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Blog September 26, 2018

How Governments Can Use Augmented Reality to Engage with Today's Digital Citizen

While the government may have a reputation that it is behind the curve in terms of technology innovation, the reality is that pockets of the industry are readily embracing and encouraging change.

GSA's Emerging Citizen Technology Office launched the Federal Virtual/Augmented Reality program back in October 2017 to "serve as a collaborative hub for the research and refinement of VR and AR business cases and pilot programs across government."

CapTech has examined potential uses for AR in government in the AR field include big data analysis and visualization or training government staff.

Think of the Possibilities

Imagine you are a city planner and want to give citizens an immersive 3D view of a proposed project. AR can make the project come to life and make it easier and quicker to receive approvals.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory already funded a video game, called Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE), a virtual training platform, available to all response agencies nationwide. The game allows first responders to practice real-life skills in a safe environment.

CapTech is developing AR concepts for government clients to help increase their mobile presence. One example is an application that acts as "x-ray vision" that shows government utility workers the location of underground infrastructure they couldn't see before.

Some potential AR capabilities for government include the option to:

  • Protect. Prevent accidents and reduce services calls by showing users objects exactly where they are
  • Educate. Depict complex imagery in a way that helps people understand complicated concepts
  • Engagement. Augment state- and federally-funded attractions with custom interactions for visitors

AR You Ready?

How can you determine if AR experiences are something that you need to explore to grow your business? Developing AR simply because you think you should be innovative isn't a good enough reason on its own.

Still, AR is happening now, and we can prove it.

You need to ask yourself:

  • Will AR make my product or service more effective?
  • What would compel my customer base to want to use an AR application to learn about or explore my business offerings?
  • How can I make my product intuitive to users and approachable, meaning able to utilize existing devices and platforms?

It's okay if you don't have all the answers. These questions can be tough. That's where it's helpful to work with a partner who understands the issues your industry faces and can help you navigate the world of AR solutions.