Although the adoption of augmented reality in the enterprise is still in the earliest stages, AR technology has matured to the point where organizations can use it as an internal tool to complement and enhance business processes, workflows and employee training, according to Gartner Inc.

The firm says AR can facilitate business innovation by allowing real-time decision-making through virtual prototyping and visualization of content.

"Augmented reality is the real time use of information in the form of text, graphics, audio and other virtual enhancements integrated with real-world objects," Tuong Huy Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "AR leverages and optimizes the use of other technologies such as mobility, location, 3D content management and imaging and recognition. It is especially useful in the mobile environment because it enhances the user's senses via digital instruments to allow faster responses or decision-making."

Gartner says AR is particularly powerful for discovering things in the vicinity, for example, enclosed objects generating heat; presenting real-world objects of potential special interest; showing a user where to go or what to do; and providing additional information about an object of interest.

The business potential for AR has increased through improvements in location services and image recognition. The precision of indoor location services has increased significantly, Gartner says, and this greater accuracy allows businesses to use AR location features for vehicle, campus and in-building navigation and identification.

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