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Augmented reality devices in today's workplace

Industry defined problems is a regular event at Shaastra, the annual technological event at IIT Madras. Industries sponsor the event and students compete to give interesting solutions to said problems. This year, EATON sponsored the event, defining 3 problems statements for those interested to tackle. I was interested in trying my hand at one of the problem statements, on how augmented reality devices or specifically the Google Glass can help multi-national, multi-product, technology oriented industries to increase productivity.

In the following presentation, I talk about the ways in which certain industries can flourish with the use of augmented reality devices.

To elaborate on the four important topics mentioned in the presentation, the first of which is classroom education, a large portion of students in schools are put off by science and math because they cannot visualize the subjects and therefore, have a poor understanding on the subjects. Topics such as three dimensional vectors and vector algebra, projections, multi-dimensional plots and trigonometry are hard to visualize. Visual cues can only help to a certain extent. If and when augmented reality devices gain the ability to decipher user's actions, such as hand movements, it can be used to interact with said problems in three dimensions, giving a real perspective. This could help in better understanding.

Following the same train of thought, I feel that executive meetings at companies can benefit from the use of augmented reality devices as it becomes easier for colleagues to convey their data in an interactive fashion, hopefully leading to a better understanding. Again, this is assuming that augmented reality devices have the ability to decipher user's motion, which the Google Glass doesn't have currently.

Moving on, the advertising industry can be revolutionized using augmented reality devices. Every blank space becomes a bill board on the device and given how google now serves personalized ads depending on a user's search and shopping history, it is inevitable that if google glass takes off, one can expect interactive ads to appear on buildings and walls. Everything becomes a billboard, including humans.

And finally, I feel that the customer service industry can benefit from augmented reality devices. Software problems can be solved using online customer support but hardware problems need offline support. If and when augmented reality devices become omnipresent, the user and stream the hardware problem he is currently having to the customer service representative, who can then display exactly what needs to be done. The user and the customer rep have one eye on the problem at hand and the other eye at what the other person is doing. Sound interesting?

So, that's what I could come up with in 4 hours. And I didn't make the cut. Well, atleast it was an interesting thought exercise.

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