2025 - The year in which both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are estimated to be indispensable in the business world. A very near future, but the path both upcoming technologies will take in the next few years isn’t determined yet and can possibly turn out completely different and more advanced than how we’re picturing it right this moment.
However, one thing is undeniable: both technologies will have a great impact in a wide variety of industries and will potentially change the way enterprises do business, increase productivity internally and reduce overall expenses. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the total revenues in the augmented and virtual reality market are predicted to reach over 162 billion dollars by 2020. An immense rapid growth if you take into account that the revenues in 2016 circulate around 5 billion dollars.
Now, before getting into the business advantages, it might be important to have a look at the differences in approach and perspective both technologies offer – since the similarity in name often gets both technologies confused.
Virtual reality: somewhere elsewhere
Virtual reality detaches people completely from their current and real environment and puts them in a whole new ‘digital’ environment through technology. This technology, which is software-generated, recreates a certain situation or environment in such manner that one can feel like it’s their actual reality. If prepared properly, such simulation can trigger the same – or even more intense – emotions or involvement as the real world can.
Now, even though virtual reality is currently rising, it has existed for a long time. But it’s in times like these, in which technology becomes more advanced and hardware more affordable, that virtual reality can actually take a leap and decide to lead a life on its own.
Augmented reality: best of both worlds
Augmented reality is the technology that takes reality and adds a new digital layer to it. It blends out the line between the real and the digital world and gives people the possibility to be more intensely and vividly involved.
Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality doesn’t block out the physical real world, it rather embraces reality and adds 3D special effects and features to it that come from the digital side. This magnifies the experience of the user, by enhancing human senses like sight, hearing, feeling and smelling.
So, what’s in it for your business?
VR and AR will definitely become important – if not necessary – tools for many types of industries that want to take their business to the next level. More and more future-oriented enterprises are looking for new and efficient ways to innovate and make their products and services outshine the competitors. Being an early adopter of upcoming technology can surely facilitate this process.
A few of the many industry sectors that are taking advantage of these technologies and exploring all options are the transport, manufacturing and healthcare industry.
In a highly innovating and competitive environment like the manufacturing industry, the journey of improving current products and creating new ones never gets put on hold. All different steps and stages of product development have their own importance and added value in the process towards delivering a qualitative and exceptional product.
By integrating augmented reality and virtual reality, several stages of the product development can be boosted, simplified and supported. Product prototyping will soon be completely digitalised by setting up a mind-altering environment in 3D where prototypes get experienced in a digital manner. This will open a whole new path for manufacturing enterprises by making it able to save a lot of time and reduce plenty of costs.
At PegusApps, we have developed Scan3D, an app that helps bringing products to life through augmented reality. It can for instance be used in magazines, where people can scan a page, and see an interactive 3D model. By moving the tablet, you can look around the 3D model, just like it is actually there. This method can convincingly improve the overall experience and affect the decision process positively.
Scan3D used to showcase future developments in a city
AR within the transport industry: maps that come to life
Without a doubt, augmented reality will inevitably get integrated in today’s transport modalities. Take for example the current GPS-system in cars. Using a GPS while driving requires an increased concentration level and good multi-tasking skills, something which is not always a given and which can affect a person’s driving behavior in a negative way.
The solution? Smart glasses.
Smart glasses, connected to augmented reality technology, could help make the road safer, something which on its terms improves the reputation of enterprises in the automobile sector. The sensors that are in the smart glasses allow the person behind the wheel to keep track of the route he or she wants to take without having to look elsewhere but in front of them.
AR and VR in healthcare
Just like the internet of things (IoT), augmented reality and virtual reality are also finding their way into the healthcare industry. Augmented reality, for example, can and will be used to improve the way surgeries are performed nowadays. It’s not an unknown fact that precision is one of the most important things during a surgery and that it can determine the success or failure of an intervention. To help surgeons be more precise, 3D visualisations can be used to show organs from multiple angles in real-time.
Virtual reality, on the other hand, can bring benefits to patient that are dealing with phobias like fear of flying by putting them in a virtual environment where they face their fears and try to conquer them.
Are you interested to find out what these technologies can mean to your business? Let us know, we’re happy to help you explore your opportunities.