When organizations have a winning combination of domain expertise, hardware, and the right enterprise AR software... successful implementations of industrial augmented reality happen.

There are a range of applicable AR devices on the market that can dramatically help you differentiate your brand. From optimizing complicated manufacturing workflows to supercharging your sales and marketing collateral, augmented reality always serves a purpose.

Some Augmented Reality Device Considerations

Use Cases and Applications: There are countless different use cases for different device requirements. This means your first step should be to understand where AR can deliver the most value for your organization. Manufacturing? Field service? Sales and marketing? The cost, usability, and product roadmap vary for each AR device. This makes it important consider your organization’s budget, safety requirements, and future AR aspirations before making a hardware decision.

Compatibility with AR Software: Smart glasses and other AR devices can upskill your workforce and enhance your physical products with digital content, but more importantly, you need an enterprise AR platform that enables your subject matter experts to quickly create effective AR content. Choosing a device that’s compatible with your AR platform lets you take advantage of unique hardware features, such as voice command and eye tracking capabilities, that have been built into the software.

Hardware agnostic platforms like PTC Vuforia give content developers the flexibility to use devices they already have, or experiment with new devices of their choice, while still leveraging exclusive device attributes. This means that if you want to pivot from your initial hardware investment, you won’t have to completely start over when creating content

Head-mounted vs. Hand-held: Head-mounted displays (HMDs) provide workers with an immersive hands-free experience. However, a wearable device may not necessarily be the best option for solving your specific business challenge. First, consider the type of environment your users will be in. Then, ask yourself.... Will they be in a hazardous live work environment where their vision and safety are compromised by 3D overlays? Will they be wearing a hard hat or protective glasses while viewing the AR experience? Will they be in a controlled environment where the safety risk is minimized?

On the flip side, tablets and mobile phones are a quick, cost-effective way to get started with AR. Handheld devices can limit a users’ ability to simultaneously perform the task at hand. So.... Would your intended users benefit from seamless voice-controlled access to step-by-step work instructions? Or is overlaying supplemental product content onto a physical object or space enough to get the job done?

Your answers to these questions depend on what your business challenge is and how you plan to solve it with augmented reality.

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