Are you beginning to think about how Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) might benefit your business? These new technologies are coming fast down the line and it’s been predicted that their use will grow significantly over the next three or four years.
Two years ago, in 2016, the VR & AR business was worth approximately $10 billion a year. It’s expected that by around 2023, the industry could be generating almost $300 billion in revenue – that’s quite a growth trajectory!
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are already beginning to alter the way people interact with AV technology in the workplace and in collaborative setups.
Until recently, the gaming industry has been the sector to utilise this tech the most and understandably so. It’s an obvious industry for VR and AR to pair into nicely. However, other industries including medical, education, real estate and design are all perfectly positioned to take advantage of these next generation technologies. VR and AR have certainly changed from being a novelty toy to being a very powerful tool.
The possibilities are pretty much endless and we are really only at the very tip of the iceberg….. Collaboration across teams will become far easier, for example colleges and medical facilities will be able to provide far more detailed training at a fraction of the cost so that students and staff can complete complex tasks readily. Also sales teams will soon have the ability to walk their clients through 3D renderings of office spaces, houses, renovations – in fact through almost whatever large-scale customisable product a person might want to order. It’s exciting times!
Let’s take a look at some of those industries in a little more detail…..
AR & VR in Medical
In the medical and healthcare industries, VR companies have created extremely useful applications for everything from pain management to socialisation.
With virtual reality, surgeons and practitioners can walk virtually through a patient’s MRI scan, getting a comprehensive, detailed picture of their patients conditions and what they might be suffering from.
When VR technology is introduced to GP offices, hospitals and clinics – patients will be able to get a better understanding of their own diagnosis and treatment in a visual manner which is more tangible for many people.
The medical world could be revolutionised.
AR & VR in Education
Training and simulations are two areas where VR and AR have already proven to be a big asset.
New tools such as Tilt Brush by Google, gives students the power to explore their own creativity from a whole new perspective.
Scalability is another important benefit to consider with AR & VR. Equipment is often extremely expensive to buy and maintain, and educational budgets are typically stretched. In comparison, VR and AR devices are relatively cheap and in theory can have the impact of a fully functioning state of the art science lab – without a massive outlay.
AR & VR in Design
Designers and architects will be able to walk their clients through a virtual tour of the building, getting feedback so that they can implement changes virtually and then re-visit the outcome with the client. With VR and AR clients can see real dimensions in a virtual world, so changes in location or size can be made before mistakes are made in the real world.
This will mean big cost savings at the construction/development stage and significantly reduce the frustrations of getting something that looks right on a design blueprint but feels all wrong once built.
Visualisation allows people to work collaboratively on projects. Team members can pool resources, make changes instantly and see how the changes impact the project.
AR & VR in Property
When it comes to the property market, VR will make a big change to how developers and estate agents work. High tech pieces of kit like Microsoft’s HoloLens put buyers right in their future surroundings. Elements can be customised, and the clients can move freely between various virtual locations to get a real feel for what they would be like in reality.
Interior designers and home improvement professionals will be able to showcase their previous work to potential clients and create 3D models of planned work to ensure their clients are happy before the work commences.
The Future of Marketing
Augmented reality is being recognised as a very creative and innovative way for business to connect with their customers. You can rest assured the big advertising companies have begun thinking up amazing new ways to take advantage or AR and VR.
The exciting thing about AR is that it changes the playing field. Traditionally communication has been in 2D – with AR and VR companies can suddenly create in 3D. Ads will not only be in front of consumers but surround them.
Scary or exciting?? We can’t quite make our minds up!
What About Retail?
We have already seen retailers using AR to their benefit. Take IKEA’s ‘Try Before You Buy’ AR App for example. Users can place virtual products (beds, chairs, tables etc) in their home using the app to see how they would look in reality if they decided to make a purchase.
Using VR technology, e-commerce businesses will be able to build ‘virtual stores’ so that consumers can pop their headsets on at home and browse, discover and pay for products without ever visiting a physical store.
Watch this space – AR and VR are coming soon to a place near you; if not there already!