Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are not just buzzwords or overhyped concepts anymore. We live in a world with numerous AR/VR applications which have been built to enrich our experiences by introducing elements of the virtual world into the real world by relying on technology. They have evolved rapidly over the past few years and continues to develop at an unprecedented pace.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), AR and Virtual Reality products and services are expected to have a five-year compound annual growth rate of 98.8% during the period 2017-2021. Let’s explore the AR/VR domain peripherally.
What is Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality?
Augmented Reality (AR) creates an enhanced version of the real environment by augmenting graphics, sounds, touch, and effects for better user experience. It adds to the existing reality and does not replace it. Virtual Reality refers to computer-generated environments with which the user can interact. It is a general term for creating a multisensory technology-enabled experience that allows users to interact with a simulated environment.
Although both of these technologies have not been recently invented. However, the commercial usefulness and software applications of these technologies have been explored in the last few years. Riding on this new wave, many AR/VR companies have launched innovative products and are expecting remarkable growth in the approaching years.
An AR/VR World
Major technology companies have already jumped on to the AR/VR bandwagon to explore and capitalize on this evolving technology. The launch of Apple’s ARKit2, Google’s ARCore, Facebook’s AR Studio, Amazon’s ARView, etc. hints at a promising future for AR/VR in the coming years.
The implementation and applications of AR/VR technology are extensive and infinite. From assisting medical professionals to perform complicated surgeries to enhance the user experience in a text message, an AR/VR developer has unlimited choices for experimentation.
The Pokemon Go mobile game, which hit the market in 2016 and became an instant hit, IKEA’s AR-based app which enriched customer experience, Volkswagen’s AR-based system for workforce assistance, Google Sky Map, and the MakeupGenius app offering a new virtual makeup experience, AccuVein for easier intravenous insertion, etc. are just a few random examples of AR/VR projects put into action.
The Roadblocks Ahead
It is true – what we have seen in sci-fi movies a few decades ago have become a scientifically supported reality in our lives. Yet, AR/VR technology is in its infancy and remains unsettled. It requires plenty of work and research to create a proper AR/VR ecosystem. It will take more time for the mass adoption of AR/VR applications. It is still a costly affair and a labor-intensive process to develop AR/VR devices. Besides privacy concerns, wearable devices have a long road to go in terms of tracking accuracy, user interface, the shape of the hardware, price, etc.
The power of AR/VR technology is undeniable and expansive. It has marked its presence in various industries such as entertainment, healthcare, construction, telecommunication, manufacturing, retail shopping, and energy, to name a few domains of application. Adding AR/VR projects into the growth strategy has become essential for organizations across the world now. It is a technology with tremendous growth opportunities and its biggest benefits are yet to be explored.