Evaluation of a pilot project assessing whether HoloLens Mixed Reality headsets, improve the workplace skills and independence of people with cognitive disabilities

Evaluation of a pilot project assessing whether HoloLens Mixed Reality headsets improve the workplace skills and independence of people with cognitive disabilities

Ability Works Australia Ltd

Ability Works is seeking to empower employees with cognitive disabilities in the workplace by improving their skills, independence and sense of achievement. To realise this, a Microsoft HoloLens headset using Mixed Reality as a medium is being programmed to pilot test whether this is achievable in a real world manufacturing workplace, on one wire bending machine.

Recommendations

Although in its early stages yet, the introduction of mixed reality into the workplace at Ability Works appears to have been a success. One of the earlier concerns was how the employees would accept the introduction of the new technology. These initial concerns appear to be unfounded as the employees have embraced the new technology, and early results in terms of productivity appear to suggest an upward trend in production of bent wires:

The following recommendations are suggested:

  • That mixed reality be made part of the organisation’s future. That more employees, with differing abilities are trained to use the headsets.
  • That further adaptions are made to the headsets so that they adapt to the individual on the job, and the possibility of employing people with autism to program the headsets be considered
  • Further exploration be undertaken to adapting the headsets to other production lines in Ability Works
  • That work with the developers be continued and new technologies are incorporated into the mixed reality.
  • To encourage a co-design approach to new technology, to increase suitability for all, but also increase participant ‘buy-in’ to it.

Access the final report here.