In the second half of 2015, the manufacturing industry changed. Apple bought Metaio, which had the second largest market share of augmented reality after Vuforia. Then Google invested in Magic Leap, Microsoft announced HoloLens, and the Needham MA-based computer-aided design and product development software company, Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), bought Vuforia from Qualcomm. These moves by the technology superpowers ignited conversations around augmented reality and, inevitably, what it could be used for outside of the consumer space.
“Like the introduction of the steam engine in the 1800s, augmented reality is going to change everything in manufacturing and construction." Dexter Lilley EVP and COO of Index augmented reality Solutions
Augmented reality is already, and will play a larger role in day-to-day operations and training in the manufacturing sector. Companies have reported training times cut in half, and retention extended due to augmented reality. Day-to-day activities such as inspection, logistics, building, operations and maintenance all have use cases that will enable workers and technicians to do more, reduce the times some steps take and totally eliminate other steps (Fig. 6.9).
Clearly, augmented reality will be ubiquitous in industrial environments. There will be an on-going evolutionary trend of usage which will rapidly become revolutionary as companies begin to understand the tremendous impact that augmented reality technology can have on their top and bottom lines.