i3 | April 01, 2020

AR and VR Promise to Boost Productivity

Scott Steinberg
New innovations in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are now being used by over a third of Americans at least once per month, and more than 100 million buyers will shop for products within their digitally-enhanced worlds by year-end.

AR superimposes computerized data over real-world environments, while VR immerses users in fully-simulated 3D landscapes —both promise to fundamentally reinvent the enterprise environment. They also promise to rethink how men and machines interact in practice.

Solutions like motion-powered 3D modeling tools that enable engineers to craft mock-ups of products and designs with the wave of a hand; futuristic goggles that provide real-time information feeding service technicians crucial details as they perform diagnostics on equipment in the field; and 360-degree videos and training simulations that workers can capitalize on to fully immerse themselves in different workday scenarios. But with global demand for such solutions expected to top $571.42 billion by 2025 according to Allied Market Research, many organizations are now leveraging these tools to offer one-of-a-kind approaches to customer experience and real-time automation.

Transforming the Workplace 

Augmented and virtual reality solutions will change how we do business. AR and VR tools don’t just offer solutions for crafting improved user interfaces and enhanced information feeds either, as many consumer-facing solutions do. Practical gains from a business standpoint like improved cost-efficiency and output will also be considerable. From providing easier, more cost-effective ways to model and redesign buildings, computers or cars with the flick of a finger to simpler solutions for helping medical professionals spot and diagnose health concerns, the potential applications are endless.

Homegrown Solutions

Many AR and VR vendors are moving from providing dedicated hardware devices or software apps to providing organizations with the tools and ecosystems they need to create their own custom AR and VR solutions.In effect, whatever your industry needs, off-the-shelf technology will let you build personalized AR and VR solutions on-demand. One leading aircraft manufacturer is using a cloud-based, hardware-agnostic AR and VR software platform to help technicians equipped with computerized visors scan for maintenance issues and allow remote experts to communicate with these service pros as they walk through equipment fixes in real-time. Likewise, a biomedical company is leveraging high-tech goggles equipped with digital pop-ups to empower workers to use gaze-driven commands to control its health care devices without having to take off protective gloves or uniforms in the laboratory.

But with more hardware and software solutions in development including mix-and-match AR/VR software creation tools that let users with no programming knowledge create original apps on the fly —the future only gets brighter. 

Many organizations aren’t just using AR/VR solutions to enhance productivity and performance. They’re also using them to do in one step what usually takes several. From offering more effective ways to communicate and collaborate to more efficient methods to perform tasks, the writing is on the virtual wall.

Global demand for AR and VR solutions is expected to top $571.42 billion by 2025.
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