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Dr. Helen Papagiannis on Augmented Reality and How It’s Changing Business

Dr. Helen Papagiannis on Augmented Reality and How It’s Changing Business

Dr. Helen Papagiannis is a pioneer in the world of augmented reality (AR). She has dedicated nearly two decades to this ever-evolving technology, exploring its potential to expand human intelligence and amplify human possibility.

Helen is the bestselling author of Augmented Human: How Technology is Shaping the New Reality. In her keynotes, she offers a fascinating and cutting-edge look at the future of AR, as well as other exponential technologies such as extended reality (XR) and artificial intelligence (AI), with the ability to tailor her content to fit the needs of a diverse range of industries and objectives.

Helen joined us “Inside Our Boardroom” to walk us through AR — what it is, how it’s changing our world, and what business leaders can do today to prepare for a future with multiple “realities”.

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Re-envisioning Business with AR

Speakers Spotlight: How is Augmented Reality (AR) successfully being used in different industries?

Dr. Helen Papagiannis: AR does three things really well — visualization, annotation, and storytelling — and we’re seeing this being applied across multiple industries.

First, AR is a powerful visualization tool. It can take something that is real or imagined and bring that into our physical reality through the power of digital technologies. We’re seeing this being used in the healthcare industry by medical practitioners with image-guided procedures. We’re also seeing it used in retail with customers able to virtually try-on products. And we’re also seeing this in the travel and tourism industry to actually transport a user to another environment.

The second thing that augmented reality does very well is annotation. This is a step beyond visualization, where you can have instructions or detailed step-by-step details in a person’s field of view. We’re seeing this being used in manufacturing, training, and repair, with the star example being remote expert scenarios. This is where you can collaborate with a colleague who may be on another continent, see what they’re seeing and, in real time, annotate, whether that’s with circles or arrows, directly on top of their field of view.

Lastly, storytelling. AR is a new medium for creative expression, and it is completely changing the way we tell and share stories. This is especially useful for media and entertainment, cultural heritage, and experiential retail, marketing, and branding.

Learn more about the significance of AR and how its being implemented across different industries in the video below:

SpSp: What is Extended Reality (XR) and how will it alter our daily lives and how we do business?

HP: XR is a catch-all term for similar but different technologies like mixed reality, virtual reality, and augmented reality. The term that we should be paying attention to is spatial computing — the idea that technology and interaction with a computer is happening in and around your physical space and in response to your body. This is what Apple is using to describe the experience with their new headset, the Vision Pro.

Traditionally with computing, we’ve interacted with a desktop computer where the experience has been on the other side of the glass. Spatial computing breaks that glass so all of those interactions now enter your world. Your body becomes the controller. You’re able to interact with virtual content simply by looking at it or through gestures and even your voice.

So, as we look to this future of spatial computing, my advice for businesses and business leaders is to get started now. Work with a trusted expert, really understand the opportunities, the possibilities, and where you can have impact.

Hear more from Helen in the video below and discover how spatial computing will soon be integrated in our everyday lives, both at home and work.

Who Are the AR Leaders?

SpSp: What industries or companies are leading the way for AR integration? And what can we learn from them?

HP: Retail is one of the industries leading the way with AR integration, but this wasn’t always the case. Initially, AR was perceived by retailers as gimmicky or something that’s nice to have, but it quickly became a necessity during the pandemic.

COVID accelerated all things virtual, and when retailers had to close their physical doors, AR became a solution. It offered customers the ability to try products on in their homes and on their bodies, leading to a reduction in online returns.

So, the lesson to be learned here is don’t lag, don’t hesitate, don’t wait. Now’s the time to experiment.

Helen expands on this in the video below, including how Apple’s Vision Pro is further expanding the impact of spatial computing on retail and other industries:

How to Prepare for a Business Future with Multiple “Realities”

SpSp: Why should leaders and businesses want what AR is offering?

HP: Who wouldn’t want superpowers? AR is extending our human capacities and completely changing the way we interact with the world. It is connecting us to the people, places, and things that matter to us most and creating new modes of communication, like real-time translation. AR also has many, many possibilities for accessibility.

We can also use AR to fast forward into the future. It can help us learn about concepts that might otherwise be abstract and make them tangible, like climate change. We can see the real-world impact of our actions.

So, whether it is learning or communicating, AR can help to make decisions for the present moment as well as inform what the future might look like.

Hear more from Helen on the “superpowers” AR can provide to business leaders in the video below:

SpSp: What significant opportunities does AR present for businesses?

HP: AR is a highly experiential medium. For the most part today, it is predominantly a visual medium, but it doesn’t have to be.

In my book, Augmented Human, there is a chapter dedicated to each of the senses. So, beyond vision, we can also have an augmented reality experience that explores audio, touch, smell, and taste. This is all possible today. And creating these immersive experiences by marketers is a way for them to immerse their customers in their brand’s story.

We can see this being applied in meaningful and fun ways in things like gamified experiences, product packaging, as well as onsite activations.

Helen dives deeper into the marketing opportunities made possible by AR in the video below:

With great gusto and up-to-the-minute examples, Dr. Helen Papagiannis is leading businesses head-on into our virtual future. She not only explores the seismic shifts caused by AR, XR, AI, and spatial computing, but also offers companies a roadmap to navigating and implementing these new technologies into their day-to-day operations.

With her TEDx talk named one of the top 10 on augmented reality and gamified life, contact us to learn more about Helen and how she can help prepare your organization for a whole new era of computing.