AR (Augmented Reality) is the altering of the real world through special forms of the graphic. VR (Virtual Reality) is a complete immersion into an entirely different world that you may often mistake for reality. The combination of both of these technologies is often termed as MR (Mixed Reality). They are huge advancements from traditional software which could only be manipulated in a comparatively two-dimensional plane. According to the International Data Corporation revenue for AR and VR is determined to increase exponentially, from £4.2 billion in 2016 to £130 billion to 2020!
There have already been a lot of businesses that have begun utilizing Augmented or virtual reality in order to boost their earnings. An example of a business that has adopted VR technology is Flixbus. Flixbus is a transportation business that provides VR content to their passengers on long routes to provide a more comforting experience and feedback from customer shows a mostly positive response. Perhaps the earliest and widespread use of VR and AR was in video games, with consoles such as the PlayStation 4 using PlayStation VR and games like Pokémon Go incorporating AR technology.
As such, VR and AR games can be a way for employees to have fun and relieve their stress at the office, leading to a happier and resultantly more productive workforce. As suggested by their names, these two technologies are used to create or provide alternate realities that can either create scenarios that would otherwise be considered impossible to envision or experience. Such is the case for the industries in sectors such as fashion and furniture, where customers can try on different styles or decorate their rooms without the pressure and hassle of actually making a permanent decision.
AR and VR, through the stellar work of the leading VR software companies, can also be used to provide virtual tours of a company or may be used for information centres and hence provide customers with a more enjoyable and informative experience. Another scenario where this technology could be utilized is in training employees. If implemented correctly, employers could provide their employees with less costly and more interactive training.
On the other hand, VR and AR have also been assimilated in more socially beneficial applications such as medical technology and 3D printing. VR is being used to help children with learning disabilities and high functioning Autism by helping them develop social skills that will allow them to live a more normal life. VR and AR are being used as a primary method to cure mental diseases such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), anxiety and depression. There have also been many advancements in medical technology using AR and VR. These technologies can allow patients and doctors to view organs in a 3D view, allowing the latter to detect problems quicker and more accurately.
It also allows for more successful surgeries and less post-surgical pain. Virtual surgery can also be used to provide medical students with a more hands-on and risk-free learning experience. VR is now also being used in designing and editing CAD (Computer Aided Design) models which can later be 3D printed. This has brought about a great revolution in the fields of engineering and science. There are countless ways we can utilize AR and VR technologies most of which are yet unexplored. The potential is infinite and businesses that adopt these technologies are definitely going to benefit.