What are Smart Glasses and how can they help with training?
- Smart Glasses are basically wearable computer glasses that add or overlay information alongside to what the wearer sees.
- Smart Glasses allow a worker to see training images and video in their vision while they are in the actual location where they will be doing the work.
- Content including video and images can be created on your mobile phone and uploaded to be accessed by the worker wearing the Smart Glasses.
- The manager or process owner responsible can watch the worker demonstrate their competence via live video where they can see what the worker can see if they so wish.
- Modern Smart Glasses are effectively wearable computers and can run self-contained mobile apps.
- This technology is sometimes known as Augmented Reality (AR).
Essentially AR Smart Glasses are wearable computers and provide a hands-free smart tool for the wearer. They could be very useful for training that involves manual tasks and provide an alternative to traditional paper-based learning materials.
Smart glasses can help ensure that employee training is more focused and efficient. Voice recognition and voice commands can be built in which could allow trainees to receive instructions while carrying out a task. Trainees can Livestream to an instructor or expert watching remotely from anywhere in the world provided there is internet access.
This can save on time and travel expenses for the personnel responsible as well as those providing the training.
Many Smart Glasses have integrated software that supports Bluetooth, Wifi, and GPS and have almost all the features of a smartphone.
AR Smart Glasses can provide an engaging, motivating, stimulating, and exciting environment that is conducive for learning and for learners. AR enhances traditional learning by superimposing digital information and the real world. AR, therefore, allows the user to see the real world with virtual objects superimposed upon or composited with the real world.
Smart glasses have been around for some time and were first used with computer games. However, the applications for this technology are wide-ranging including:
- Maintenance & Repair
- Remote Audits
As an OH&S professional, I can see the advantages of using this technology in Safety Training and Safety Inspections.
What are the challenges that need to be overcome with the use of AR Smart Glasses?
While AR Smart Glasses are an extremely useful technology there are challenges such as:
- Safety issues around obstruction of peripheral vision especially if the wearer is moving in an industrial environment.
- Privacy and Regulations
There are concerns about privacy which are understandable. Currently, this technology or area is so novel that it is not currently regulated.
- Network Security and Bandwidth
Uninterrupted bandwidth and coverage wherever employees with AR devices work as well as ensuring reliable WiFi availability is a challenge.
- The technology is still new and is still evolving and will be tested by the real-world settings that they are used in.
It should be noted that these issues are being addressed by the manufacturers of these Smart Glasses so that smart glasses are generally accepted as routine work tools which are recognised as enhancing productivity for the users.
AR Smart Glasses are now readily available on the market. Companies such as Apple and Facebook will be launching AR Smart Glasses in the near future.