The Future Of Virtual And Augmented Reality In Business, What if you could do a virtual tour of a hotel room before deciding to stay there or if you could check out the placement of your furniture without having to move it that sounds convenient doesn’t it? well, you can do a lot of these things already and that’s all thanks to virtual and augmented reality technologies. These technologies have become more affordable and widespread over the years.
More companies are beginning to adopt AR and VR for some fascinating projects. Today, we’d like to explore some of the exciting developments in this field and consider where they might be headed in the future.
What is Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
While a lot of you are probably familiar with both AR and VR. it’s good practice to just clear it up at the start virtual reality uses computer technology to create a simulated environment and then places a user inside this virtual world. So instead of navigating the web or playing a game through screens for example you’re now right inside the digital world.
VR mixes several types of sensory inputs to create a more immersive experience such as touch vision hearing and in some cases even smell. Well, the tech has already produced some exciting results it’s still growing. The more the technology evolves the more sophisticated VR will become by contrast augmented reality uses technology to enhance the real physical world.
Virtual Reality vs Augmented reality
It does this by introducing digital visual elements sounds and other types of stimuli through tech. It uses sensors math and camera data to extrapolate the position of a virtual object in the real world. AR (Augmented Reality) allows you to see and hear things in the real world that you otherwise couldn’t through phones for example one common application nowadays is retailers letting people see how products would look in their homes.
It’s kind of like seeing holograms but only through a camera one of the most famous examples of AR used in gaming is the massively popular Pokemon Go. Remember the launch of that everyone was going crazy trying to catch critters traveling all over their cities. It added an entirely new dimension of interaction to an already established property.
So where one takes you into a virtual world with entirely fabricated environments the other one enhances your physical space with digital information or to simplify it. One puts real people into virtual spaces and the other one puts digital things into real spaces okay now. Let’s take a look at how both are being used now and their potential future uses across many different industries.
VR Virtual Reality in Business
VR in the military both the UK and the US have adopted VR for training simulations because it allows them to simulate a wide range of scenarios that they would normally have trouble replicating. they use it for fight simulations battles and even medic training among other things. It’s being used to train military personnel in softer skills too.
Like communicating with civilians in other countries or the international military. A more modern and novel approach to VR in the military is its use to treat PTSD through what is known as virtual reality exposure therapy or VRET. The wide range of options that VR provides the military and its comparatively lower cost to real training situations have made its adoption very effective.
VR in sports
Just like VR is being used to train soldiers it’s transforming the sports industry as well. There’s the obvious case of being able to see the sporting event from the comfort of your home as if you were in a stadium. Some companies though like First Vision have taken it a step further and allowed people to see games from the perspective of sports players.
Now that’s unique if maybe a little confusing but there’s more to do in the sports space or at least that’s the bet that VR startup Striver Labs is making. using firms to study and examine the techniques and strategies of a team is an old trick but what about visualizing these games as if you were there these unique perspectives are what Striver is trying to create through VR training videos for sports players.
VR for Mental Health
we mentioned earlier how VR was being used to treat PTSD for members of the military. well, a similar approach can be taken for other types of mental health conditions and trauma. VR can provide patients with a safe space for them to process and confront their anxieties and phobias. The University of Oxford has done a lot of research in this field through their Oxford virtual reality for mental health project.
VR for Medical training
Training is one of the most popular VR implementations from sports to the military. But especially in the medical field even for a student training for surgeries and similar high-stakes procedures can be nerve-racking. but using VR to provide a more lifelike situation free of consequences will allow them to practice their skills more effectively.
VR in Education
With so many training applications it makes perfect sense that VR would be a great tool for education in general. It’s an incredible space to safely practice social skills for children especially those with developmental disabilities and other types of social needs. The company Florio has specialized in these types of social interactions for children. building virtual reality scenarios that allow them to practice building social connections.
Now we’ve discussed quite a few examples of virtual reality at this point. So, let’s exit the virtual space and take the digital with us to the real world for a glimpse into the applications of AR (Augmented Reality) instead.
Augmented Reality in Business
AR in retail and shopping the most popular and perhaps one of the most obvious uses for AR is in the retail and shopping industry. One of the main reasons why products are returned is because they’re not what the customer expected. You’ve probably been there yourself right you buy some clothes but they don’t fit quite right or you buy some furniture that’s just too big for the space you want to put it in.
Well with AR you can visualize how clothes would fit you before buying them or how much space the furniture would take up in a room. If you’re interested in these types of uses check out Augment they offer a SAS platform for AR applications. Why build your own from scratch when you can use theirs? This can also be applied to interior design and architecture industries
AR for Navigation
This has become increasingly more popular over time. You probably already use mapping applications like Google Maps or Waze to navigate around the city. But what about making your way through a large building there are some maze-like hospitals and businesses out there that AR can help you with. Through AR you can create indoor maps that people can interact with like those of games. You can also create more effective outdoor navigation tools providing you with routes that show you visually where and how to get to your destination.
Augmented Reality in Healthcare
When combined with artificial intelligence, AR can revolutionize the healthcare industry by providing hands-free diagnostic tools. AR is already being tested for surgeries through devices like Microsoft Holo lens to allow surgeons to see critical data about the patient’s condition in real-time. But the benefit of this is not only for doctors, nurses can use AR technology to find veins more easily which is something that med tech startup Accuvene has been working on.
This can make the process of drawing blood much more efficient and we assume everyone can get on board with that nobody likes being pinched with a needle multiple times.
AR For Customer Support
Have you ever contacted tech support and struggled to follow their instructions? AR can fix that mobidev has developed an AR app that allows its technicians to provide live instructions based on 3d on-screen directions eliminating the guesswork from the process neat.
There’s a lot of money in AR and VR according to a report from Grand View Research the market of augmented reality was valued at 17.67 billion dollars back in 2020 and it’s projected to reach 88.4 billion by 2026. it’s also expected to have an annual compound growth rate of 31.5 percent. On the virtual reality site,, a report from MarketWatch states that the industry is expected to reach 109.61 billion dollars by 2026 with a cagr of 38.8.
Both technologies are growing insanely fast as is their value but what if we were to combine them both? Well enter mixed reality or MR where AR and VR meet mixed reality, what do you get when you mix the virtual world with the physical space well you get mixed reality, where AR keeps you in the real world and shows you digital elements and VR throws you into a purely virtual world.
MR can put you inside of a virtual space that takes information from the real world around you. In MR you can interact with your real-world surroundings while inside the virtual world through a combination of 3d digitalization and cameras. You might think that making the world around you virtual and letting you interact with it isn’t as amusing as creating entire new worlds in VR.
But it has a lot of practical applications some of which are:
Our movie experience hasn’t evolved that much with the times. sure we’ve had 3d and 4d movies but the movie theater itself hasn’t changed that dramatically. Enter in mixed reality by moving virtual reality and augmented reality into a movie theater, you could create more immersive movie projects that truly make you feel like you’re inside the film. Not only that you could have trailer launch events where the actors themselves participate through MR that would definitely spice things up.
MR in Education
You probably noticed a bit of a trend about education and training throughout this post and that’s because all of these technologies allow us to break the barriers that we currently have in the education system. Google created an app called take a virtual field trip that allows teachers and schools to create special lessons and tours for students. That allows them to engage with the material much more naturally and now on to something a little less fun
MR in Business
Meetings with our increasingly remote focused work environment meetings on zoom and other communication apps are more common than ever. But with MR you could have a virtual meeting room that imitates a normal office and where people interact both physically and virtually. Microsoft is already working on this idea through their holoportation project. Through their hololens users can participate in remote meetings through the use of a 3d motion capture system however this won’t make the meeting any less boring.
MR in Surgeries
We’ve mentioned using VR and AR for surgery training and during actual surgeries already. So clearly the Next step would be to combine them right. By introducing the doctor in a VR space and providing them with AR feedback they could have an even more effective operation process. Doctors could see CT and MRI scans of the patient in 3d right on the operation table if they need to.
So to wrap all of this up on MR the market was valued at 376.1 million dollars back in 2020 and it’s expected to hit 3.9 trillion by 2026 at a CAGR of 41.8. Both a virtual reality and augmented reality offer a lot of opportunities for businesses to expand the way they engage with customers and the value propositions of their products.
Then there’s mixed reality bringing it all together and boosting its potential even more. With the way technology is evolving and businesses are adapting it’s hard to say where we’ll end up. but what we can say is will be very interesting to see.
Here it is for today an interesting tidbit about VR usage from a company american express partnered with tennis star Maria Sharapova during the 2015 u.s open to offer attendees of the event the ability to play against her in a virtual tennis match with a combination of live-action and computer-generated imagery. What would be kind of interesting to know is did anyone win against her probably not.