The Opportunities of Virtual and Augmented Reality
Continuous advancements in technology have allowed for exponential growth in virtual and augmented reality. Showing up in many industries — no longer just in gaming! — it’s clear that this technology is gaining a foothold in our everyday lives. And with its growing popularity, virtual and augmented reality are proving to be an exciting area for job growth.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are related but very different concepts. While VR is used to block out the physical world and replace it with a “virtual” sphere, AR overlays visuals on the user’s actual view of the physical world by adding computer graphics to the user’s device.
With the International Data Corporation forecasting global spending on VR and AR technology to grow from $5.2 billion this year to more than $210 billion CAD annually by the end of the decade, it’s clear that VR and AR are here to stay.[i] Here are just some of the ways that this technology is touching our lives.
Games and Entertainment
VR: Video games continue to be one of the most popular uses of VR. With the ability to place the player directly into the avatar’s body, it’s a more exciting and engaging way to game.
AR: AR found its footing in the gaming industry with Pokémon Go, and continues to grow with a variety of cell phone apps appealing to all demographics. From catching Pokémon to creating meme-worthy dancing hot dog videos on Snapchat, AR has become an extremely popular phone app category.
Education and Training Resources
VR: With the ability to mimic real-life scenarios, VR can simulate the way equipment responds, machinery works and humans react. This makes VR a valuable educational and training resource by allowing the individual to practice responses to situations in a simulated environment.
AR: Just as AR allows users to overlay graphics, it also gives them the ability to overlay information. This means students and employees can access information in real time, ultimately providing an opportunity to increase efficiency in education and training.
The Purchase Decision
VR: Car companies are already using VR as a sales tool. For example, customers at Audi car dealerships can visit a sales floor, “build” their vehicle and sit inside it for a virtual test drive. Using VR in this way allows the customer to experience their purchase before spending anything.
AR: AR can be used to immerse and engage potential buyers by providing consumers with details and information to make an informed purchase. It can also assist consumers with product discovery, providing additional information on what items can or should be used for.
VR: Marketers are only just starting to harness the benefits of VR to create engaging experiences for their customers. With the ability to provide personalized content that the user can interact with and manipulate, VR gives companies another dimension in which to engage customers.
AR: Apps such as Snapchat and Instagram provide marketing opportunities to companies by using filters or geotags to promote their brand, products or messaging. With the launch of Snapchat’s Lens Studio, companies can create their own AR filters for users to share. By applying these filters to their images or videos, the user becomes an ambassador for the company, marketing the product to their friends and contacts.
Whether it’s virtual or augmented reality, the increase in supporting technology has secured a mainstream spot for these new dimensions of living. With the financial backing of major companies such as Facebook and Google[ii] and over 600 million mobile devices that are AR capable[iii], it is evident that augmented reality will play a huge role in the future of technology, thus creating a more informed end-user, capable of anything with little more than the use of their cell phone.
Looking for your start in the AR and VR fields? Roevin has you covered. Contact us today and make your career goals a reality!
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