Upskilling technologies, a partnership between humans and smart machines, can augment workers’ abilities, resulting in dramatically improved performance, greater safety, and higher worker satisfaction. Wearable AR devices are now being used in manufacturing and industrial settings—and can boost workers’ productivity on an array of tasks the first time they’re used, even without prior training.
These technologies increase productivity by making workers more skilled and efficient, and thus have the potential to yield both more economic growth and better jobs.
The video below, for example, shows a side-by-side time-lapse comparison of a GE technician wiring a wind turbine’s control box using the company’s current process, and then doing the same task while guided by line-of-sight instructions overlaid on the job by an AR headset. The device improved the worker’s performance by 34% on first use.
Before we look further at AR applications in the workplace, let’s take a step back and examine the macroeconomic issues that make machine augmentation of human performance so important.
Read the rest of this story in the Harvard Business Review March 2017 online edition. The GE electrical technician video is below; following that is another video that shows how wearable AR is used in warehouse picking operations.
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