Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Applications of virtual reality include entertainment (e.g. video games) and education (e.g. medical or military training). “VR” creates a digital environment that replaces the user’s real-world environment.
Augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology. “AR” overlays digitally-created content into the user’s real-world environment.
Mixed Reality (MR) is an experience that seamlessly blends the user’s real-world environment and digitally-created content, where both environments can coexist and interact with each other.
Adoption of Digital Reality
- Video Games: It provides a virtual experience in a three-dimensional interactive environment to play a game
- 360 Video and Live Events: Rendering a 360-degree video an event, to watch globally or locally resulting in a much more immersive experience
- Design, Architecture Engineering & Construction (AEC), Commercial Real Estate (CRE): Design reviews and approval before the actual construction begins.
- Education and Training: VR and AR have been adopted at a faster pace in the Education and Training sector – primarily in Aviation, Flight Training, Healthcare, Military Training, and Engineering.
- Diagnostics: With an Augmented Reality, remote diagnostics, where a person would be able to visually see, interact and collaborate to solve a problem, provide a solution and recommendations. This is primarily being envisioned in the Medical/Healthcare field where a doctor could translate CT and MRI scans into interactive 3D models and virtually perform the procedure and plan ahead of time.
- Collaborative Virtual Environment (CVE): A collaborative work environment is the futurist thought process of how people will have a working environment to interact, change, and amend the data within the virtual environment
- Study conducted by Boeing showed that AR improved productivity in wiring harness assembly by 25%
- At GE Healthcare a warehouse worker receiving a new picklist order through AR completed the task 46% faster than when using the standard process, which relies on a paper list and item searches on a work station
- Ability to go to the Super Bowl – without leaving the couch
- Augmented interior design and virtual DIY. Customers at Lowe’s can experience the remodel well before demolition starts. With an AR headset, they can see different design options for their next big project
Key Drivers to Adoption
- A major benefit VR and AR offer organisations is the training of employees and testing of procedures, including the simulation of realistic scenarios and even high-risk environments. For example, militaries use VR to train soldiers for parachute jumps and bomb disposal.
- Automotive companies are using virtual reality to cut the time between initial design and physical modelling from weeks to days
- Headsets are now lighter, cheaper and more comfortable to use and there are significant improvements being made around the field-ofview, resolution and software.
- The gigabit per second speeds promised by 5G networks will almost certainly benefit VR and AR through reduced latency, delivering a smoother, richer and more engrossing user experience
- 5G will also mean headsets are no longer as reliant on built-in processing or storage, likely bringing down cost and enabling more user-friendly designs. That processing and storage will be pushed to the cloud instead.
- Another key area of technological development is haptics, or the use of touch sensation. Applied to VR and AR, haptics allow users to ‘touch’ things in the virtual world and get instant feedback.
- Growth of the total market will continue toward 2021, fueled by mobile games
- 90bn Consumer spend on mobile games games in 2021
- Mobile gamers are seeking more immersive experiences
- Due to the high cost of high-end VR headsets, consumer adoption has been slower than expected
- Powerful standalone VR headsets, such as the Oculus Quest, are starting to hit the market. Mobile also has a big part to play in this development, as these standalone headsets are powered by mobile tech