Dassault Systèmes® logo

Guide to Augmented Reality in Industry

Discover our resources specially designed to help you
deploy augmented reality in your industry.

Definition of Augmented Reality

What is augmented reality (also called AR or augmented reality)? You’ve probably heard this term before, but what does it really mean?

Often assimilated to a strange term in science fiction movies, augmented reality is now closer to everyday life and is gradually developing in the industrial world.

This technology integrates virtual elements in 3D (in real time) within a real environment. The principle is to combine the virtual and the real worlds to give the impression of a perfect integration to the user.

Diota uses the concept of AR in an industrial context, using digital models to bring virtual information directly into the physical sp

What is the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality?

Before continuing, it is important to understand the difference between all the different existing technologies: mixed reality, virtual or augmented reality, so many terms for which we will provide some explanations.

What is Augmented Reality?

interaction entre le monde réel et des informations digitales

We have already explained this concept previously, but there is nothing to prevent us from making a reminder before highlighting the difference with the term virtual reality (or VR).

Here we don’t just superimpose virtual information on an image but we integrate synthetic information in the real environment (we take into account the fact that an element can hide certain information etc.)

Examples of applications include Ikea Place and Measure, which measures the height and length of objects or surfaces.

What is Virtual Reality?

Conversely, virtual reality consists in immersing a user in a reality entirely generated and assisted by computer. Immersion is usually enabled by hardware devices such as VR goggles, virtual reality headsets or walled rooms with video screens to fill the user’s entire field of view.

In fact, VR brings an immersion in a 100% synthetic/digital environment.

Matterport 3D virtual tours are a good example of virtual reality application.

femme avec casque de réalité virtuelle

Augmented virtual reality or Augmented Virtuality 

What’s behind this new term? It is nothing more or less than another way of characterizing virtual data. Here, it is not digital data that will be displayed in a real environment but the opposite.

One or more pieces of information from the real world will be imported and displayed in a digital environment. For example, when a user equipped with a virtual reality helmet will see his own hands appear in the digital world in which he is immersed and interact with it.

What about mixed reality?

For mixed reality, it is a fusion between real and virtual worlds where digital and physical objects (e.g. mixed reality headsets) cohabit together in order to create new environments.

Mixed reality is differentiated by a very specific interaction of digital content with physical space. It remains a dimension that covers all forms of augmented reality, that is, all degrees of fusion between the real and virtual worlds.

To summarize, augmented reality consists in bringing digital content directly into the real world, virtual reality displays physical information in a digital environment and mixed reality is augmented reality.

How does Augmented Reality work?

As previously mentioned, Augmented Reality consists in adding virtual information (texts, animations, images, 3D models, …) in the real environment.

To do this, Augmented Reality inlays this information into the user’s environment in different ways:

  • Insertion of these elements in the video stream that is viewed on a screen or tablet. The latter then becomes a window on the world with virtual information embedded.
  • Display on lenses in the user’s vision (Hololens example)
  • Use of a projector to display information directly on the object.

However, this information must be embedded in the right place. It is therefore necessary to know where this information is located in relation to the means of restitution.

For this purpose, one or more sensors are used to ensure this location. We can thus find:

  • color camera
  • depth sensor
  • inertial unit
  • GPS

Augmented Reality solutions are therefore distinguished by the means of restitution and the means of capture that they use, but also by the way they use the latter to localize themselves.

A first category of solution aims at locating itself in relation to the global environment. For example, the use of cell phone sensors (GPS, inertial navigation system, cameras…) allows to locate oneself outdoors (PokemonGo, GoogleMaps LiveView…) and to display information that remains stable in relation to the world. In the same way, other solutions allow us to locate ourselves indoors and to place elements that will remain anchored and stable in our environment (Ikea application…).

operator who uses augmented reality
Test Augmented Reality
in your industry too

The place of industrial augmented reality

What are the advantages of augmented reality in industry?

Within the industry of the future, augmented reality reshapes many aspects such as the increase in competence of operators and their way of interacting with a real working environment by importing digital data.

Thus, operators are guided step by step with information in various forms:

  • Digital and contextualized instruction sheets
  • Images / videos
  • 3D renderings

This replaces the time-consuming, manual processes of the past and makes task execution much faster and simpler. There are multiple gains brought by AR in the industrial environment, whether it is remote visualization, better transmission of information, or feedback of field data to the digital twin etc.

Manufacturers are increasingly confronted with the challenges of operational efficiency and performance, and must adapt quickly to the multiple demands of the market in an increasingly complex and variable context: the need for product customization, growing competition, pressure on costs, etc. Digital technologies such as augmented reality help to meet these challenges by improving the operational efficiency of industrial processes.

Companies like yours are leveraging the value of AR, so why not you?

Many industries in all types of sectors are already benefiting from a successful implementation of an AR solution in their plants and have significant gains in ROI and added value.

Industries that have successfully deployed AR in their plants have been able to dramatically improve quality and consequently reduce costs related to errors or customer dissatisfaction.

Learn how Diota's customers are leveraging augmented reality to improve their bottom line and differentiate their brand in our special AR case studies.

With this type of AR technology, you have the ability to create and transmit digital work instruction sheets to your field operators that will overlay the digital in the real environment. The accompaniment of your operators step by step will allow you to gain in efficiency and to make your operations more productive and qualitative.

Diota's solutions provide an effective response to many industrial sectors on their problems and performance issues for maintenance, assembly (production) and inspection (quality control) teams, notably by:

  • Reduction of the risk of errors in locating and interpeting defects by 90%*
  • Cycle time reduction up to 80%*
  • Field feedback and collected data easily accessible and usable
  • Reduced costs associated with rework, scrap and lost time, increased customer loyalty
  • Reduction of the time spent on an operation
  • Increasing the competence of operators

Some industrial operations are still performed manually and are complex and time-consuming, which can be the source of errors and additional costs. Yet where quality control is concerned, the processes require the highest level of reliability and accuracy.

Using an augmented reality technology can be the solution to this problem.


With AR, anomalies are detected upstream before they are exported to the end customer, reducing costs and time.


In addition, we also observe:


  • Better reliability of inspection results
  • Save time on operations
  • Better tracing inspection procedures


Thus, AR is a real solution for making assembly operations more reliable through effective operator guidance and simplification of complex tasks. It reduces the risk of errors related to the interpretation of documentation, and supports inspection operations to make them complete and accurate.

In addition, integrating augmented reality tools will help strengthen the traceability of operations in factories.

Using Diota's AR technologies also allows you to collect field data and ensure that your documentation is always up to date. This data can then be stored and used by design offices to feed your digital twin, effectively improving processes, product design and traceability.

And many other advantages...

Using new technologies such as AR can support the operators in their operational tasks to improve the company’s performance and build the operator of tomorrow.

In the era of Industry 4.0, the choice to deploy an augmented reality solution in industry is to bring the right information at the right time and place, and contribute to:

  • Increasing the skills of operators
  • Reduce the risk of errors or non-conformities
  • Get it right the first time
  • Automate and make the creation of AR content as efficient as possible
  • Contribute to making the use of software and/or equipment that use AR intuitive and accessible
  • Guiding and accompanying operators
  • Improve understanding of the operations performed
  • Obtain information that can be imported into the real world while feeding the digital twin with the field data collected
  • Collect a lot of data to feed the virtual twin

All the data collected thanks to augmented reality can be used to promote the digital transformation of information, optimize industrial processes and contribute to better traceability.

The right hardware to use augmented reality in your industry

AR applications can be used via various hardware devices:

Ideal for flexibility of action and allows operators to rotate around the inspected object.

Adaptable workstation with flexible industrial camera for precision operations on single parts and sub-assemblies.

Ergonomic equipment that allows for a wide variety of uses (at Diota we call it a DoStation).

Accurately projects assembly instructions directly onto the equipment for effective hands-free operator guidance.

Allows you to view instructions directly on the work area while keeping your hands free, and to validate operations or report any observations.

Useful for quick and isolated operations on complex products where hands-free operation is required and in confined spaces.

More suitable for short operations on complex equipment where the operator needs to have his hands free and to obtain a quality graphic rendering.

utilisation de hololens en industrie sur un moteur



With these connected tools and augmented reality, digital work instructions are easily displayed and visualized regardless of the company’s environment and develop operators’ skills, helping to build the augmented operator alias the operator 4.0.

What are the use cases for augmented reality in industry?

Before implementing an AR solution in your plant, you must first identify the right use cases that will bring you the most value and ROI in the short term. 

↓ Learn about AR use cases at Diota ↓

système projectif affichant des instructions de travail

Assembly assistance

tablette qui affiche des instructions de contrôle dans un contexte de production

Quality control in a production context

affichache d'informations en réalité augmentée sur l'objet inspecté en industrie

Inspection / configuration
of infrastructures

projections d'informations invisibles à l'oeil nu pour le CND

Assistance in NDT inspection

industrial inspection software

Assistance to operations in
a maintenance context

man who realize a paint operation

Painting operations

Augmented reality in industry, how to choose the right use case?

To choose the right use case, focus your efforts and research on operations that generate costly defects (non-conformances), long or unscheduled downtime, plant safety problems or high customer dissatisfaction.

Before you get started, you should also ask yourself the right questions:

  • Which teams to include in the project?
  • Which operations are the source of the greatest number of errors?
  • Which ones generate the highest costs?
  • Which tasks generate a more or less prolonged stop of the production?
  • Which ones cause safety problems?

Once these questions are answered, you will be ready to determine the best use case for your plant and launch the project. Then all you have to do is find the solution and above all, the right supplier!

You should know that at Diota, we address many use cases through augmented reality. To help you better identify your use case, discover our white paper Top 10 use cases for augmented reality in industry” which should help you implement an AR technology in your factory.

What will be the future of augmented reality in industry?

Today, everything deploys and evolves very quickly, and the same goes for these AR technologies that will continually evolve and improve. What we can say for the future of these solutions is that the new versions will be based on these different axes:

  • The evolution of the ergonomics and performance of certain types of equipment (helmets / smart glasses) which today are not always adapted to industrial environments but are evolving and tending to become more democratic.
  • The introduction of multimodalities such as voice recognition or gesture control.
  • New devices and the multiplication of sensors that allow to increase the field of possibilities in terms of algorithms (tracking for example) and to optimize the performance of algorithms.
  • The improvement of cloud-based tools but also the arrival of 5G that enable network communication performance compatible with cloud-based execution of AR algorithms.
  • Longer system runtimes due to reduced battery consumption.
  • A more compact and leaner development.

Choose the right
augmented reality solution for your industry!

It goes without saying that you will also have to choose the most efficient solution that is best suited to your industrial environment. Many industrial software publishers are setting up demos or test of their augmented reality solutions, but the industrial implementation of these technologies often goes no further than the POC.

At Diota, we see beyond that to enable you to deploy augmented reality in your factories and make AR a real production and control tool integrated into your processes.

Discover the 5 reasons why Diota is the augmented reality solution you need.

What are the differences between virtual reality and augmented reality?

Start the implementation of
augmented reality in your factory!
Want to learn more about how you can
integrate AR into your plant and improve your industrial operations?

[Guide] 4.0 Project: ask yourself the right questions before you start!