Possibly, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are the most prominent technologies in the current tech universe. After seeing unprecedented growth in the last couple of years, 2021 is seeing an explosion in the real-time use of virtual and augmented reality, especially by industry giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Google.
AR and VR have the power to improve everyone’s life with the experiences they offer through the blended and alternative experimental domains. While these experiences are not ‘real’, they sure enhance the way we work, buy, communicate, travel, and more.
Defining AR and VR
Before we dive into the predictions and the future of virtual reality and augmented reality, let’s differentiate the basics of these two often-confused technologies.
What is Augmented Reality?
In layman’s terms, Augmented Reality (AR) is the improved form of the real, physical world. It uses technology to implant sound effects, visual elements, and other factors that stimulate our natural sensors to provide us with an interactive experience of the real world.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual Reality (VR) is an artificial world that uses various programs to make us think of it as a real world. Put simply, it is a computer-generated three dimensional stimulation that provides us with a seemingly real physical world environment.
Creating Efficient AR and VR Strategies
Considering the impactful future of virtual reality and augmented reality, companies need to develop effective AR and VR strategies. Failing to consider implementing VR and AR in the future might make them disappear from the marketplace.
So, how to develop AR and VR strategies?
The answer to this question may vary for every industry. While all industries have their own set of specific benefits from implementing AR and VR into the operations, there’s one mantra for winning with VR and AR — Bridge the gap between your strategies, various technologies, and implementational operations.
But before this, companies need to first identify the areas where AR and VR can be used to strengthen business models, company goals, and more. Then, you need to discover or invent ways to do so. Once you know your path, getting right into prototyping and execution is the key.
First of all, this is a launch-and-learn operation that includes three major steps:
● Identify the areas where you can use AR and VR to accelerate business processes
● Build VR and AR-friendly pilot applications
● Test the pilot apps and scale them across the required sectors of your business (if proven)
Today's Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Outlook
The current trends in augmented and virtual reality today are worth the hype. Virtual and augmented reality innovations are rapidly evolving and they have already begun to take hold of people’s everyday lives.
To start, let’s take a look at some big players from the industry.
Facebook has already announced its rebrand as Meta and expressed its interest in AR and VR. The company has partnered with Oculus to bring AR-powered smart glasses through their initial patents. Following it, several other companies like Microsoft, Hyundai, Nike have decided to jump into Metaverse
Google and YouTube are also participating in the race for 360 and virtual reality videos. They are the direct competitors to Facebook and are trying to explore more in VR-powered headsets. While Google already has multiple stakes in virtual reality innovations, both Google and YouTube have joined hands with HTC to develop the Daydream VR app.
The following are arguably the most popular, high-end AR and VP-powered products available in the current market:
Sony PlayStation VR
AR in the Future
According to Statista, AR and VR currently hold a market worth $30.7 billion, and it is estimated to grow to $300 billion by 2024. However, the road ahead needs many baby steps to make a great deal in terms of developing AR in the future. As more and more companies are estimated to deploy AR in human resources
, R&D, marketing, advertising, and more, the need for skilled coders and programmers will dramatically grow.
Before AR reaches its epitome in the future and augmented reality capabilities will be at their best, market experts suggest that it won’t be a mere afterthought for mobile devices. Here’s what a renowned tech industry consultant, Tim Bajarin, claimed in his Time article — “For AR to become truly useful, somebody will have to make a robust platform to undertake a host of apps and services.”
In a nutshell, companies should consider integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning
"I think everyone would basically agree that we do not have the science or technology today to build the AR glasses that we want. We may in five years, or seven years, or something like that. But we’re not likely to be able to deliver the experience that we want right now. “
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Facebook
Future of Virtual Reality
The future of virtual reality revolves around its integration with AI and it is inevitable. This blend has already proven its effectiveness and VR in the future will hold some significant numbers in almost every major sector. You can expect to witness the following VR trends in the future:
The rise in remote conferences and events powered by VR
Adoption of remote education and training will grow
Marketing and advertising will be powered by VR
Virtual entertainment will be a common thing
Top 3 Future Trends in AR and VR
AR and VR are far more than just a thing of interest to smartphone users. Their influence is so vast that they have already prompted entrepreneurs around the globe to invest in AR/VR development. Here are the top three future trends in AR and VR to look for.
Increased Use of Remote Assistance
VR and AR in the future will benefit remote assistance the most. It will help technicians to take care of on-site problems in real-time using their laptops or mobile phones. Students will be able to learn from home and employees will be able to examine and share information without any hurdles.
The future will be more favorable for autonomous vehicles thanks to augmented reality innovations. Automakers will incorporate AR into their cars so that the world can embrace self-driving vehicles. Your travels in the future will be accompanied by AR-sourced trends like in-car AR, voice assistance, and more.
Rise in AR Avatars
Have you heard of virtual celebs like Activ8’s Kizuna AI and Brud’s Lil Miquela? These fictional characters have significantly impressed the consumers and encouraged budding entrepreneurs to develop more such avatars.
AR in the future will empower fictional avatars that can attract users, take them on a ride through a virtual store, help them select the right product, and more.
AR and VR will cause a momentous change in the entire business world and the most exciting time for AR and VR developers is NOW. The market is moving rapidly in the direction of emerging (and also interconnected) technologies like AI, ML, AR, VR, IoT, etc., and we can expect enormous growth in the next few years.
"Looking to the future, the next big step will be for the very concept of the ‘device’ to fade away”
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google
Frequently Asked Questions
How will 5G affect VR and AR in the future?
VR and AR will need high-speed internet to function in the best way. 5G will result in the brighter future of virtual reality and augmented reality and it will also uplift the AR/VR use cases and potential in the marketplace.
Is AR and AI the same thing?
No. AR and AI are different technologies. AI enables devices or machines to react, think, or respond like us while AR implants virtual 3D elements in the real physical world in real-time.
What are the applications of AR in healthcare?
Healthcare professionals can use AR to educate, communicate and engage with their patients. The following are the applications of AR in the healthcare sector:
A better description of the symptoms
Providing drug information
Preparation for surgery
Simplified vein finding