Redundancy, competition with cheaper labour, and workforce replacement: Those are concerns that come to mind when thinking about Industry 4.0. However, the question should not be who is coming for our jobs, but what? Robots as an autonomous workforce have already begun an infiltration in the industrial work spaces. Despite robots working in ways which humans can’t compete , such as working long hours, not getting sick, or not missing work for family reasons, there are aspects in which humans are still clearly on top, for example in terms of spontaneity, individuality, efficiency, accuracy, and safety. One proven method to make human workers competitive with robots is equipping them with augmented reality wearables and smart devices that seamlessly integrate into current digital systems for facilities.
Smart glasses (augmented and assisted reality devices) and corresponding software solutions allow workers to have hands-free information for work processes, inspections, order picking, and calling remote support. The ability to view text, images, and video guides workers, helping those working in the field or on warehouse floors to troubleshoot issues in real time. Smart glasses also assist in training workers quickly, augmenting their abilities, and ensuring reduced human error. Having visual assistance allows workers to reduce superfluous movement, causing a more ergonomic work environment. Using augmented and assisted reality in manufacturing, maintenance, and logistics, enterprises move to the next level of paperless work and connect their workers to the Internet of Things.
Arming our workforce with tools that keep them competitive to their robot counterparts is imperative. Augmented and assisted reality is not just a hip new technology; it is a proven solution to aid workers in being a better version of themselves.