit business processes, project management and employee training, as well as helping IT organisations to bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds.
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