Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have been constantly on the rise in recent years. They are steadily developing to have the potential of disrupting and revolutionizing industries such as healthcare, education, real estate, and finance. It is this increasing influence on our everyday processes that hold the key to AR and VR transforming the world from 2018 onwards.
With 2018 expected to be just as unpredictable as 2017 in terms of the surge in technological advancements, AR and VR have the potential of becoming as influential as the cloud or block chain technologies. In fact, experts predict that revenues from AR &VR markets will hit $162 billion by 2020.
This significant growth is fuelled by the production of more consumer-friendly and useful AR/VR applications that can be used on a daily basis. For example, movies, gaming systems, and educational institutions are projected to implement AR & VR technologies that will enhance the user experience.
Here are several ways we can expect to witness AR and VR transform the world in 2018.
Revolutionizing classroom learning
As educators look for more effective ways of imparting knowledge to students, they are continuously embracing technologies that make the learning experience more practical and tangible. As a result, we are likely to see AR and VR technologies being increasingly used in classrooms. They will provide a more immersive learning experience where students can connect with abstract concepts and turn them into tangible realities.
For example, STEM subjects are expected to use AR and VR to enable students to enjoy 360-degree visions of videos and structures. In addition, AR and VR will also be used to create and display scientific concepts such as astronomy, internal medical processes, and to connect classrooms from multiple locations.
The rise of standalone VR systems
The concept of AR and VR did not start yesterday. It has been around for some time but was widely viewed as a limited and exclusive technology. It is not until Google launched the Cardboard in 2014 that VR was launched into the consumer space. With this rise in consumer-based AR and VR solutions, 2018 is likely to experience the development of stand-alone systems that won’t be dependent on a smartphone or gaming console to be fully functional.
Currently, most AR and VR applications function through a computing device, a gaming console (such as the PlayStation VR), or a high-end smartphone. This has made AR/VR technologies somewhat limited in its ability to truly disrupt everyday processes.
In 2018, we are likely to experience the launch of several VR stand-alone systems such as the Oculus Go and the Google Daydream. These devices will push the envelope of VR applications in the entertainment and retail sectors. And because more consumers will be able to get their hands on these stand-alone systems, the flexibility of VR will continue to increase.
Creating more immersive user experiences with increased growth
For AR and VR to be truly revolutionary, the technology will need to continue to advance. In 2018, we can expect critical developments in these technologies primarily through better tracking systems. For example, inside out tracking in headsets and positional tracking (along with 360-degree view) are likely to become more commonplace this year.
Inside out tracking involves the ability of a headset to determine its own position via a series of sensors that can track orientation in space. This will enable a more immersive user experience without the need for extra hardware that is tied to specific rooms and locations.
In addition, eye tracking is likely to expand this year. Eye tracking is based on the principle of how the eye works, where a large portion of one’s vision is dependent on a tiny spot at the center of the eye. The eye tracking technology in VR will feature the optimization of computer resources towards this spot so that VR exerts a minimal strain on computer resources without compromising on the overall experience.
There will also be a rise in the amount of consumer content that is optimized for AR and VR. With fewer computing requirements and more features for consumers to enjoy, content creators will rapidly hop on board and design videos, games, and applications that immerse consumers into a true virtual reality world.
Mixed reality for enhancing various business applications
The ability of AR and VR technologies to transform our daily lives will be dependent on how they can enhance the user experience. In particular, retail and other service-oriented businesses will use AR and VR to create more immersive user experiences for their customers.
For example, online stores are likely to implement AR and VR technologies that will bridge the gap between their physical store counterparts. This means that visiting an online store will likely become much the same as entering a brick and mortar store to purchase the same product.
AR and VR are striving to minimize the disconnect between our real and tangible lives and our digital experiences. This phenomenon is referred to as mixed reality, where multiple elements of physical, AR, and VR applications are combined with IOT to provide an overall improved experience for consumers.