How Various Industries are Leveraging AR, VR, and MR Today?
Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality(VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) may sound the same to many of us. But do you know that each one is different? AR, VR, and MR are different tech concepts with characteristics that differentiate each from one another.
Here’s what you need to know about each of the technologies, along with a few examples.
Augmented Reality uses computer vision along with mapping and depth tracking to show the appropriate content to the user. This functionality allows the cameras to collect, send and process the data to show the appropriate content to the user.
AR is designed for unrestricted movement while projecting images or other objects that you are looking at and enhances the user’s physical environment with contextually relevant digital content in real-time. A user can experience Augmented Reality with a smartphone or special hardware.
Watch Video: Augmented Reality in Education Transforms Learning Experience
Some of the interesting real-world examples of AR
1. AR in Gaming
Games like “Pokemon Go” project a Pokemon on your screen, on top of whatever your mobile camera focuses on. Augmented Reality has beautifully combined the real world with the favorite Pokemon characters.
2. AR in Medical Training
Augmented Reality is finding its virtue in medical training today. For example, students at the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University are learning human anatomy using AR headsets or glasses. AR allows them to examine the human body without the need for dissecting cadavers or watching live operations.
3. AR in Retail
The retail sector also has been taking advantage of AR to help customers have a more enjoyable and interactive shopping experience. For example, Harley Davidson has developed a unique mobile app for its customers that allows them to view a motorcycle in-store using AR and customize it by adding accessories, changing paint jobs, etc.
IKEA, the leading retail conglomerate, has rolled out AR-powered retail apps that allow customers to “try on” clothing remotely before buying them online.
4. AR in Manufacturing
Augmented Reality enables the manufacturing industry to gain a competitive edge by helping companies improve quality and productivity. Workers can get assistance from AR gadgets to save time, reduce errors and increase efficiency. Some of the world’s biggest brands like Boeing and General Electric are already using AR in their manufacturing processes.
Using AR glasses allows Boeing’s technicians to easily view the wiring renderings in the aircraft fuselage without external distractions.
Augmented Reality enables GE mechanics to be more productive as the technology offers them step-by-step instructions and visuals directly within their line of sight. They also get alerts in real-time through AR smart glasses so that they can inspect every step before moving on.
Virtual Reality Environments (VREs) allow users to experience real-life scenarios via simulated counterparts and gain practical knowledge that would otherwise be difficult to comprehend in a real environment.
As the main focus of Virtual Reality is on simulating the vision, you will have to wear a VR headset such as Oculus Quest or HTC Vive Cosmos in front of your eyes that eliminates any interaction with the natural world (avoids distractions). Typically, two autofocus lenses are placed between the screen and the user’s eyes. The lenses adjust based on the individual eye movement and positioning. To render the visuals on the screen, you can use an HDMI cable connected to the PC or mobile phone.
Virtual Reality uses speakers, goggles, and even handheld wearables to simulate a real-world experience. You can also employ visual, audio, and touch simulation to create a more immersive reality.
A few real-life applications of VR
1. VR in Education
Virtual Reality can make learning more engaging and immersive. In addition to schools and universities, virtual experiences can help businesses train their staff. Currently, Unimersiv is offering VR educational content for institutions and companies.
Case Study: Using 360-degree VR simulations, the University of North Carolina offers an immersive campus touring experience to aspiring students. Download now!
2. VR in Real Estate
For years, real estate agents have used photos and graphic designs to showcase properties to prospective buyers. Today, Virtual Reality has transformed real estate property tours, making them more personalized, immersive, and close to reality. Being an immersive technology, VR enables potential buyers to experience a 3D walkthrough and understand better what each property has to offer even before scheduling a physical site visit.
For example, Sotheby’s, one of the world’s leading luxury realty brands, offers Virtual Reality home tours and videos to its clients. Potential buyers can view properties and spaces from the comfort of their homes using a web browser, or a smartphone, PC, laptop, or through a wearable headset.
3. VR in Marketing
VR is helping businesses reach out to their audiences by launching immersive and engaging marketing campaigns. With the COVID-19 pandemic compelling people to shop online and companies to transform digitally, Virtual Reality is gaining more popularity as it is helping people get a feel for products without leaving their homes.
For example, IKEA has introduced a VR app that enables users to experience kitchen remodeling. Using the VR Kitchen app, you can explore the virtual kitchen and interact with the objects using a VR headset.
4. VR in Healthcare
Virtual Reality helps doctors understand their patients’ needs better as it provides an in-depth look into human anatomy. Today, VR is extensively used in surgical training.
An educational project conducted by the University of New England (UNE) successfully used VR to teach empathy to medical and health profession students. The project used a VR tool called “Alfred Lab app” – to teach students about macular degeneration and hearing loss from a 74-year-old African American man’s perspective. Realizing an aged and ailing patient’s thoughts and concerns enables the residents to develop empathy towards such patients.
5. VR in Travel and Hospitality
The travel industry is facing the hardest time ever in its history. However, vaccination rollouts on a global scale and international travel relaxations now give a fillip to travel, tourism, and hospitality. An early adopter of digitalization, the travel industry has already forayed into Virtual Reality. Travel businesses attract tourists and even promote holiday destinations through virtual staging and tours. Virtual Reality also allows people to explore the world virtually, especially those who cannot afford to travel.
Google StreetView is one of the best examples of how VR is being used in the travel industry. In addition to viewing panoramic images on a computer, it allows users to enable Google Cardboard mode for a Virtual Reality experience.
Mixed Reality, sometimes known as hybrid reality, combines the elements of both AR as well as VR. However, here the virtual content is not only overlaid on the actual environment but is fixed to and interacts with that environment. In simple terms, Mixed Reality lets you see virtual objects just like Augmented Reality, but these objects are capable of interacting with the real world. In simple words, Mixed Reality is more like immersive and interactive Augmented Reality.
MR is still in its nascent stages and may take time to create an impact like the other two technologies. One of the most remarkable Mixed Reality apparatuses is Microsoft’s HoloLens.
Opportunities provided by Mixed Reality
1. MR in Education
Mixed Reality allows students to see both the real world as well as the holograms. MR offers an immersive learning environment enabling students to understand better.
Case Study: Find how Fingent developed a unique Mixed Reality application for a leading university that enables users to identify people using facial recognition. Download Now!
2. MR in Manufacturing
Mixed Reality provides workers with real-time assistance, thereby facilitating manufacturing processes. The technology allows workers to see holographic instructions, so they know what to do. This minimizes human errors and improves quality significantly. Mixed Reality is also helpful for repairs and maintenance, especially in industries that require precision and expertise.
For example, Renault Trucks integrates Mixed Reality into its manufacturing process for enhancing engine quality control at one of its factories.
The blurring line between physical and virtual
While Virtual Reality takes you to the virtual world from wherever you are, Augmented Reality adds to the reality by projecting information on top of what you see. Mixed Reality combines both AR and VR. All these technologies, though powerful, are yet to make their mark with consumers. That said, they can completely change the way we use computing devices, gadgets, and technology in the future.
Are you thinking about delivering immersive virtual experiences to your customers that can overtake physical encounters? Talk to our reality tech experts today.
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A few years back, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) sounded revolutionary, more like the utopian world of the Jetsons. But today, with miraculous capabilities of accomplishing seemingly impossible tasks, AR and VR are invading our lives. With the popularity of Google Earth and Pokemon Go, 2017 showed us remarkable growth and awareness of these technologies. According to Statista, the global augmented and virtual reality market size is expected to reach 20.4 billion U.S dollars in 2019.
Although AR and VR are rapidly transforming various industries, thoughts like-what exactly are these fast-moving digital wonders and which one would mainstream first, linger in many minds. Here are the answers to all!
Augmented Reality – Augmenting the Real World
Augmented Reality is an interactive technology that capacitates the power of augmenting the real world environment with computer-generated perpetual information. What’s amazing about AR is that it brings components of the digital world to the natural environment. With the capabilities of narrowing spaces between reality and technology, augmented reality is expected to revolutionize the world.
Fun Fact: Studies reveal that by August 2017, the total number of downloads of Pokemon Go from Google Play market alone was 100 million.
Augmented reality is known best from the Pokemon Go and Snapchat filters. The IKEA Place app has also managed to win hearts by enabling users to decorate homes using the AR technology. According to a Statista report, augmented reality is expected to generate a revenue of 118 billion U.S dollars from AR devices and 68 billion U.S dollars from AR services.
Fun Fact: The survey conducted by GlobalWebIndex in 2018 showed the following consumer’s perception of augmented reality’s potential in various sectors.
Augmented reality with its capabilities to deliver an interactive and enhanced experience, is expected to project its best in retail and marketing industries. Increasing the array of channels to guide purchases, AR can turn to become the next big thing for retail stores. With AR technology, advertising and marketing industries can also provide more fluid customer experience by utilizing real-time user preferences and data.
Related Reading: Augmented Reality is also growing its pace in the travel industry. Take a look at how innovative travel apps are mesmerizing customers.
Virtual Reality – Exhibiting an Artificial Reality
Virtual Reality is an immersive technology that lets you experience a three-dimensional computer generated environment incorporating a mixture of interactive hardware and software. This technology blinds you out from the real world and takes you to a virtualized reality or an artificial environment. Literally speaking, virtual reality possesses the power to make you believe that you are teleporting.
The most popular forms of virtual reality we witness today are the VR Headsets. Google Earth and the other 360 degree videos on Facebook and YouTube are also versions of the VR technology. According to Statista, the market size of virtual reality hardware and software is predicted to increase from 2.2 billion U.S. Dollars seen in 2017 to more than 19 billion U.S. Dollars by 2020.
Experts predict VR to project rapid growth in entertainment and education industry. Possessing abilities to provide an immersive experience and a unique level of interaction, VR has the potential to evolve faster in these industries. With virtual reality headsets and mobile games, VR has already marked a significant position in the entertainment field.
Fun Fact: According to a survey in 2018 conducted by the GlobalWebIndex, the following is an estimate of consumer’s perception of virtual reality’s potential in various sectors.
Although, adoption of VR in the education industry is very much in its infancy, yet it is expected to transform classrooms and the way students explore colleges in the near future. The one VR miracle that has already gained popularity among students is the Gear Up NC VR app that is enabling students to screen through North Carolina colleges hassle-free.
Fun Fact: Nearly half of the population (42%) predicts that the education industry will become commonplace for VR projects to grow in the next five years. 97% of the people who have used VR for teaching have agreed that VR has the potential to engage students better.
AR or VR – The Technology to Create the Big Impact
Although both the technologies have their own share of pros and cons, augmented reality has a lower awareness rate as compared to virtual reality. This, however, could be due to the age group engaging with the technology. According to a survey, both AR and VR technologies have engagements mostly clustered around the 25-34 age group.
Speaking of potential, although AR is statistically proved to be less popular, yet 50% of the population who have used both these technologies, believe AR to have more potential than VR. Only 47% of these technology users believe VR to create a big impact in the future.
With both augmented and virtual reality offering very different experiences, the fight on which technology ranks the best still remains as an unsolved puzzle. Like how Google’s Clay Bavor once tweeted – “VR vs. AR cheat sheet: VR can take you anywhere. AR can bring anything to you. Both are important. Neither will win”.
Only the future can decide on which technology would steal more hearts and create a big bang. Some experts believe that with the development of more equipment, the line that delineates these two technologies will probably start to get blurry. However, in today’s world, both augmented and virtual reality are equally transforming industries in its own ways. To learn more about how AR and VR can reshape your business, get in touch with our tech consultants now!
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Augmented Reality is a hot emerging technology that modifies a real-world plain-sight view by superimposing a real-time computer-generated sensory image, sound, video, GPS data, or graphics, in a semantic context. Through such superimposition, Augmented Reality offers a composite view of the environment and an enhanced perception of reality.
Augmented Reality is riding high on a wave of expectations, and many experts tip the technology to transform many walks of life, including the workspace, like never before. Augmented Reality blurs the line between the physical and digital realms. It brings computer-generated graphics to life, making what the employee actually sees interactive and manipulative. The potential applications are endless, limited only by imagination.
1. Better Management of Work
Augmented Reality tool such as HoloLens allows supervisors and managers to remain in better control of the situation, as they are fed with real-time information in the actual context. Instead of taking time out to analyze the situation in a computer or smartphone, they gain real-time insights in the course of their work. They can also make changes and issue instructions using hand or head movements, and voice commands.
Augmented Reality enables trial-and-error, without the usual costs and time associated with the process. An interior designer, could, for instance, use an AR headset to test color schemes, or a jewelry designer could visualize an idea and share it with the customer, before committing to make it. An architect designing a new office could view a real size hologram from all angles, to optimize the settings. A salesman could share his product line with clients in 3D.
2. Better Insights
Using AR powered glasses could offer field technicians insight into the working of machinery, annotating the parts, making explicit fluid and other levels not easily discernable, identifying parts which have failed or not working to the set parameters, and more. Overlaid animations would guide the technician on what to do next. What hitherto took specialists with considerable years of experience and training could easily be handled by a novice technician.
Lockheed Martin is already applying such technology to good effect, employing AR to aid design and make production floor personnel familiar with procedures. DHL is using similar AR technology to make sure employees load carts in the most efficient way possible.
3. Improved Productivity and Efficiency
Augmented Reality delivers optimal and accurate information, in the ideal format, at the precise time, to increase efficiency and productivity manifold. While conventional technology may bring in all details about a customer who walks in at the computer console, AR technologies bring it in front of the worker’s eyeballs. Workers no longer need to stop what they are doing to seek the required information or worry whether the information they gathered is accurate. Gestures and voice replace the inconvenient keyboard, mouse clicks or swipes.
Moreover, the field of view information offered by AR may change dynamically along with the task being performed. For instance, a worker in the warehouse may be guided to the area where a requested item is stored. In a factory, it could notify workers of resource levels or problems on the assembly line on the fly. Conservative estimates peg a 32% efficiency increase when deploying AR.
4. Enhanced Training
AR transforms training, taking it to a whole new level. It enables enterprises to speed up the training process and make it more effective.
Google Expeditions, a virtual reality platform, offers an AR overlay, already allow students to take guided tours deep into the Amazon jungle, or watch a Viennese opera. Implementing similar tools in the workplace would allow trainees to learn the basics and delve into the advanced, in double quick time, with a real feel of things. New hires could be placed in a real-world situation, and be exposed to all possible scenarios, without the disruption and risks characteristically associated with on-the-job training. Augmate’s InstructAR platform is an early step in this direction, aimed at imparting tech and manufacturing training using AR.
Hyper-training with augmented reality facilitates shorter learning curves, better-trained employees, and an all-around more efficient workplace. Boeing trainees assemble a mock airplane 30% faster and 90% more accurately using AR-animated instructions, compared to relying on PDF guides.
5. Furthers Organizational Creativity
Augmented Reality opens the doors for limitless creativity and innovation in the workplace. AR tools may be used to simulate different cause-effect scenarios, to determine an optimal course of action, without having to go through the underlying risks. In an ultra-fast business world brimming with change, such options help business drive much-needed agility and adaptability.
The potential of Augmented Reality to drive innovation is unlimited, especially when blended with employee collaboration, field tests, and presentations. AR can immerse a remote team, bringing employees together from across the globe in a way that feels more real than ever before, boosting collaboration at a global scale.
Augmented Reality also helps enterprises devise innovative ways to effectively deal with contingency scenarios, such as how best to tackle hazardous workplace conditions, how to plan for a contingency such as a live wire falling to the ground in the construction industry, guiding the workforce on protocols in the eventuality of emergencies such as a fire, and much more. AR can take the remote workforce further than existing tools can.
6. Deepen the Engagement
Marketers leverage AR in many innovative ways, from embedding a product brochure with personalized messages to offering a snap preview of a new location, and more. Blippar, a New York-based advertising company has taken the lead in offering augmented reality games with everyday objects, offering ample scope to deepen customer engagement. One innovative Pepsi ad allows users to aim a ball to a goalpost with their eyes, and “kick” it with a quick gesture. The rich data collected on customer habits and behaviors are spin-off benefits.
While AR technology has been in existence for some time now, growth has been sluggish over the years, mainly owing to the limitations in enabling technology. The popularity and easy availability of wearable devices have however changed the scenario, and AR is all set to go mainstream in the near future.
Augmented Reality is all set to enter the boom phase. IDC estimates shipping 99.4 million Augmented Reality headsets by 2021, a tenfold increase from the 10.1 million shipped in 2015, indicating a compound annual growth rate of 58%.
As the adage goes the early bird catches the worm. Your business will surely be better off by introducing Augmented Reality technologies for both internal and external facets of operations. When you partner with us, you can leverage our highly skilled, talented, and experienced team to develop state of the art, cutting edge AR solutions. Get a free consultation.