What IoT and AR Technology Can Do for Your Business

October 5

Big data has gotten so huge over recent years it now must be measured in zettabytes rather than trillions of gigabytes. The combination of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality (AR) helps professionals navigate through this vast data. Both technologies are seeing adoption across complex industries such as healthcare and construction. Here’s a look at how IoT and AR are developing as streamlined solutions for businesses.

Read on: How Augmented Reality Is Impacting Transportation and Logistics

How IoT and AR Work Together

Due to the rapid increase of data volume in factories and other large-scale operations, massive data lakes are forming in electronic ecosystems. As a result, businesses are turning to a mix of IoT and AR to provide interactive in-depth data visualization. The advantage of this technological mix helps employees find relevant data insights and quickly solve problems that would otherwise take an army of analysts.

While IoT devices collect data, AR software produces digital overlays on top of physical environments using headsets. AR software, for example, can add interactive data to live camera feeds to create a deeper awareness of visuals.

A recent survey conducted by BCG and PTC of 200 executives currently using IoT or AR solutions found that over two-thirds of respondents were experimenting with combining the two technologies. Experimentation with this combination began in 2010 and has since steadily escalated.

Recent Trends in IoT and AR

Industry 4.0 – Several large-scale industries such as utility service and manufacturing are pioneering the use of IoT and AR. Engineering, aerospace, and tech are other heavy industries pioneering this new paradigm.

Design – Nearly half of IoT-AR applications began with just IoT then experimented with AR. Studies reveal that those using the IoT-AR combination from the beginning experienced a smoother deployment.

Keep reading: Here’s How AR Is Transforming Manufacturing

Devices – The IoT-AR solution commonly involves using more than one AR device. The most used device for IoT-AR is the smartphone, while other electronic tools include head-mounted displays and wearables.

Budgets – Nearly 80 percent of the companies in the survey had already developed AR budgets.

ROI – The expected return on investment turnaround time for IoT-AR is about three years, but 26 percent of the surveyed companies claimed to have achieved ROI within one year.

Insights for Benefiting from IoT and AR

Enhanced data visualization is one of the top benefits of using IoT-AR, as people tend to absorb data better when it’s presented in 3D. Not only can data visualization help workers solve problems, but it also allows them to manage spaces more effectively.

Diagnosing system problems is now more simplified using IoT-AR, as it brings various types of data into a single view. This scenario allows workers to interact with digital objects without touching physical machinery.

More intelligent decision-making is the ultimate result when deploying an IoT-AR solution. The application of this technology helps companies make sense of context-specific data instead of sorting through a broad mix of endless random data that may not lead anywhere. The ROI is demonstrated in saved time and money, allowing a business to operate with greater efficiency.

The key to using this technology successfully is analyzing data visualizations to fine-tune equipment and make crucial business adjustments. For example, rearranging a store layout can help warehouse workers quickly navigate aisles to find parts and products. Overall, proper management of equipment and spaces is essential to make IoT-AR a valuable resource.

Read more: How AR and VR Elevate Everyday Learning


The more employees use IoT and AR, the more they can visualize and interact with environments through digital technology. Example devices include headsets that can help employees see data overlays and clarify what big data reflects or software that allows workers to look inside machines and identify problems in areas usually too difficult to inspect. Altogether, IoT-AR helps streamline operations and optimize processes that save time and cuts costs.

Johannes Beekman

About the author

After 25 years in engineering, Johannes Beekman founded IoT Marketing with the goal of helping companies bring wide-scale awareness to their inventions. He received a Master of Science in Physics degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology, and a Master in Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and started his career in the semiconductor field. Johannes pioneered two successful wafer fab startups for Philips Electronics; one in Europe and the second one in Asia. And served as Senior Program Manager for Sematech, where he provided solutions for semiconductor industry-wide product improvement and cost reduction challenges. Johannes has also published articles on several trade-focused websites.


AR, big data, data visualization, immersive technology, Industry 4.0, IoT

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