How AR and VR Technologies Can Facilitate Onboarding and Other Tasks For Businesses

It is said that Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies have the potential to transform employee onboarding for many different types of businesses.

How you ask?

Well, it is evident that these tools have a wide range of potential uses— from entertainment to healthcare applications— but how can they help enterprises efficiently train their onboarding employees? The answer is: it depends on the type of business you have.

For the most part, the advantages of AR and VR taking on a larger role in the workplace could mean less time taken away from managers and supervisors in order to do new employee training and essentially more work getting done in a timely manner.  All of this, while at the same time helping newcomers assimilate to your company procedures, systems, and culture.

“Companies such as Wal-Mart and UPS have rolled out initiatives in VR training, helping new employees master their jobs more quickly and with higher quality and safety," J.P. Gownder, a VP and principal analyst at Forrester told “Tech Republic.” "For example, at UPS, new drivers will use VR headsets to simulate city driving conditions during training. And industrial companies are now using AR to help workers identify and fix problems with equipment, in factories or out in the field.”

Tuong Nguyen, a principal research analyst at Gartner, believes enterprise AR adoption has seen more advancements than perhaps consumer AR. Nguyen told “Tech Republic,” that the main three uses right now for enterprise AR are task design and collaboration, itemization and video guidance.

Foodable reported on how these technologies have begun to be incorporated in the restaurant industry. Restaurants, like Honeygrow, have created entire training videos in virtual reality, for example.

Check out the video above and read "Tech Republic" to learn more!

AR Could Be the Next Frontier for the Restaurant Industry

AR Could Be the Next Frontier for the Restaurant Industry

These days it seems like every brand is dipping its toes into the world of Augmented Reality, or “AR” for short.

And, for good reason.

You are probably wondering why we are even talking about a technology that seems so disconnected with the restaurant and hospitality industry. Truth is the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating the illusion that virtual objects are part of our physical world as the technology slowly weaves itself into the thread that is our everyday lives.

Brands that recognize this and develop creative marketing campaigns around AR could really benefit when looking for a boost in exposure or even sales.

Most of us got our first taste of AR through Snapchat or Instagram’s face-scanning filters. Others experienced it through the Pokemon Go craze. Some restaurants were actually able to capitalize on the trend while it was hot, with some places seeing an 82 percent increase in weekly restaurant foot traffic and 63 percent increase in weekly sales if the business was located near a “Pokestop,” according to POS platform Revel systems.

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How Denny’s Is Mastering Augmented Reality and What AR Means for the Future of Foodservice

By Mae Velasco, Associate Editor

When you slide into a booth at Denny’s, you can order up a hot plate of blackberry pancakes, a steak skewer and eggs skillet, and a side of...augmented reality?

Technology has been making its way to the dinner table and the use of augmented reality is no exception. Whether it was through restaurants tapping into the Pokémon Go craze that swept the nation at the end of 2016 with clever marketing, or big brands like Moe’s Southwest Grill and Burger King creating new experiences and games to engage with consumers on a whole other level, augmented reality is no longer a thing of science fiction — it could very well be an actual reality for the restaurant industry.

From “The Hobbit” to Today, Denny’s Delivers a Digitally New Dining Experience

Denny’s most recent foray into AR was part of their “Shrek the Halls” campaign during the holiday season, where they featured characters from the animated film on kids menus, and guests using the DreamWorks COLOR app could bring them to life.

“The characters literally jump off the menu in 3D! Guests can pose and take selfies with their characters, build and play in worlds they color and create,” Denny’s explained in a press release. “DreamWorks COLOR app encourages families to engage creatively with each other during mealtimes and provides a modern twist to a traditional diner activity.”

Beloved favorites from “The Penguins of Madagascar,” “Puss In Boots,” and “Turbo FAST” also adorned their menus in several other interactive games and themed puzzles. After guests scribble in the characters with crayons on their paper menus, they use the app to take their creations from two-dimensional to too-real.

This fast casual chain has come a long way from flipping pancakes to flipping the on-switch for AR. Augmented reality may be making its name now, but Denny’s actually first introduced this touch of tech in late 2013 as part of a special, limited-time menu inspired by the second film in “The Hobbit” series.

An example of Denny's AR-integrated menus. | Photo Courtesy of Denny's.

The AR-based interactive placemat they integrated into their dining experience allowed customers to access movie images, concept art, exclusive behind-the-scenes film content, and a sneak peek of the making of a Denny’s movie-themed TV spot.

“The use of AR through our menu inspired by ‘The Hobbit’ was one of my personal favorites because it offered exclusive content — only available when dining with Denny’s — related to the films in a fun and engaging way. We had an incredibly positive reaction from Hobbit fans,”   Denny’s Chief Marketing Officer John Dillon said, adding a nod to their close-work partners at DreamWorks Animation. “It’s always great to go into a restaurant and see kids and families interacting with the menu and the app, allowing them to see their favorite DreamWorks characters come to life inside of a Denny’s booth.”

And an increasing presence of AR seems to be the trend. Grand View Research, Inc. stated that the market worth of augmented reality would hit $100.24 billion by 2024, especially because we are in an era of continuously advancing hardware technologies and sophisticated mobile software.

This is what “good morning” looks like. Photo by professional breakfast-eater @roncabanlig

A photo posted by dennysdiner (@dennysdiner) on

If eating pancakes were a video game, Denny’s would be the huge bonus level at the end.

A video posted by dennysdiner (@dennysdiner) on

Not to mention that with 68 percent of U.S. adults using smartphones in 2015, up 35 percent from 2011, brands are constantly seeking innovative ways to harness this power. Apps are the new norm. Augmented reality may be the next step, although only time will tell which brands won’t be afraid to run ahead and which ones will fall behind. How did Denny’s decide to take this leap of faith?

“...The idea to incorporate AR came through our strategy to offer guests something truly unique while inside our restaurants, something they would only find at Denny’s and therefore drive unique visits,” Dillon said. “The prior year, we had tremendous success working with Warner Brothers to engage our fans through QR codes on a menu specific to the first of ‘The Hobbit’ films, so we wanted to find a way to take that to the next level and provide our guests and fans of the film a truly authentic and unique dining journey through AR.”

Has Denny’s seen success since moving forward with this marketing tactic? If you consider a 170 percent increase in QR code scans related to the AR feature found on their kids menus over the course of 2016, then yes.

PIE V PIE. FIGHT!

A video posted by dennysdiner (@dennysdiner) on

Seeing is believing. Luckily, the Invisible Woman Slam isn't actually invisible.

A photo posted by dennysdiner (@dennysdiner) on

Augmented Reality? More Like Actual Reality for Foodservice

Despite the growth Denny’s has witnessed in the last few years, most brands have yet to dip their toes into the deep ocean of augmented reality. Because it is still somewhat foreign, that is no surprise, but the rewards of its use are evident. How can companies interested in augmented reality get ready to swim?

“Although we’ve used AR in our menus for a few years now, for most people, AR is still a very new technology. And as is the case with many modern technologies, you can often have a major gap between people who are early adopters and will dive right in, learning along the way, and those who may be too intimidated by the technology. So as a marketer, I think it’s important to be strategic in how you incorporate features like AR into your marketing channels. The biggest challenge is simply avoiding doing something like AR just because you have the capabilities. Like everything else, it needs to have a specific purpose in your marketing strategy,” Dillon said.

Once a proper strategy is in place, there is a good chance that featuring augmented reality will bring in a boost in engagement. Between 60 to 70 percent of consumers see clear benefits in using AR in their daily life, indicating that the audience is open to using it when brands create the opportunity to do so.

“I think we’re getting to a point where features like AR are moving beyond being a gimmick and becoming a more viable tool for brands. In the restaurant industry, I think we are only beginning to scratch the surface of AR’s capabilities,” Dillon said. “For the most part, AR has been limited to an experience found inside of the restaurant, but I think there are opportunities for restaurant brands to leverage AR — and VR — outside of the restaurant.”

Moe’s Southwest Grill Launches Foodscapes with Augmented Reality Aspect

Moe’s Southwest Grill Launches Foodscapes with Augmented Reality Aspect

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

The “fresh mex” fast casual Moe’s Southwest Grill is giving their customers a new way to interact with their food. The brand has unveiled new restaurant artwork featuring foodscapes of Moe’s ingredients by the artist Carl Warner.

You may have seen these images before. The landscapes made up of Moe’s food have been featured in commercials within the last two years, but the pieces of art will be displayed in more than 650 store locations by the end of the year.

The name Moe stands for Musicians, Outlaws and Entertainers and the restaurant is paying homage to that with a new augmented reality (AR) aspect called “Foodstock.”

This salute to Woodstock, the legendary music festival will be incorporated into the art pieces. Through the Moe’s new Rockin’ Rewards loyalty app, guests will be able to interact with the art and bring the food to life through their smart phones.

AR technology adds computer-generated images and sounds to enhance our real world surroundings.

For example, guests will be able to use the AR feature to see bees buzz and play the onion drums to make melodies with Moe's 17 quintillion high-quality food combinations.

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The Future of Augmented Reality in the Restaurant Industry

The Future of Augmented Reality in the Restaurant Industry

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm. Users of this augmented reality game are leaving their homes to go on “Pokewalks” to catch Pokemon, stop at Pokestops and to take over gyms. 

Restaurant traffic, especially those close to Pokestops is increasing due to the influx of Pokemon gamers looking to fuel up for their Pokemon hunt. 

According to the POS platform Revel systems, 82% of Revel businesses with close-by Pokestops have experienced an increase in weekly foot traffic and 63% saw an increase in weekly sales. 

A restaurant’s location in relation to a Pokestop has even started to influence a consumer’s dining decision. With that in mind, Yelp launched a new filter that allows their users to find Pokestops near restaurants. 

Many restaurants are trying to take full advantage of the trend, by throwing Pokemon themed events or by having signs that say “Pikachu can be caught here.”

Although time will only tell if the Pokemon Go Mania continues, the success of the augmented reality game is going to influence other technologies. 

Will restaurant chains start to develop AR games that encourage guests to visit their stores? What does the future hold for the restaurant industry?

What the Heck is AR?

According to Mashable, “Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one. Augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Artificial information about the environment and its objects can be overlaid on the real world.”

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