AR, Case Study


Problem: As more employees express a desire to work remotely, organizations struggle to maintain productivity and engagement due to the limitations of traditional virtual tools, leading to decreased productivity and a sense of isolation among employees.

Solution: Augmented reality avatars offer lifelike interactions and shared virtual spaces, enhancing engagement and productivity for remote employees. This fosters connection, satisfaction, and camaraderie, reducing turnover rates and improving overall work quality.

Case Study/Mini Project
When your significant other travels a lot and complains about missing you, you build an AR version of yourself. Right? 

A “Magic 8 Ball of Affection”, arDill brings me to her. Preloaded with phrases of affection and to make her laugh, a random phrase will be triggered by pressing the respected button.

Case Study: Enhancing Communication with Augmented Reality Avatars:
Dillon Hickey
The following case study is theoretical and reflects my views on the opportunities augmented reality technology present.

This case study explores the hypothetical implementation and benefits of utilizing augmented reality (AR) avatars as a novel approach to communication, specifically replacing traditional video calling. The study focuses on a hypothetical scenario where an AR avatar system is implemented within a global organization to facilitate seamless remote communication and collaboration. The case study analyzes the challenges faced, technology employed, implementation process, and observed outcomes.

In today’s interconnected world, effective communication plays a pivotal role in personal and professional relationships. Traditional video calling platforms have been widely used; however, they often fail to provide a fully immersive and engaging experience. This case study examines the use of augmented reality avatars as a potential solution to enhance remote communication, fostering more natural and interactive conversations.

To address the limitations of video calling, a leading global organization, XYZ Corporation, sought to explore emerging technologies such as augmented reality. The goal was to synthesize a hypothetical AR avatar system that would enable employees to interact with colleagues and clients in a more immersive and engaging manner, replicating face-to-face communication like that of a shared physical space.

XYZ Corporation partnered with an AR technology company specializing in avatar development. The collaboration would involve the following steps:

  • Design and Development: The technology company would work closely with XYZ Corporation and utilize the corporation as a test ground to design and develop personalized AR avatars. These avatars would utilize advanced computer vision algorithms to capture and replicate real-time facial expressions, gestures, and body movements. The avatars could also be a combination of existing technology to create new and novel methods of communication, such as pairing Apple’s new FaceTime SDK for the VisionPro headset and Ready Player Me’s avatar creation system, allowing for a full body avatar from Ready Player Me with a photorealistic digital rendering of a face to be used for the communication.

  • Hardware and Software Integration: The AR avatar system would likely require high-quality headsets, equipped with cameras, sensors, and microphones. The hardware would be synchronized with the software, which processes the captured data and renders the avatars in real-time. The integration ensures a seamless user experience. It is worth noting that an augmented or mixed reality headset would be the most seamless way of combining the physical world an employee is in with the digital world the employee is working in, however modifying the experience to work on a mobile device would allow more people to utilize the technology. This would be beneficial for communication in AR outside of the workplace, such as general consumers on FaceTime calls or sending audio messages via SMS text message.

  • Testing and Feedback: A group of selected employees from different departments would participate in a pilot study to evaluate the functionality and usability of the AR avatar system. After a group introduction session, the employees selected would interact with their colleagues for a set period of time using a beta version of the platform. Their feedback would help identify areas for improvement in order to refine the system further.

Once a pilot study is successfully completed, XYZ Corporation would initiate the implementation of the AR avatar system across the organization. This would involve the following steps:

  • Training and Onboarding: Users would receive comprehensive training on how to use the AR avatar system, including instructions on wearing the headsets, calibrating the devices, and navigating the virtual environment. Ideally, this would be a gamified onboarding experience through the headset in order to add to the seamless environment that is being set up. The gamification would assist in transitioning users to this new integrated environment while motivating them to move through difficulties with the transition in order to learn the new technology. IT support would be readily available to address any technical difficulties.

  • Integration with Communication Platforms: To seamlessly replace traditional video calling, the AR avatar system would have to be integrated with existing communication platforms used within the organization. This would allow users to initiate avatar-based calls directly from their usual communication tools without interrupting their standard workflows.

Expected Results and Observations
Following the hypothetical implementation of the AR avatar system, XYZ Corporation would theoretically observe several positive outcomes:

  • Enhanced Engagement: Employees would likely report feeling more engaged and connected during conversations using the AR avatars. The avatars’ ability to replicate facial expressions and body language created a sense of presence, making the communication experience more immersive and natural. Furthermore, the individuals participating in the call would be superimposed in the individual employees' spaces throughout their global network, allowing for a team-like environment without a team being physically together.

  • Improved Collaboration: The AR avatar system would facilitate more interactive collaboration among team members. The ability to visually demonstrate ideas, share virtual objects, and collaborate on virtual whiteboards would lead to more efficient and productive discussions. There is also the opportunity for a more watercooler or breakroom like setting, removing the employee from their surroundings to relax and recharge with other users in locations around the world such as the top of Mount Everest, the Amazon RainForest, or the Hawaiian Islands. Studies have shown that changing an individual’s environment can indirectly lead to sharper focus, a boost in creativity, reduced stress, and higher productivity.

  • Increased Productivity: The adoption of AR avatars streamlined communication, reducing the time and effort spent on scheduling and organizing video calls. Communication would be clearer, as the utilization of this technology would mitigate the need to translate human’s natural and spatial behavior to be clear through a computer screen. The real-time rendering of avatars would make conversations feel more immediate and spontaneous, resulting in faster decision-making processes.

Limitations and Future Directions
While the implementation of the AR avatar system would yield positive results, a few limitations will likely be observed:

  • Hardware Requirements: The reliance on specialized headsets limits the accessibility of the AR avatar system. Future iterations could explore the use of more widely available devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to reach a larger user base. This mobile adaptation would also open opportunities to have a larger network of users with more casual use-cases. Users would no longer have to wear their work AR headset and instead could transport their potentially global network of family and friends directly into their living room. This also opens the opportunity for multi-user collaboration sessions, such as playing multiplayer games superimposed in the space or watching movies together without physically being together.

  • Network Bandwidth: the AR avatar system would likely require a stable and high-speed internet connection. Organizations operating in regions with limited internet infrastructure may face challenges in deploying the system effectively.

  • Emotional Nuances: Although the AR avatars capture facial expressions, replicating emotional nuances accurately may remain a challenge. Continued research and advancements in facial tracking technology may be necessary in order to further improve the realism and emotional expressiveness of the avatars.

This case study demonstrates the potential of augmented reality avatars as a viable alternative to traditional video calling, offering a more engaging and immersive communication experience. By leveraging the advancements in AR technology, organizations can enhance collaborations, productivity, and overall communication effectiveness in remote work environments.

Contact Me . (914) 255-7392 . dillonhickey07@gmail.com