In recent years, the world has moved into a state of digital transformation. Everywhere you look, companies are experimenting with blockchain for secure financial strategies, and artificial intelligence to improve customer service.

One exciting part of the new landscape is augmented reality. With augmented reality, specialists can interact with digital elements in the physical world, access useful information, and even interact with technology at a distance.

AR has plenty of potential in boardrooms and team collaboration sessions. However, companies are also beginning to discover the possibilities of using mixed reality with processes like asset management too.

Today, we’re going to look at some ways that business leaders can combine augmented reality with asset management in a new and engaging way.

What is Asset Management?

First, to fully understand the potential that AR has for asset management, it’s worth getting a better idea of what asset management means.

Assets are anything used in business operations, including employees, computers, hardware, desks, chairs, and more. Anything that you invest in to support your company’s growth is an asset – whether it’s a physical product or not.

Good asset management is essential in any organization. For instance, if you were running a construction company and your most important machine broke down, you risk losing profits and customers. A broken asset could even put your employees at risk.

So, how can AR help?

Augmented reality deepens the connection between human beings and the machines they use every day. With AR, it’s easier to get a more comprehensive view of an asset or business operations.

What’s more, many companies are beginning to use augmented reality alongside other transformational technology to unlock new opportunities. For instance, asset management and AR could go hand-in-hand with artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

1.  Closing the Gap Between Asset Inspection and Analysis

Investing in the right vehicles and machinery is only the first step in running a successful business. You also need to ensure that you’re keeping your assets up and running in excellent condition.

Downtime costs can vary depending on the assets in question. However, any unexpected downtime is seriously detrimental to your business. According to some reports, 80% of companies had unwanted downtime in the last few years. This led to costs of around $260,000 for every hour lost.

Augmented reality in the asset management landscape could create new opportunities for business owners to avoid downtime. Smart devices enabled with computer vision can run asset management apps that allow employees to track equipment and enforce maintenance cycles from a distance.

Employees could start scanning and assessing an asset from miles away, just by tapping on their smartphone screen.

With automation and artificial intelligence, it may also be possible to keep the information about an asset on an app updated in real-time, even when employees are out on the field. Through an AR-enhanced app, your workers can view information and products from a distance and dive deeper into potential problems using virtual images.

Companies could effectively maintain and protect their machines without having as many people on the office or production floor.

2.  Using AR-Enabled Devices for Asset Management

Usually, professionals rely on a combination of smartphones and computer software solutions for keeping track of all their assets. In most circumstances, an asset management app will require individuals to be in the same location of the asset.

However, when companies combine AR with asset management, they can evaluate the product from a different location.

Vendors are already experimenting with wearable devices for asset management in the modern landscape. Smart glasses equipped with cameras and screens can help to enhance logistic solutions in companies. With these devices, users can process AR imagery through advanced lenses, allowing for more intuitive, hands-free operations.

Wearable technology is still a very new concept in the digital landscape for asset management. However, there’s a lot of potential available in the future, particularly as headsets become more available thanks to the rise of 5G.

Even without headsets, employees can use apps on their smartphones or tablets to dive deeper into asset management information using visuals and digitized images.

Combined with the internet of things to control assets from a distance, remote employees could even complete tasks that would usually require in-person interaction, just using gestures with their wearable devices or taps on a smartphone screen.

3.  Augmented Reality for Asset Design

In the past, conceptual asset design meant getting involved in conditions that were as close as possible to the operating conditions for a specific product or asset. You might use a 3D model or a computer blueprint to simulate the operating conditions and environment that you might expect.

With augmented reality, though, companies can take design to the next level. The right tools allow professionals to simulate and design in real conditions without being present in a specific area. This is very useful since much of the crucial design revolves around the circumstances or “context” in which someone uses an asset.

The immersive experiences that augmented reality can offer helps product designers to get a better sense of how their design works in real operating environments, allowing them to create better products.

Some companies are already demonstrating how augmented reality can change asset design. The Alstom Transport company currently uses AR for designing trains. Staff can use mixed reality to train for better customer experience too.

Taking Asset Management to the Next Level

Asset management is crucial for any company that wants to maximize profits and reduce expenses. Optimizing performance means working with a systematic approach to your assets, utilizing resources properly, and eliminating inefficient steps.

With AR, you can take your asset management strategy one step further, reduce expenses, and accomplish a plethora of new things for your company.

You might even end up with happier employees too since more of them will be able to work remotely. If you haven’t considered AR and asset management before, this is the perfect time to do so.

Do you have any other suggestions or questions? Share in comments.

Special thanks to our guest author!

Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters