Founder and member of the board of directors of HQSoftware.
The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly driven the adoption of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies, as companies have engaged in remote work.
Overall, global spending on headphones, software and RA and VR services, including consumer purchases, increased in 2020 to $ 12 billion, 50% more than in 2019.
In 2020, 32% of consumers used RA to buy. The augmented reality and virtual reality market for the retail industry is only expected to reach $ 2,094.08 million in 2027, representing market growth at a rate of 68.5% in the 2020 period to 2027.
As you can see, AR / VR has come a long way, from a niche technology to a growing trend in a variety of industries. In this article, I will share how the pandemic and technological advances have catapulted the growing demand for AR / VR solutions.
How companies use AR / VR in their work
Prior to the pandemic, many companies were cautiously interested in AR and VR, but only a few were prepared to use the technologies. Some researched how to apply this new technology to their businesses. Others tried to calculate development costs to budget resources for the future.
But over the past year, the situation has evolved rapidly. Today, customers are less hesitant to actively implement AR and VR in education and retail. They also see it as a tool that helps their dispersed teams and remote workers do their job.
Companies are watching the impact of these technologies on the market and believe the trend will continue.
One of the reasons virtual reality has gained popularity is that during blockchains, many companies began to actively use virtual reality collaboration platforms.
Members of a dispersed team can put on headphones and join in a virtual environment. Depending on the purpose of the meeting, this virtual space can be a room or any environment you want. People can sit at a table and listen to the keynote speaker, as they would at any meeting.
Or, for example, if they get together to discuss the design of a car the company plans to produce, everyone can be virtually around the car, spin it, open the doors, and explore its interior in fine detail.
To use this option, participants need the right hardware. A VR headset like Oculus is enough for simple meetings. But sometimes gloves or treadmills are also needed. Most of the time, a virtual avatar repeats the movements of a real person in the virtual space; the avatar can also move in a virtual space while the person is sitting motionless.
Companies also use AR / VR technologies for educational purposes. Its workers can acquire complex technical skills or master a new profession without leaving home. A good example is a simulation from Transfr, a simulation-based hands-on training company called “Welding Basics”. A beginner can study the technical process in a virtual room.
The global blockchain has also generated interest in mobile RA applications that help maintain complex industrial equipment without the help of external experts. All the user has to do is simply point a tablet at the computer and follow the tips on the screen. These tools are already used in several industrial companies.
AR / VR technologies have also become popular among retailers. Retailers see the potential of this technology and make the most of it.
For example, a virtual clothing fitting app could be a great technological extension for a retail business. An app like this creates a 3D model of a person from photos, and then uses that model to fit virtual clothes. Many retailers have developed similar apps that customers can use to try on clothes virtually before buying them, enhancing the customer experience.
Other reasons to increase the popularity of AR / VR
The blockade, of course, has led to increased demand for AR / VR products, but there are other factors, including a major leap in the development of complementary technologies.
Four years ago, our company began developing an RA platform for marketing and creative professionals to enable the launch of marker-based and unmarked interactive campaigns. Users, who do not need to have advanced technical knowledge, can design, configure, and launch their own complex RA experiences.
And it’s not just this project that shows how technology has come a long way. Powerful frameworks have emerged, such as ARKit and ARCore, and the processing power of computers and Internet connectivity have increased at an unprecedented rate.
If we compare the current platform with that of four years ago, we see a big difference. RA’s current experiences are richer and more realistic. Another thing that drives the development of AR / VR is that both mobile devices have achieved greater hardware power than ever before and the network infrastructure offers unprecedented connectivity. This allows the implementation of more complex projects.
Other factors affecting RA / VR adoption are the general growth of knowledge and experience. But developers and companies building customer-oriented AR / VR applications have gained experience in both overcoming technical challenges and understanding business cases.
As a result, the technologies that were mostly experimental toys two years ago combine with our lives with ease. Augmented reality is no longer the future. It has become a mature and useful tool for both business and entertainment. In addition, VR headsets are becoming cheaper and more popular in the B2C market, which also increases the demand for technologies.
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