While augmented reality (AR) training offers a dynamic, interactive training experience, it’s critical to understand that this technology isn’t perfect.
To help your organization prepare for potential problems with an AR training program, we’ve created a list of the most common problems you can expect and solutions to solve them.
The top 5 augmented reality problems are:
- Technical Issues With Augmented Reality Training (e.g. hardware, content, and user difficulties)
- Limited Augmented Reality Training Content Capabilities
- Vendor Issues When Outsourcing Extended Reality Training
- Augmented Reality Training Can Be Less Immersive Than Other Modalities
- Augmented Reality Content May Need Occasional Updating
Did you know that 70% of consumers believe augmented reality (AR) can help them learn new personal and professional skills? If you’re considering AR for your organization’s training, it’s critical to learn about potential problems and identify solutions to tackle issues.
At Roundtable Learning, we’ve partnered with clients across the globe to develop one-of-a-kind training solutions with integrated technologies, including AR. We know the issues that may arise when using this technology and are here to help you overcome any challenges you may face.
This article will define augmented reality training, provide 3 key benefits, and explore 5 problems and their solutions with augmented reality training.
What Is Augmented Reality Training?
Through image recognition, plane detection, or object recognition, learners instantly place life-sized 3D objects in front of them and explore them as if they were real. AR technology offers a dynamic alternative to traditional learning by providing a risk-free, hands-on learning environment.
Key Benefits Of Augmented Reality Training
- Safe experiential learning with high learner engagement — AR gives learners the opportunity to interact with realistic digital models in a safe experiential learning environment.
- Dynamic in-the-moment performance support — Learners can use AR for in-the-moment performance support when they’re in the thick of things (e.g. reinforce product knowledge, identify an object’s parts, or learn how to assemble machinery).
- Easy to reuse and distribute at scale — Learners can repeat activities until mastery and access their training through multiple options (tablet, smartphone, or headset).
5 Problems With Augmented Reality And Their Solutions
1. Technical Issues With Augmented Reality Training
Technical issues with AR technology affect the functionality of the learning activity and may include any of the following:
- Hardware Issues — From devices malfunctioning to problems connecting to a local server, hardware issues may inhibit a learner’s ability to access and complete their activity.
- Content Glitches — With AR, 3D objects don’t always anchor properly in front of learners and function how they’re expected to.
- User Difficulties — Learners may have trouble logging into their AR activity or navigating the experience on their device.
Solution — Technical issues are to be expected with any learning program that uses advanced learning technologies. To solve technical problems, we recommend running a pilot program with a select group of learners. By doing so, your organization can observe difficulties learners face and create solutions before your organization-wide rollout.
2. Limited Augmented Reality Training Content Capabilities
AR comes with limited content capabilities, meaning not every training topic is suitable for AR technology. Imagine completing a pallet stacking activity while holding up your tablet and tapping your screen to grab objects. For this specific activity, AR may not be the best option as it involves more detailed movements that learners should physically complete themselves for optimal understanding.
This challenges organizations with choosing a topic that fits within AR’s capabilities. Instead of more complex technical tasks or soft skills training, we recommend sticking to activities that encourage microlearning so learners can focus on one concept, object, or task at a time.
Solution — Consider expanding access options for your AR training beyond a smartphone or tablet. With advanced AR hardware, like the Microsoft Hololens 2 headset, learners can complete more hands-on experiences better suited for complex technical skill-building.
3. Vendor Issues When Outsourcing Extended Reality Training
Issues may arise for organizations that don’t have the internal capabilities to develop an AR training program. When working with a vendor, the following issues may occur:
- Disconnect with developers
- Time zone differences
- Greater time commitment from start to finish
- Limited in-person collaboration
Solution — The solution to vendor issues is to complete background research on various vendors before committing to a project with them. You can ensure that your AR training program partner is reliable and will meet deadlines by completing the following steps:
- Examine their portfolio
- Ask about pricing early on
- Research case studies
- Read reviews and ratings
4. Augmented Reality Training Can Be Less Immersive Than Other Modalities
If learners are to access their AR training through a smartphone or tablet, the experience is going to be less immersive compared to a virtual reality (VR) experience. With AR, learners typically won’t feel as fully immersed as they would with VR and also have the potential to get distracted more easily.
While AR headsets, like Microsoft Hololens 2, offer a more immersive experience, the field of view (FOV) offers a limited window that covers a very small area within the glasses. With this narrow FOV, AR has a more difficult time offering the same level of immersion as a VR headset with a larger FOV.
Solution — Your organization will want to make sure you pick the training modality that best suits your needs. You can do so by completing a training needs analysis that identifies your training topic, goals, and desired outcomes.
5. Augmented Reality Content May Need Occasional Updating
As with any training content, AR will need occasional content and software updates. These updates are meant to keep content and software as up-to-date as possible to ensure programs run as expected and are current with your organization’s processes.
Solution — To deliver updated content to your learners and devices, we recommend investing in an extended reality system (XRS). An XRS avoids the need to travel or transfer equipment every time content needs to be updated.
Tackle Your Augmented Reality Training Problems With Ease!
This article has identified 5 problems with augmented reality and their solutions. We hope that by reading this article, your organization feels better prepared to face and solve these problems when implementing an AR training program.