In this edition of ACORD Tech Talk, host Johnell Johnson and her guests, Hartnett Advisors President Bill Hartnett, discuss how augmented reality and 3D printing are impacting the insurance industry.

Mr. Hartnett sees virtual reality and augmented reality as very similar in nature.  Google Glass, for instance, enables user to have information presented in front of their eyes, no matter where you are or what you were doing.   This technology could change “the way people interact with their machines in the physical world.”

Facebook has acquired Oculus Rift, well-known virtual reality company that developed a headset worn on your face used mostly for gaming.  Oculus Rift glasses have been known to cause motion sickness in some users.

Microsoft has introduced the “HoloLens.”  According to Mr. Hartnett, the HoloLens is a “holographic generator…a pair of glasses that looks like a cross between the Oculus Rift and Google Glass.”  The HoloLens does not have the ability to record, like Google Glass, but it does put information or items in your field of vision. Users interact with their computer by using their eyes.

Mr. Hartnett believes initial applications for Google Glass, Oculus Rift or HoloLens, will be used by certain professions, such as surgeons who can use it for difficult surgeries, or designers who can use the technology to build a model with their hands and then send it to a 3D printer.  3D printers represent another technology being used in many different ways, from creating simple objects to entire buildings with plumbing and wiring embedded into the structure.

Within the insurance industry, augmented reality may initially be used by claims adjusters or engineers when they are “in the field” to call up information on the insured, their property, and their exposures.  Mr. Hartnett believes these devices “are a way to bring information to the practitioner on site…” The more innovative insurance companies will be the first to use them.

For more on the latest information on technology impacting the insurance industry, visit the On Demand Library.  And for more on the technologies shaping the insurance industry, visit the ACORD website.

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