Augmented Reality offers so much promise. It is expected to have as great an impact in the future workplace as the personal computer did in the home. AR has the potential to create new and even more immersive learning experiences. Information can be set free from the screen and brought to life in the world around us.
A major obstacle in adopting AR into everyday business is that the means to create content is limited to experts and requires specialist skills. This puts AR technology outside the reach of many small and medium enterprises. Additionally, the current AR interactions of gaze or pinch are unsustainable over an extended period of use and not conducive to a satisfying workflow.
In the future workplace, people need to be aware of their environments, their co-workers and automated machines while focusing on their tasks. When creating Augmented Reality design experiences for the workplace, these principles should be considered:
Avoid obstructing vision. Floating interfaces limit multitasking and can be irritating, distracting and dangerous.
Create familiar interactions. Metaphors are key to intuitive interaction design. Familiar interactions reduce people’s learning curves.
Don’t forget the physical. We are sensory beings, and not only are physical tools highly satisfying and intuitive to use, they also optimise efficiencies in workflows when properly integrated.
The ARI System democratises AR content creation to make immersive learning experiences accessible to everyone. ARI is a collaborative training platform that allows for AR content creation and configuration, without the need for costly expert development. The ARI system consists of an intelligent pen, a configuration slate and a tutorial app, which are used in conjunction with AR headsets such as the Hololens or Daqri smart glasses.
The intelligent pen is the primary tool for creating digital content in the physical world. The pen allows free interactions within the environmental space in an intuitive and precise manner. Actions are performed using the selection tip and transport buttons, which are simple and natural interaction elements. Tutorials are accessed and created within the ARI app and visualised through the AR Headset.
The configuration slate is the home for all information. The slate provides a familiar reference point to the AR interfaces, providing easy to locate system menus, in a way that is more efficient and satisfying than if floating free in space. The user simply glances down at the slate when AR interaction is required. This method optimises task efficiency and cognitive load while keeping the normal field-of-view clutter free and safe.
The functionality within the ARI system was informed through user research into effective training and learning patterns. This research informed 5 core interactions to streamline the creation of tutorials and make it accessible to all.
1. Dynamic instructions: Compose in-context annotations through dynamic post-its. Text alone is sometimes enough.
2. Highlighting: Create drawings and graphics in 3D space. Drawing attention to focal points and gestures.
3. Graphical libraries: Pick and place from libraries of graphical elements. Signs, arrows, animations, external files, etc.
4. Capture video & audio: Harness the camera in the AR headset. Review and edit the footage on the slate.
5. Controlled learning: Navigate immersive learning experiences, tailor made by the experts in the organisation. Click through the experience as you learn.
ARI is designed to work across all AR platforms. The intelligent pen, configuration slate and companion app will enable enterprises of all sizes to harness the potential of AR and gain new efficiencies in the workplace; empowering experts and spreading knowledge by creating engaging and effective new learning experiences.
Design Partners are experts at designing interactions where human meets technology. Our interdisciplinary team uncover opportunities and define new product innovations for our clients. By harnessing physical and digital technology we create new experiences that enhance efficiency, efficacy and user engagement.