Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have witnessed accelerated growth, especially in the last couple of years. Most of it is due to the “new normal” ways becoming the norm. This is especially true with respect to communicating with others during the pandemic. Virtual, Augmented, Mixed, and Extended Realities are gradually intruding into our imagination. Before diving into the trends of VR and AR, let’s understand what’s what.
Virtual Reality involves wearing a headset to enter the three dimensional digital world which is completely immersive. Augmented Reality involves using glasses or phones to superimpose an image onto the real world. If we use a combination of both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, then it is called Mixed Reality (MR). These futuristic technologies together are called Extended Reality (XR). Read on to discover the trends which made news in the AR/VR industry in 2022 from below.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are going to be an integral part of the digitization of our lives. The technology can enhance our experience in the virtual world and create more satisfied customers. IKEA PLACE is an example of an application that uses AR. IKEA’s application allows users to measure the room dimension and overlay furniture in the room space. This gives the customer an idea of how the furniture will look in the room. AR reduces the return of the products. This is because the customer gets real-time details of the product along with the placement options in the room.
Many e-commerce retail giants and store departments have adapted VR and AR technology to allow customers to check in real what they are buying. This is more popular in eyewear, makeup, accessories, clothing, and shoe wear now. Augmented reality mirrors allow customers to try on products virtually. It not only enhances the probability of the purchase but also elevates the customer experience and comfort. The 3D trial room market is expected to reach the $12 billion mark by 2027. SneakerKit and FittingBox are a couple of examples of 3D trial AR applications that allow virtual 3D trail of shoes and spectacles respectively.
This sector was badly hit when Covid-19 surfaced. Educational institutes were shut down to avoid the spread of the virus. This became an opportunity for the current technology to evolve. The same was put into practice to promote learning in the absence of teachers and schools. Employee training is another area that allows organizations to train their new hires effectively at less cost. Users not only learn the guidelines on how machines or a process works but also learn how to operate or maneuver them and become experts. AR and VR are expected to rise in popularity in the education sector. As technology evolves, we will see more advanced, cost-effective solutions in the education and training sector. ERH and CoSpaces Edu are two popular applications in this sector. CuriScope application uses a t-shirt that allows students to understand human anatomy.
AR and VR-based applications provide a platform to access certain environments that are difficult to access in real life without training. The use of artificial intelligence and AR/VR has revolutionized the healthcare industry. It has allowed the development of advanced diagnostic tools to detect illness and make recommendations. AR technology when combined with Machine Learning helps in early disease detection. This is made possible by capturing the images in real-time and then processing them quickly to display results. Mental health applications and Telesurgery solutions are helping individuals to sustain their psychological balance.
Virtual and augmented reality has given an edge to the real estate industry. Potential buyers can embark on a virtual tour through the property, the house, its interiors, and exteriors. Moreover, it gives a 3D view of the property and the house. 3D design in real estate is getting in vogue gradually. People are investing money in this to ensure that they understand the floor plan and visualize the interiors and exteriors in advance. For example, Vera application helps create accurate 3D visualizations.
People who work remotely, lose one dimension when moving to video conferencing. AR can help in retaining this lost dimension partially. The use of smartphones to guide the users in real-time with on-screen directions is getting mainstreamed. Applications that make it possible allow both sides to connect in real-time with a peer-to-peer connection. Applications for object recognition that provide virtual manuals are effective guides to the users. Team Viewer is an example of a remote assistance tool.
Many e-commerce businesses have increased their investment in the virtual world. The use of AR and VR to entice more customers is trending. There was a gap between online shopping and traditional shopping. AR and VR have closed the gap. It was made possible by inducing the realism and the social aspect of shopping into the applications. With 3D headgear, customers can walk into the store, navigate through products, and take help from virtual support staff. In-store application allows users to walk around the store.
With the development of the ultra-wideband, wi-fi RTT, and bluetooth low energy, indoor navigation has become easy. Cases where this kind of navigation is used are: airports, shopping malls, distribution centers, and large indoor locations. In-store navigation application allows users to walk around the store and navigate to the desired location.
AI-powered AR and VR technology is making the market shift towards the digital virtual world. Metaverse is a virtual world being developed to allow people to work, play, socialize, shop, etc using their virtual avatars. The Sandbox is an example of the virtual metaverse. Here users can, apart from playing, explore as well. We can buy virtual land, participate in live concerts, and watch sports events. A lot is in the making and the metaverse is vouched by many as the internet’s future.
Vehicle safety and ergonomics have been impacted greatly by AI technology. Tesla has shown the world what can be done in the automotive industry with the help of technology. Self-driving features, advanced sensors to detect the impact, heads-up display, care performance stats, etc have been making a profound impact on the automotive sector. From vehicle sales to inspection to generate a 3D model, almost everything can be done through these applications. Reviewing the size, shape, and color of the vehicle can be done by the customers from the comfort of their bedrooms. BMW pioneered the HUD concept showcasing the use of Augmented Reality in automobile manufacturing.
Innovation in AR/VR hardware has improved 3D map creation. The use of infrared lasers or flash-based scanners allows us to scan the environment better and make the virtual experience better than before. Apple iPhone 12 and 13 series have a Lidar sensor. The development of Lidar devices that are affordable is expected to trend in 2022. Hence VR game developers must focus on solutions to build economic Lidar devices.
These new technologies provide a platform to experience the digital world in a highly immersive fashion. For people who work remotely, AR and VR provide greater flexibility. The gaming world experience has become more real and has attracted many VR game developers. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are transforming various industries and bringing tangible benefits to everyone. These technologies will get mainstreamed in the coming years creating more exciting trends to watch out for as we move forward.
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