Technology is at its apex and present in every aspect of life. In the past few years, many technological advancements and the expansion of proficient hardware and software systems have made it possible for millennials to experience different realities and forms. Enter Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
We all are familiar with the famous game Pokémon GO, aren’t we? It is a perfect example of AR technology. Espousing the same technology, Facebook and Snapchat have also introduced augmented reality experiences in the form of filters. In short, AR is an augmented version of the natural world using digital visuals.
On the other hand, digital devices with 360-degree cameras, headsets, 3D mouses, sensors, etc., made it possible to experience fantastic virtual reality situations. Basically, VR disconnects you from the real world and connects to the distinct levels of the virtual world.
Usually, VR and AR experiences can be achieved using hardware devices, such as smartphones, tablets, wearables, and consoles. Also, due to their growth potential, various investors have shown interest in AR/VR technology, even amid COVID-19. Thanks to this interest, reports anticipate that the industry will surpass $125 Billion by 2024.
In this blog, we will discuss various domains in which AR and VR applications are actively being used and how these innovations will impact industries and human lives.
So, What Precisely Virtual and Augmented Realities Are?
Virtual reality is a computer-originated environment of an alternate world or reality, mainly used in video games and three-dimensional movies to create enhanced simulations. The technology shuts down the real world and ‘immerse’ the viewer into another environment using sensory equipment like headsets and gloves. Besides games and 3D movies, VR has a long journey in the education, training, and science fields.
Augmented reality is the cousin of virtual reality and makes no pretence of creating a virtual environment. It simply fuses the real world with computer-generated virtual elements. These digital elements are then shown on the actual surfaces in reality within the viewers’ field of vision. (Example: Pokémon GO). It doesn’t use special devices like Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, or HTC Vive but can be accessed through smartphone screens.
In this blog, we will discuss various domains in which AR and VR applications are actively being used and how these innovations will impact industries and human lives:
Travel & Tourism
When national lockdowns forced us all to stay at our homes during a global pandemic, and the only quick trip was to a grocery store, neighbourhood walk, or hospital, AR/VR came to the limelight. This technology enables people around the globe to experience new cities, beaches, islands, and restaurants from the comfort of their homes.
Remarkable places like Louvre Museum, Bryce Canyon in the U.S., and Giant’s Causeway in Ireland have organized mesmerizing virtual tours. Also, a massive hike is observed in the sale of Virtual Reality Devices that takes viewers to various parts of the earth where one can only assume to visit.
However, as people are returning back to the physical tours due to lockdown relaxations, AR/VR experiences will still remain in the picture. They are more convenient, affordable, and sustainable than traditional travel.
E-Commerce & Shopping
VR technology has boosted the retail and eCommerce businesses a lot. As customer satisfaction is a priority, VR uses body scanning technology that allows consumers to try clothes virtually. Moreover, cosmetic retailers utilize this invention to enable users to try on makeup virtually.
Besides, augmented reality can help owners to have a 360-degree view of their warehouses, inventories, customer engagement, three-dimensional product reviews, advertising campaigns, and much more.
Medicine & Healthcare
AR/VR technology has already proven to be a boon to the healthcare industry. Various life-saving tools and techniques are launched within medical education. Many VR devices for surgical planning and training will come to the limelight in the near future to aid doctors and surgeons to have adequate results.
Furthermore, AR/VR devices have allowed healthcare providers to offer personalized care to patients throughout the coronavirus pandemic consistently.
Architecture & Real estate
Have you ever virtually checked out your next new home or office? AR/VR technology has made it possible. It saves not only time but also cuts short the hassle of going through every property physically.
Moreover, VR enhances the way architects design and experiment with their work and make the most out of it. You can even visit the construction site through a virtual 3D model on your smartphone via an AR application.
Education & Learning
Educational institutes are in the constant race of providing the best learning experience to their students. They have spent tons of dollars to make their applications more interactive by leveraging AR/VR technologies to launch virtual tours for students.
The technology offers a safe yet competitive training environment that helps youngsters explore things and places. It enables teachers to explain concepts in real-time and widely increases student engagement.
Moreover, learning any foreign language has become a piece of cake through numerous VR applications. It strengthens language learning aptitudes.
With virtual reality, machine engineers can now shortlist automobile designs quickly, saving them costs of manufacturing the parts and building a prototype. Moreover, it will help the mechanics to repair cars in less time and with minimum errors.
For instance, Audi has built an AR app that allows users to view cars from all angles. You can even create a customized test track to see how the engine functions.
Human Resources & Recruitment
As ‘value fit’ has become imperative to industries of all types, VR/AR technology has added ease to the overall hiring process. It offers a brand new avenue for employers to meet potential applicants and review their skills in an immersive environment.
Recruiters use VR apps and access candidates through solving puzzles in a virtual environment to analyze their skillsets. Upon hiring, the application allows the new employees to interact with their co-workers and holds meetings remotely whenever required.
This technology also benefits the applicants. They can virtually take the office tour and self-assess whether they want to work there or not.
Experience at Home
Are you buying furniture for your new home but don’t know where each piece will fit? AR can help you! With augmented reality, you can buy pieces of furniture and try them at the desired location in your home.
Shop for home décor items and confirm if it suits the home decoration theme or not. This technology also allows shoppers to have a 360-degree view of items before buying them.
As for VR, it gives an incredible experience of binge-watching, participating in sports virtually, playing games in an immersed environment, virtual travelling across the globe, and many more exciting things.
Experience at Workstation
AR/VR plays an impeccable role in the workplace and allows employees to manage complex tasks with ease, taking care of the deadlines.
Let’s understand this with an instance: Suppose you are an electrician who takes care of the electrical components and wiring. If there occurs a problem in the power control and you are being called to handle it, an AR application will help you find the root cause of the fault.
Incorporating VR and AR in a manufacturing firm can help identify errors and root causes of a problem remotely, reducing the guesswork involved in manual fault-finding. These technologies also help streamline the entire manufacturing process, leading to quality results at lower prices. They decrease the chances of human errors, boost training efficacy, and save a lot of time.
Virtual reality can literally take us to places we have never been. NASA reveals several potentials of VR in space, ranging from controlling robots remotely to repair procedures.
In one project, known as Sidekick, astronaut S. Kelly utilized Microsoft’s HoloLenz headset to carry out ISS training. Following this, a crew member could stream Kelly’s field of vision through another headset and draw visuals in 3D on the HoloLenz display.
Besides, NASA researchers have Reported more precise results while determining distances between two entities and three times more accurate at determining angles between particular Martian locations.
Military & Defence – Army, Air Force, and Navy
Augmented and virtual reality applications are widely used in various military branches to build massive simulation platforms. This renders an immersive way to train troops and optimize operations.
VR provides soldiers with an environment of being a battle-like environment under complete safety. It includes computer-generated training by providing personnel with an opportunity to experience real armour, vehicles, and machines in a controlled environment.
Some uses are as follows:
- Medical Training (general)
- Firearm Training (army)
- Sniper Training (army)
- Electronic Warfare Training (army)
- Vehicle Repair & Maintenance (army)
- Flight Simulation (air force)
- Maintenance & Overhaul Training (air force)
- Virtual Submarine Simulator (navy)
- Virtual Ship Bridge (navy)
It goes without saying, virtual reality and augmented reality are trending technologies that are not going anywhere, having a bright future in almost every field. It has tremendously revolutionized the digital era, rendering powerful and unstoppable advancements that offer ease and convenience with unforeseeable benefits to all users.
As these innovations have numerous benefits, various organizations like healthcare, real estate, automotive, eCommerce & shopping, etc., are incorporating AR/VR into their businesses to effectively engage with their core consumers.
AR/VR – Frequently asked Questions
Mixed reality blends both real and digital objects in a hybrid platform to interact with real and virtual things through eyewear or handset. Mixed reality devices are distinct from AR and VR devices and let the user stay intact to the real world – the actual reality merges with virtual reality. Unlike AR or VR, this technology enables you physically interact with the simulation where you can independently use your body and remote controllers to engage with the environment.
The answer is no! People generally confuse anything ‘virtual’ with Virtual Reality (VR) because virtual reality always consists of a device to engage users in an immersive environment. In contrast, virtual web applications are the optimized applications that run in a virtual environment. In short, a virtual web application runs on a computer without even installing it.
Definitely YES! Incorporating VR/AR in your SMBs helps to achieve numerous goals. You can deliver a unique customer experience irrespective of the industry. Studies show that customers are ready to pay more if they find AR/VR as a part of their shopping experience.