Just-In-Time: Augmented Reality Will Revolutionize the Way We Train Workers

Written by: David Immerman

Read Time: 5 min

In today’s world companies face proliferating challenges through intensifying global competition, digital disruption from innovative startups, the worker skill gap, and other macroeconomic factors.

These outside pressures are pushing the training ecosystem to change to just-in-time learning methods that are scalable, situational, and immersive for workforces and their employers to truly benefit from them. Delivering training resources and information ‘just-in-time’ negates poor knowledge retention occurrences common in out-of-context training methods (instructor-led classrooms) and current costly challenges and bottlenecks (scheduling) plaguing industrial companies.

Augmented reality is the leading technology to solve this. Through immersive experiences and more effective training procedures, it can elevate organizations’ digital transformation initiatives centered around smart connected people and make workforce productivity and quality soar.

Shift to Just-In-Time Training Through Augmented Reality

The greatest opportunity to mitigate current training challenges around knowledge retention and scaling expertise for deskless workers comes through augmented reality. This powerful new tool is perfectly suited to create just-in-time training resources for the worker through delivering, capturing, and analyzing tasks.

Here are some examples:


Augmented reality delivering on-demand virtual work instructions in-situ provides the worker with timely and contextualized information, reducing extraneous cognitive load associated with out-of-context learning methods (classrooms, paper-based manuals). A front-line worker accessing an AR experience with an interactive digital twin of the real-world product is a powerful AR use case that spans beneficiaries across manufacturing, operations, and service organizations.


AR has been a crucial ‘on-the-job’ training platform for organizations scaling expertise globally by remote expert guidance. It enables less experienced technicians to solve more complex problems with on-demand knowledge transfer, which further mitigates scheduling and service challenges related to product complexity. This virtual hands-on collaboration improves servicing KPIs (first-time-fix-rate, mean-time to repair etc.) while uplifting knowledge retention across the technician base.


Using ‘AR-as-a-Sensor’ input, which utilizes native sensors like cameras, GPS, and accelerometers, businesses can capture employee workflows and processes. This enables more effective knowledge transfer through training experiences built for auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic learners, also unlocking novel workforce KPIs. The interact use case will emerge as humans and machines synchronously communicate with each other in increasingly intelligent industrial environments.

Effective Knowledge Transfer to the Front-Line Worker Today

The importance in investing in the workforce is a pillar of digital transformation; attracting and retaining personnel are necessary feats to fend-off broader industry issues such as the skills gap. It’s also mutually desired by today’s worker; when 360,000 employees and jobseekers were asked ‘what matters most on the job?’ one of the top answers was learning and training opportunities.

Anecdotally, AR adopters are citing the innovative tool as a critical recruitment tactic for attracting the next generation of front-line workers and reducing onboarding time for new hires. Hard metric improvements from AR experiences are being reported in areas like reducing servicing errors and improving first-time-fix rates, lower overhead costs from more efficient scaling of expertise, fewer physical prototypes needed in initial training phases, and less reliance on other traditional out-of-context training methods.

AR Just-In-Time Learning In Action

  • BAE Systems is training new employees’ 30-40 percent more efficiently through virtual work instructions delivered via augmented reality. The global aerospace and defense company also used AR to cut assembly time in half by quickly delivering customized work instructions and at a lower cost than previous methods.
  • GSI (an AGCO brand) recognized a 60 percent reduction in installation time of its new grain systems through AR training minimizing uncertainties from complex products to GSI employees. The company gained these efficiencies by adapting their training operations, which are moving away from traditional cumbersome paper manuals and hundreds of presentation slides.
  • Global Foundries has reduced training time for employees in the classroom and factory by 50 percent through capturing expertise and workflows of its experienced workforce. AR is expediting the company’s documentation process of standard operating procedures by 10x to enable this powerful knowledge transfer use case.

Final Thoughts

These cases of perceptible success elevate the case for AR to deliver relevant digital information in-context to front-line workers. The more ‘just-in-time’ learning methods transferred to a trainee or worker in-situ, the greater the acquired knowledge is retained and seamlessly acted upon in real-world environments.

Augmented reality will increasingly be the innovative tool for the next-generation of training, and inevitably the future platform for learning.

Learn more about how AR connects users across digital and physical worlds, transforming people, processes, and products.

Tags: Augmented Reality Industrial Equipment Connected Devices Digital Transformation

About the Author

David Immerman

David Immerman is as a Consulting Analyst for the TMT Consulting team based in Boston, MA. Prior to S&P Market Intelligence, David ran competitive intelligence for a supply chain risk management software startup and provided thought leadership and market research for an industrial software provider. Previously, David was an industry analyst in 451 Research’s Internet of Things channel primarily covering the smart transportation and automotive technology markets.