Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) bridge the gap between the digital world and the physical world. These technologies are set to fundamentally change the way we live and work. So is your organisation ready for them?
Ahead of change
Smartphones, tablets and computers have all become an indispensable part of our daily life and work. Such devices give us non-stop access to the ever-growing and rapidly changing digital world, and we use them everywhere. But the interaction between people, computers and the physical environment is on the verge of a revolutionary change due to extended reality (XR): the umbrella term for virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and other immersive technologies. XR opens up opportunities to combine the physical world with the digital world in previously unimaginable ways. XR is making the digital world a natural part of everyday life. But is your organisation ahead of this change?
Extended reality (XR) follows on from the computer mouse, keyboard and touchscreen as the next major breakthrough in human-computer interaction. Because XR solutions ‘understand’ their surroundings, the right information can be integrated into everyday life at the right time, in a natural and intuitive way. The digital experience is affected by both the physical environment and your behaviour in it. Furthermore, you can experience XR either alone or with others.
In other words, extended reality is about the digital world as an extension of the physical world. Those two worlds form the two opposite ends of a spectrum that scientists call the ‘reality-virtuality continuum’ which covers all possible degrees of integration between the two. To help you understand this better, we’ve visualised the various terms and included clear definitions below.
- Augmented reality (AR) – Augmented reality adds a layer of digital information to the ‘here and now’. Information is displayed on top of the real world via a mobile device or headset, e.g. such as when playing Pokemon GO on a smartphone or using Google Glass. Whereas VR concerns the digital world only, AR uses the physical world as its starting point.
- Mixed reality (MR) – Mixed reality blends the physical world with the digital world. It integrates digital information and objects into the physical world. MR headsets such as the Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap One allow users to interact intuitively with digital objects in real time. For example, you can use your (real) hand to pick up a (virtual) cup of coffee and put it on the (real) table.
- Virtual reality (VR) – A headset or wrap-around screen allows users to experience a completely digital world in virtual reality, based on either computer models/simulations or 360-degree video images of the physical world. In this case, the digital world replaces the physical one.
The essential new reality for learning & performance
Extended reality is ahead of the trend. Over recent years, we have worked together with numerous organisations to explore the added value and viable use cases of AR, VR and MR – and with success. We believe that XR is the essential new reality for learning & performance. See below for our overview of some common use cases that have demonstrable impact.
- Boost the return on training & development thanks to the impressive impact of simulations in XR. It is possible to simulate anything imaginable in XR, so it is ideal for simulating commonly occurring training scenarios that are too costly or too dangerous to recreate in practice. In XR, training can be personalised, can be done in groups and can be done remotely. XR also enables progress to be measured and facilitates personal feedback.
- Foster safer and more productive working by giving employees the right information at the right time during their work, in a natural and intuitive way in XR. Thanks to XR, field service employees no longer have to interrupt their workflow in order to consult guidance manuals or detailed instructions. XR provides hands-free access to information projected onto the screen in the ‘here and now’ so that employees can become autonomous sooner and work more safely too.
- Collaborate virtually with colleagues and customers in any environment and remotely thanks to XR. People can get together and interact in a virtual classroom or virtual workspace where they can see and hear one another. Collaborating in XR reduces travel time and offers endless opportunities in terms of learning resources and information exchange. It also enables products to be designed and tested virtually before having to actually make them, plus other people can use XR to view progress and offer advice and assistance remotely.
- Explore and gain support for new ideas by visualising data in a way that works for people. You’re no longer limited to 2D only (e.g. diagrams, tables and images). Making use of interactive 3D data visualisations in XR allows you to discover patterns in data and convince colleagues and customers more effectively. XR helps you to connect with people more naturally on a more personal and emotional level. The ability to gain a real sense of data, products and services in XR creates a unique and impactful experience.
Discover the value of XR
At Ordina, we’re focused on turning thoughts into action. The power of VR, AR and XR has to be experienced to be believed. Let us help you discover the value of extended reality for yourself. With our three-step approach, we guide organisations from opportunity to value.
- Discover the opportunitiesof extended reality in our personal inspiration workshop for your organisation, during which our experts bring you completely up to date on the latest developments. You also have the chance to try out VR, AR and MR solutions for yourself, and to interactively explore what the technologies can mean for your organisation – starting right now!
- Discover the value of extended reality in our Value Discovery We combine various frameworks – such as design thinking, lean and agile – into a unique, value-driven approach that takes account of people, technology and your business processes. In a short time frame of usually around 6-12 weeks, we devise, build and test a prototype of an extended reality solution for your organisation.
- Tap into the value of extended reality supported by one of Ordina’s high-performance teams. These are multidisciplinary teams of professionals with complementary skills and expertise. Our designers, developers and innovation consultants know precisely what it takes to create, implement and further develop an extended-reality solution. Start building tomorrow’s future today!
Reasons to be proud
We have been working on extended reality solutions together with leading customers in the Netherlands and Belgium since 2014. We are proud of having already helped more than 30 innovative organisations to discover the power of VR, AR and MR – including valuable projects for industry, the government and financial services.
Seeing is believing, of course, which is why we’ve put together this overview of videos of our projects and experiments related to augmented reality, virtual reality and extended reality. So sit back and prepare to be inspired as you discover how XR is set to change the world. To experience it for yourself, contact us to arrange an appointment.