AR in Education and Simulators

Written By : Arvind Mehrotra

AR in Education and Simulators goes Virtual : The Future for Internship is here

Covid19 has created a series of challenges for graduate students as they are not just being deprived of interactive classrooms, student to student interaction, access to professors/lecturers for a conversation/debate but as well as real-time industry experience and exposure. The real-time industry addresses the gaps in knowledge students build during theoretical classroom sessions, which are not enough to work in industries. Graduate students need to have hands-on experience working in a near real-time environment and experience of doing projects. Internships open the opportunities for students to apply their theoretical knowledge they have learned in their classroom, practice for employers in industries.

The now-normal social distancing norms and reliance on digital channels have made it significantly harder for students to engage with their instructors/teachers. In one US-wide survey, these were the top 3 challenges teachers faced:

  • Students are not interacting with me (66%)
  • Students are having more trouble focusing (62%)
  • It is difficult to tell if students are learning or they need help (59%)

This chronic lack of engagement and the absence of immersive experiences are holding our future generations back. At an immediate level, it makes it challenging for education professionals to meet preset objectives and unfairly drives down outcomes.

Internships also provide an opportunity to the students and freshers to explore the career path they have chosen for themselves. It is not easy to select once career as graduate students get influenced from many quarters and thus it is important for them to experience through a trial so to help them to choose their desired field among multiple options available for them.

Augmented reality (AR) in the education sector hit several brick walls before finally entering the mainstream in 2020. Advancements were ongoing for a while – but challenges like bulky hardware, high bandwidth requirements, energy inefficiency, and complex coding made non-technical customers wary of using AR at scale. And this includes K12 institutions, colleges, and even enterprise learning to a level. These companies simply did not have the in-house competencies to execute large-scale AR initiatives beyond a one-off campaign.

But necessity, as they say, is the mother of all invention.

So, it’s no surprise that technology with immersive capabilities and relatively low deployment prerequisites (at least as compared to VR) would gain fresh momentum.


Source: msn.com

The WEF highlights ways AR can help: visualization, annotation, and storytelling. “There are examples in each of these areas that are both timely in the current reality of COVID-19 and which can be built upon once cultural institutions, schools, and workplaces reopen their doors,” says Helen Papagiannis, Founder of XR Goes Pop, writing for WEF. “AR is no longer just about the technology; it’s about defining how we want to live in the real world with this new technology and how we will design experiences that are meaningful and can enrich humanity.

Educators are fast waking up to the possibility of leveraging AR, shrinking deployment roadmaps from years to a few months or weeks.

Universities Around the World are Rolling Out AR Courses
A leading company in this space is NexTech AR Solutions, which recently appointed a new COO to navigate a period of steady growth. Canada’s Ryerson University is partnering with the company to launch the Ryerson Augmented Learning Experience or RALE platform, inviting 5000+ students to take part in collaborative AR learning in Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. There will be AR lab exercises allowing students to simulate the equipment at home, and conduct experiments.

A similar project is currently live at the Department of Chemical Engineering, at Imperial College London. Educators will work with Microsoft to provide an AR remote learning experience, where one member of a student team is present at the lab and can stream AR content to remote fellows in real-time.

STEM – a field that requires a lot of hands-on interaction – has innumerable use cases for AR. this translates into hands-on training, without in-person contact, in enterprise environments as well.

AR can help us to overcome the challenge of making graduate students engage and learn about Industry, Company Culture, and Soft Skill necessary to succeed in the future job. It is important that graduate students by doing internship not only gain in-depth knowledge and experience in their specific field but also they learn how to work with others in a team, collaboration with other members, etc.. to improve & enhance behavioral & soft skills. NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety application & course from British Safety Council is aimed at managers and supervisors who are required to ensure that construction activities under their control are undertaken safely and without health risk.

A similar project is currently live at the Department of Chemical Engineering, at Imperial College London. Educators will work with Microsoft to provide an AR remote learning experience, where one member of a student team is present at the lab and can stream AR content to remote fellows in real-time.

STEM – a field that requires a lot of hands-on interaction – has innumerable use cases for AR. this translates into hands-on training, without in-person contact, in enterprise environments as well.

AR can help us to overcome the challenge of making graduate students engage and learn about Industry, Company Culture, and Soft Skill necessary to succeed in the future job. It is important that graduate students by doing internship not only gain in-depth knowledge and experience in their specific field but also they learn how to work with others in a team, collaboration with other members, etc.. to improve & enhance behavioral & soft skills. NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety application & course from British Safety Council is aimed at managers and supervisors who are required to ensure that construction activities under their control are undertaken safely and without health risk.

Industrial Applications for AR Education Continues to Grow

The enterprise segment is already slightly ahead of the curve when it comes to AR adoption. There is a ready userbase, AR frameworks can be reused across LOBs, and there is even an opportunity for commercializing one’s content library. In the context of social distancing, AR could be a lifeline for customer services, field technician support, and other business activities that require in-person communication.


Source: analyticsinsight

For graduate students and trainees is it important that they learn from mistakes but while keeping EHS i.e. environment, health, and safety concerns as a key consideration. Learning from mistakes eventually helps graduate students & trainees to refine their skills which can be helpful for them while transitioning into a full-time job role. All workers must know their strength, weakness, knowledge, or skill they need to learn to perform well in their job role before they take on new tasks & activities.

Companies like Cisco (US) are a step ahead of competitors thanks to AR education for their technicians. It used the AR Creation tool by Blippar, to train technicians on machine parts installation. And AR overlay on top of a physical device (a form of mixed reality) helped to increase installation efficiency by 30% and first-time-right by 90% – without the need to go through complex and cumbersome supporting manuals.

But it’s not just major institutions and enterprises that are adopting AR education right now. I’d argue that some of the most impressive applications come from independent/small-scale users, going the extra mile to genuinely transform the education experience.

Pushing the Envelope at a Micro-Level

The Manchester-based startup, AWESOME Technology, is exploring how any location – even open public places – could become an educational aid at a time when students are unable to go to school. The company brought Mark Twain to life, with an AR app for the Hartford Public Library, taking the user through an immersive history lesson. This application is incredibly future-proof – “You could go on a field trip individually and the teacher could leave trails and tricks you find along the way,” said AWESOME Technology co-founder David Oyanadel.

Another impressive not-for-profit AR use was showcased by a teacher from our very own IT nerve-center from the south, Karnataka. He used the AR game development platform, Arloopa, to create social media videos where a 3D model of the subject matter (animals, celestial objects, etc.) would appear next to him during a lesson.

“Such tools are often used by young people to develop games. But I found that they could be useful in creating content that is easily understood by rural students,” said the teacher, Basavaraj Sungari.

It’s becoming increasingly easier for independent educators to make use of AR. 2016 startup, Superfan Studio is among the companies that are launching ready-to-use templates for creating shareable AR content. Till now, it has worked with brands Spotify, Myntra, and Cadbury on several one-offs – but I predict a major adoption possibility in AR education as well.

What’s Next?

It is safe to say that AR in education is officially out of Beta and into the mainstream. In the next few months, we would see the consolidation of adoption efforts, going beyond STEM and history, which are the current areas of focus. A globally recognized company like NexTech will pave the way forewards – however, an equal onus rests micro-level stakeholders who action these disruptive ideas at the grassroots.

To discuss these ideas in more detail, please talk to me at Arvind@am-pmassociates.com.

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