Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are becoming increasingly commonplace in our day-to-day lives. Long associated with gaming, today, more brands are utilising the technology to deliver more immersive experiences to their customers. Take, for example, IKEA, which lets customers virtually place furnishings in their homes through a handy AR app.
While the futuristic vision of the “Metaverse” may be a long way off, the AR and VR sector is likely to continue growing at an increasing pace as the technology evolves and the relative costs reduce. In fact, revenue in the AR and VR market is projected to reach $52.05bn by 2027, according to Statista1.
Nevertheless, AR and VR is generally regarded as fun yet superfluous, and as a result, the technology is currently underutilised by business sectors outside of retail and gaming - despite them standing to benefit.
A new wave of transformation
So what place does AR and VR technology have in business? Many business owners are still trying to wrap their heads around the significant changes introduced as a result of digital transformation in recent years. Given this, many businesses are reluctant to bring in a new wave of transformation and are sceptical about the impact of introducing AR/VR technology.
In reality, the widespread adoption of AR and VR technologies could have real-world benefits for small and medium businesses. Less so in a sci-fi-fuelled, Metaverse way, but instead by finding a humbler, and arguably, more meaningful home in the office environment.
With benefits ranging from immersive training to enhanced collaboration, let’s take a look at some of the key areas in which businesses can benefit from incorporating AR/VR applications into a corporate environment.
VR can provide a more life-like experience, potentially allowing companies to cut back on expensive travel for in-person meetings but without the limitations of Zoom/Teams. Team huddles and other mainstays of business might be replaceable as VR advances.
Bringing to life concepts presented in meetings can enhance understanding and context not only within teams, but also in crucial sales meetings.
So, what’s next for AR and VR in business?
It’s evident that these emerging technologies have the potential to transform businesses from a range of different sectors in a manner of beneficial ways.
As a result, AR and VR technology is set to expand across major regions, industries, and sectors for the greater good. The falling costs of AR/VR will make the technology more accessible in coming years and in turn, make more industries consider their use. What’s more, the technology and supporting infrastructure already exist, making it easier to translate to a business environment. Take, for example, D-Link’s VR Air Bridge for the VR headset, Meta Quest 2. The dongle creates a dedicated wireless link between a PC and the Meta Quest 2 using Wi-Fi 6, offering the high performance and low latency of a wired connection but with total freedom of movement. Fewer hurdles in the reconfiguration of the technology will facilitate the move from gaming to business much faster and deliver a much more realistic and immersive VR experience for the office.
As augmented and virtual reality technologies continue to evolve and become more commonplace, business owners who remain sceptical may well have to welcome this technology in some capacity to keep up with competitors and adapt to rapid digitalisation.