The desktop of the future is here now: Augmented Reality in the workplace

Where are we at with AR in the workplace?

Multiple open windows and browser tabs seem to be the default setting for most workplace desktops. Employees shift from one to the other, sometimes struggling to find the information they are looking for, or having to search in a digital filing system with little logic to it.

Now Meta’s new software, Workspace, is hoping to change all that, bringing the once futuristic tech of Minority Report to your business workplace, using a series of shelves with icons as its desktop metaphor. Using Augmented Reality (AR), the software wants you to open applications by grabbing them from a shelf with your hand and then using your fingers to manipulate the virtual icons in front of you. All of this will require some additional gear though, in the form of headsets or smart glasses.

 

What are the current AR desktop options?

Meta is not the only company examining how AR can change the way office environments interact with the desktop. Companies like DAQRI are also experimenting with the integration of AR with the desktop. The company’s initial AR offering, the smart helmet, was originally targeted at industrial workflows and servicing field service engineers. With the introduction of DAQRI smart glasses, it opened AR applications up to much broader enterprise use, from architecture, engineering and construction to lean manufacturing and inspection, and brought augmented reality into a wide range of professional applications.

We look at the growth in AR and what it might mean for business: The rise and rise of Augmented Reality for business

Similarly, companies like Genesys are looking at how AR can be used in data visualisation with traditional desktop applications like spreadsheets. Simon Wright, technology executive in charge of VR/AR for Genesys, explains that the technology lets you go inside the spreadsheet and interact with the data in a three-dimensional way. You can physically manipulate the data, move it around and merge it with other datasets to identify new correlations or relationships. It is a completely different way of engaging with data from the passive, two-dimensional space of a spreadsheet programme.

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