Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) are emerging technologies that redefine how we interact with the world. Augmented Reality (AR) refers to the overlay of real-time computer-generated data on the existing environment, while with Virtual Reality (VR) the user is placed inside a computer-generated environment by using the headset. Although these technologies are at a nascent stage and need to mature before becoming an intense computing platform, these technology advances have the potential to become a key component of the future digital enterprise.
According to IDC, total spending on AR and VR products and services is expected to soar from $11.4 billion in 2017 to nearly $215 billion 2021. Goldman Sachs also predicts in 2025, the user of AR and VR in several industry sectors will increase, such as 32 million users in retail industry and 15 million users in education industry. Therefore, businesses players need to see the potential of AR and VR across variety of industries to engage customers.
AR and VR are widely known for entertainment needs, especially in gaming industry. However, now their utilization has expanded to a number of industries due to its ability to provide immersive experience for the customers. As industries start to figure out how to implement these technologies, there are several industries which already integrate VR and AR technologies and offer customers more opportunities to explore products and services.
In retail industry, AR and VR technologies have assisted them to face market challenges and keep them competitive by giving the customers immersive experience. Startup like Bold Metrics deploy AR and VR technologies to create “virtual dressing room”, allowing customer to virtually try on clothes in a 3D environment so customer can “try” the clothes before they buy. Meanwhile, in education industry, Startup firm Unimersiv has launched a virtual reality education app of their own. Students can virtually travel to Stonehenge, the International Space Station, freely look around the environments, or learn about red blood cells by traveling inside the human body using AR and VR.
In travel industry, a global lodging company, Marriott, provides a VR head-mounted display which is delivered to the guests to their room by request, called VRoom Service. The hotel created a VR experience that let users ‘teleport’, such as to a Hawaiian beach, Andes Mountains or an ice cream shop in Beijing. Google’s augmented reality app called Wordlens is also very useful for international business travelers to identify foreign text and automatically translate it.
The numbers of AR and VR demand are increasing because organizations are getting aware of the significant benefits of these technologies. Leverage the advancement of these technologies to improve productivity and gain better customer engagement in the most innovative way.