Technology is changing the world as we know it; this is true in pretty much all walks of life. In the office this tends to mean a new piece of accounting software, an improved item of hardware, or an emerging-yet-essential social media or marketing platform. All undoubtedly useful, but not exactly ground-breaking.

Some emerging tech that may have a more pronounced effect however is the rise or augmented and virtual reality. Intrinsically linked yet clearly distinguished, these two awe-inspiring advances have the potential to markedly change our working lives; in fact, they’re already beginning to.

Screen-sharing software is already fairly commonplace in offices, and marks arguably the first true entry of augmented reality into the workplace, allowing us to seamlessly collaborate with colleagues wherever they may be based. Video conferencing is also becoming ever-more established, facilitating meetings and presentations without the need for lengthy and expensive travel. However, we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface.

In regards to augmented and virtual reality, there are countless potential applications for such technology. For example, meetings and presentations could be accompanied, via the use of augmented glasses and headsets, by supporting information and figures which serve to further highlight the intended point or provide additional context. Video conferencing, as mentioned earlier, could easily develop even further, allowing us to one day enter a virtual boardroom simply by slipping on a headset.

Augmented and virtual reality also have potential as a training tool, allowing those in skilled fields to test out new equipment, or train new staff members, without the risk of damage or injury. The technology could be further used to reduce injury risk by providing those responsible for repairs with an overlaying schematic, significantly reducing the potential for costly and dangerous mistakes.

One area in particular in which I expect virtual reality to have a great impact is the field of office design. Instead of hours on end drawing out concepts and seating plans, this data could be uploaded to a system which would allow designers and their clients to step into the space as it is being developed, getting a sense of the space and easily making corrections to colour, aesthetics and layouts as they go along. Not only would this reduce costs, it would also better enable designers and their clients to create an environment that lives up to all intended specifications.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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