Magic Leap and HoloLens are probably the most famous names in augmented reality (AR). AR is different than virtual reality (VR) because it adds virtual things to the real world around you–you’re not cut off from the world inside your visor. Most people think it will be for gaming, but some of the first uses of AR are in the workplace. Here are five examples of how to use AR in business.

SEE: Mixed reality in business (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

  1. Field technicians: If you’re servicing standardized equipment, pop on the AR goggles and you can breeze through troubleshooting and repair. It’s best for businesses with high turnover vs. those with experienced old hands.
  2. Engineering: When you encounter a rare problem or one on legacy equipment (or both) AR that’s integrated with IoT can help engineers get to the heart of the trouble quickly.
  3. Trade shows: Instead of bringing and building things in your booths, companies are experimenting with demonstrations using AR. It could not only save money, but also allow demos that were previously unthinkable.
  4. Education: AR can let the entire class see instructional content at the same time and even interact with it as a group. And actual real field trips can benefit with information overlaid on the real scene–for example, the ability to show what a historical site used to look like.
  5. Medicine: Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is testing using AR to help see scans and provide other info during surgery. It can also help train surgeons on new procedures.

I’m not denying that shooting fake aliens as they crawl through the wall of your house is cool, but for that friend of yours who dismisses AR simply as a toy or a fad, these other uses might be of interest to them as well.