Human-Machine Interaction

New-Age AR Experiences Are Here

Human-machine interaction (HMI) technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and chatbots enable enterprises to create new innovative interaction models for business workflows and present data in a unique, immersive environment. While we have seen successful deployments of both AR and VR solutions in a few select industries, they are yet to find mainstream adoption. The software engines behind the technology, the devices to experience it and the immersive content that will be at the heart of it, all have to develop further before widespread adoption can happen.

Human-machine interaction (HMI) is all about how people and digital systems interact and communicate with each other. Chatbots, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are complementary HMI technologies that all have a great potential in both the enterprise and the consumer space for creating new interaction models for end-users. While adoption has been mixed so far, we are seeing these technologies steadily gaining adoption in the enterprise.

Enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) engines, today’s chatbots are characterized by the ability to learn, adapt and respond to human queries and responses in diverse situations. According to a report by Global Market Insights, Inc., customer service is the highest contributing chatbot segment, with a 42.52% share. The global chatbot services market is projected to reach $1.8 billion by 2022, at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.2% during the forecast period.

AR technologies augment the physical world with digital content and controls that provide the human user a richer context of their physical environment and enable interaction with the software through more natural physical actions like touch, gestures and movements. Current consumer use cases of AR are largely around entertainment, education, retail or gaming; in the enterprise, the use cases are aimed at improving productivity, collaboration and customer support. The AR market, which includes hardware and software, is expected to grow to $60.55 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 40.29% between 2018 and 2023. Smartphone-based AR has established a strong foothold in the market due to its simplicity, ubiquity and a strong developer base. Special-purpose hardware such as AR glasses have entered the enterprise and industrial markets for applications ranging from equipment and safety training, operational guidance in industrial processes and diagnostics and repair. In order to provide a smoother, low-latency response experience, specialized, untethered AR headgears with more computing and memory will drive the next adoption wave in enterprises. Application creation for AR has become easier with major players like Google and Apple releasing ever more sophisticated AR SDKs, and we expect a slew of high-quality applications to emerge in retail, entertainment, manufacturing, healthcare, and training.

VR technologies immerse the user in rich three-dimensional digital realms to create experiences for entertainment, marketing, training, or operational assistance. The VR market is expected to grow to $34.08 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 33.95% in the same period. VR headsets and applications will need to coalesce around common standards to enable wider developer and customer adoption. One of the barriers to wide adoption of VR is the lack of immersive content that delivers impactful and enjoyable experiences. In 2019, we expect to see more tools becoming available to content creators to democratize the creation of high quality content. The disorientation and discomfort that users experience as a side effect of using VR systems has been another impediment to greater adoption of VR. The release of untethered headsets, with WiFi connectivity but with more on-device processing, along with improved sensors will drive adoption of VR as well as mixed reality (AR+VR) experiences.

The technology giants are making big bets on chatbots, AR and VR. Microsoft recently acquired XOXCO, maker of the botkit framework that creates conversational bots for team collaboration. Apple acquired AR headset startup Vrvana. Amazon launched a new cloud service called Amazon Sumerian, for building AR, VR and 3D apps.

Enterprises, especially within the Industry 4.0 framework, are using HMI technologies to create immersive and more interactive customer experiences to engage them and create a stickier experience. The Fraunhofer institute for Factory Operation and Automation uses Microsoft HoloLens in its mixed reality lab to show machines, factories or entire cities on a 360-degree surface, giving customers the impression of standing right in the planned factory. Shell has effectively used VR for scenarios that are too dangerous or too expensive to recreate for real. It uses VR for safety instruction procedures at a deep-water oil project in offshore Malaysia. Ford is using VR to create a virtual workshop where geographically dispersed engineers can collaborate in real time on holograms of vehicle prototypes. Logistics company DHL, which provides AR glasses to its warehouse employees, has witnessed a 10-15 percent gain in their productivity. Boeing cut its wiring production time by 25% and reduced error rates effectively to zero. GE Aviation experiences an average of 8-12 % in efficiency improvement on their assembly lines by assisting assembly technicians with AR.

Maturity

Evaluate Demonstrate Incubate Saturate
Evaluate Demonstrate Incubate Proliferate Saturate
Brain Computer Interface Emotion detection and recognition Virtual Reality Augmented Reality Conversational UI
Haptic Control Devices Mixed Reality NLP
Chatbots

  1. Create an AR customer outreach strategy. With smartphone as a conduit, AR has tremendous marketing potential to reach your customers wherever they are interacting with your brand / products, be it online or in-person.
  2. Digitally transform your assembly line and drive up productivity by bringing in AR/VR applications for human assistance in manufacturing as well as diagnostics and repairs.
  3. Build rich and immersive training programs by simulating costly, complex or dangerous-in-physical-world scenarios in safe and cost-effective AR/VR applications.

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