Now it’s time to finish this little dive into innovation with the help of technology. In this letter I cover two areas at the same time. Whether you see a need or an opportunity for them in your business today, you should keep an eye on them.
Because development is incredibly fast and if you want to be innovative, you need to keep up with developments.
The first is Virtual Reality. Isn’t that something that only exists in the gaming world? No, far from it. There are applications in healthcare, industry, and elsewhere.
I have a friend who is developing VR programs to help patients increase mobility in their arms, legs and whole body after surgery, or instead of surgery.
What is VR, you may ask? It’s that by putting on a pair of glasses, of the thicker kind containing small screens, you see a world that is animated and that you can interact with in different ways.
When you turn your head, you see different things and you can physically interact by moving your arms and legs to perform tasks that are directly visible in virtual reality.
Picking balls that move at different speeds
In the above example with my friend’s product, the patient gets to practice mobility by catching, picking up or reaching for things in the virtual world. This increases their mobility in certain selected muscle groups, depending on the patient’s needs.
Instead of catching a ball thrown by someone, you can catch an animated ball, which can also come hurtling along at a speed slower than the physical world allows.
VR for industry or nursing
VR can also be used to practice maintenance tasks in a production operation or to help a patient or user. You may be able to disassemble an engine or similar by following instructions you have previously studied.
If you get it wrong, it doesn’t matter, just start again and keep practising until you’ve learned all the tricks. All animated in combination with the performer’s movements.
What could VR do in your business? Maybe practice different types of handles that you do in your business. Everything from doing some maintenance on a machine to helping a needy person in some way.
Augmented reality. This is the next step from VR, where the reality we experience today is augmented by the computer through glasses, phone or tablet.
Here I see really great opportunities in the businesses I work with. Imagine if you work in some kind of technical activity where there are machines. For example, you can see the interior of a pump via a tablet or phone. You don’t have to look for a binder with a schematic; it’s already in your phone.
If the pump also has built-in condition monitoring, you can see where the pump may be deteriorating and needs servicing.
The underworld calls
I can further exemplify with solutions in water and sewerage where you can see through your glasses how pipes are routed underground. It’s a combination of what you see in real life, which is mostly asphalt and manhole covers, and what the computer knows about the various pipes and fittings.
Different colours can show different types and different dimensions, and if you want to know more about a particular part, you can request that information from your glasses or tablet. Information from the maintenance system and the mapping system contributes to the complete picture.
Distance and hazardous environments
Further, it may be for someone operating a facility that is located remotely or in an unfriendly environment. This allows the operator to see what is happening in the plant through the AR glasses.
A camera in the ceiling with a 360° view can be inserted into the glasses combined with animated information, and then you can interact with the equipment to see the status and make some simple adjustments. It can also be combined with a drone whose image you can see and movements you can directly control.
It will be both AR and VR at the same time.
The right information at the right time
You choose what you want to see about what, so you only see exactly what you need to do the job. In healthcare, this could be linking X-rays taken with the physical patient. Then you can use your glasses, phone or tablet to see what you need to see directly “on” the patient.
Easier to explain to the patient of the problem lies when the patient can see it himself.
Keep up with developments
As I mentioned, today you may not see a huge need for VR or AR. If you want to be innovative, I recommend you check out these elements and take a moment to see how it could benefit you and your business.
Both VR and AR are making strong progress right now. Read an article the other day highlighting the purchase of Oculus by Meta (the renamed Facebook company). Oculus are experts in VR glasses and applications, which Meta want to get at.
After that, Meta now has more than 10,000 employees just developing products around AR and VR. Ten thousand, in one company. That alone makes it an area to watch.
There are those who are focusing on the fact that by 2025 VR and AR will be a natural part of our lives and our business. What does it look like at your place? What opportunities do you see in this area to improve your business?
Would you like assistance in discussing innovative ideas about VR and AR in your business? Do you need a strategy in this area? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now I hope I’ve given you some food for thought on how system-to-system integration, automation, virtual reality and augmented reality can help your business become more efficient and provide an even better service.
If you have any questions or concerns, you know where to reach me and us at Clean Stream.
Wishing you a fantastic innovative week ahead. We’ll leave IT innovations for now and we’ll talk next week on another topic to improve your business.