Top 5 Misconceptions about AR and VR in eLearning
In this tech-savvy era, computer-based realities are a new way to perceive a surrounding. Two of the most trending reality technologies are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Over the last few years, AR and VR have taken strides to become the most prominent consumer technologies. With developments in technology and broader accessibility, we started to discover more ways AR and VR can benefit various industries such as entertainment, automotive, transportation, oil & gas, aircraft, etc. AR and VR have helped many industries since their onset. Both technologies have a massive potential in immersive learning. The COVID-19 pandemic forced physical classrooms to go virtual globally. Since then, the education sector is witnessing the extensive application of reality technologies such as AR and VR to promote immersive learning.
What is immersive learning?
Immersive learning refers to a learning strategy – a future training method – that uses an artificial or simulated environment that puts learners in a highly interactive learning environment. Augmented and virtual reality technologies play a crucial role in today’s immersive learning scenario by offering a new way of using an eLearning screen.
Role of AR and VR in eLearning
Augmented Reality or AR is an interactive experience that enhances or augments real-world objects and projects computer-generated images and animations into it – like Snapchat lenses, Pokémon Go (game), and so on. It overlays or adds digital elements or imagery –in the form of text, graphics, audio, and other visual extensions – to a live view. On the other hand, Virtual Reality or VR is a ‘computer generated’ experience created inside a simulated environment. It immerses the user in a replicated/imagined world using a head-mounted device (HMD), shutting down the physical world. With the help of special manipulators, users gain the potential of intuitive and multifunctional interaction with virtual elements in VR.
Both the technologies create new and interactive experiences for users through their immersive environment and accessibility in 3-dimension. Especially in the eLearning industry – which is all about using advanced technologies to enhance the learning experience – the alternate reality technologies AR and VR have been warmly accepted by modern learners because of the diverse benefits they offer. Few benefits include:
- Makes the learning more engaging and exciting
- Better online training mock-ups
- Makes learning a practical experience
- Customizes learning paths in courses
- Provides visual feedback in assessments with advanced learning analytics
Though AR and VR are trending immersive learning strategies, they are new in the Learning and Development space, and therefore, several myths are revolving around the topic. This blog will debunk five common AR and VR myths in eLearning.
Myth #1: AR and VR are the same
Many people believe that AR and VR are the same and can be used interchangeably. People often get confused between these two computer-based realities. Though both AR and VR play a massive role in immersive learning, the fact is that both these technologies have two entirely different concepts. Virtual Reality (VR) entails a complete immersion experience that displays a virtual environment to a person that blocks out the physical world by using a virtual opaque headset. At the same time, Augmented Reality (AR) adds digital elements or animations to the user’s real world using the camera on a smartphone.
Myth #2: AR and VR based apps are difficult to use
Even with an increasing number of users worldwide, some organizations still believe that AR/VR apps are more difficult to use than any other apps. This doesn’t seem right because such applications mainly meant for learning use high-end technology, making them more user-friendly. Skilled augmented/virtual reality developers ensure that the user interface is simply leading to the applications’ success perspective.
Read more: Accelerating AR/VR Adoption Among Customers
Myth #3: AR and VR are very expensive
Many organizations consider other training methods, as they believe learning through AR and VR is too expensive. When used right, AR and VR techniques can reduce costs and provide organizations with a high ROI in the long run. Many believe that VR apps can only be used with expensive gears and headsets. There are many affordable options and multiple authoring tools that businesses can consider to make AR and VR learning easy at a relatively low cost.
Myth #4: AR and VR are mainly for gaming and entertainment purposes
Because of the popularity gained by AR and VR with its practical use in the entertainment and gaming industry, people tend to think that AR and VR are primarily focused on these industries for entertainment purposes. But the fact is that AR and VR are not just limited to games. Though gaming and entertainment are the most prominent applications for computer-based realities, many industries embrace AR and VR in their marketing and advertising efforts, with widespread success.
Usage of AR/VR is trending in diverse sectors such as Manufacturing, Education, Event Management, Tourism, Automotive, Real Estate, Healthcare, Retail and E-commerce, Media and Entertainment, Defense and Military, and more. For instance, a global leader in medical imaging solutions, AccuVein uses AR to project an image of veins over skin for all medical imaging purposes.
Myth #5: AR and VR may not stay for long
Many people say that AR and VR are just fads. The truth is that, as AR and VR offer many innovative ways to interact with the data around us and visualize it, reality technologies are expected to enrich users in the future years too.
Research & Markets reports that the global AR and VR market is projected to reach $1,274.4 billion in 2030, rising from $37.0 billion in 2019, and is predicted to progress at a robust CAGR of 42.9% during the forecast period (2020-2030). Key factors leading to the AR and VR market’s growth include the rising penetration of smartphones and tablet computers, increasing technology adoption among enterprises, and vendors’ surging focus on price reduction.
AR and VR lead among the emerging technologies and are being updated continuously. AR/VR development is a highly appreciated career today.
So, AR and VR are not fads and are going to stay for a long time.
Misconceptions are lifted for about every potential revolutionary technology, just like myths about AR and VR are prevalent in the mainstream now. AR and VR are emerging as crucial reality tech in 2021. Especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, which has turned our lives upside down, organizations need innovative eLearning techniques now more than ever. These computer-based realities can help enhance the learning experience more safely, engagingly, and productively.
Watch Video: How AR can be a powerful learning tool in the future
Fingent’s AR/ VR development team allows you to leverage the power of immersive learning with AR and VR and enjoy the experience! Contact us to know more.
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Medical Virtual Reality offers excellent opportunities for healthcare providers, practitioners, researchers, residents, patients, and chemists. Here’s a brief overview.
Virtual Reality: Increasing success rate and establishing trust in medical education
In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated a shortage of approximately 7.2 million health care professionals worldwide. The report also stated that this shortage is expected to reach 12.9 million by 2035. Besides the deficiency and disproportionate distribution of healthcare workers, the inadequacy of training programs also affects the delivery of uniform healthcare services worldwide. Leading healthcare organizations have been focusing on developing strategies that can increase the number of healthcare workers and enhance the quality and relevance of medical training.
In recent years, several modes of eLearning have been used to disseminate information and impart training to medical students, out of which Virtual Reality Applications deserve a special mention. 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.
Here are a few examples of how VR improves medical education standards and how it enables novice medical personnel to learn concepts in environments that replicate real-life scenarios.
1. Reduce stress and anxiety among medical students
Medical and traumatic emergencies can be daunting and stressful, especially for the early-career medical personnel. Preparing novice doctors to respond effectively to medical emergencies before being confronted with a real scenario is challenging. Unnatural or high-cost training modalities fail to replicate the stress and gravity of real-world trauma management realistically. Immersive virtual reality (IVR) may provide a unique training solution.
VR-based medical training recipients report better learning of anatomical positions, reduction in surgery time in the real environment, increase in the safety of both physician and patient, positive psychological effects on learners, reduction in training costs and efforts, and overall improvement. 68% of nursing and 58% of medical interns reported that VR-based training has significantly reduced their anxiety about occupational needlestick or sharp injuries (NSI) prevention.
2. Ensure uninterrupted in-hospital training
During April-July 2020, when most countries went to stringent lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, several medical colleges and universities adopted virtual reality to supplement the traditional in-hospital medical training. Due to in-hospital access bans, the training providers offered students virtual patient-based training, debriefing, and simulated clinical scenarios on a case-by-case basis, all via virtual reality environments.
A recent report on students’ perception of VR-based medical training found that:
- 77% of medical students considered VR training to be a trustworthy platform for initial clinical assessments
- 94% remarked that VR is ideal for diagnostic activity, and 81% appreciated its usefulness in treatment options
- Furthermore, 84% of students felt that the scope of VR training would move beyond apprenticeship at a patient’s bedside
3. Immersive VR environments help develop empathy
The most significant advantage of virtual reality is that it allows users to experience any situation from any perspective. In that way, it can be called the “ultimate empathy machine.” Patients suffering from traumas such as memory loss, physical or mental abuse, age-related health issues, Alzheimer’s disease, drug addiction, and other ordeals need a soothing atmosphere and reassuring words to recover quickly. Immersive VR training is an effective teaching method to help medical students develop empathy towards such patients.
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.
4. Improve practitioners’ skills, speed, and mobility in operating rooms
From rote memorization of theories, the modern medical training practice has evolved to imparting skills in life-like environments using virtual reality simulations. Even in the absence of faculty, VR systems enable students to learn practical surgical concepts when faced with a given patient. VR systems make medical training access more broad-based and flexible. Medical professionals can use VR to visualize the human body’s interior and learn better about human anatomy.
According to a study published by the Journal of Advances in Medical Education & Professionalism, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has proclaimed that residents need to be trained by simulation tools before attempting any patient interventions in real life. The board also finds immersive VR training to be effective in mechanical ventilation and invasive hemodynamic monitoring.
Dr. Dimitris Stefanidis, professor and research scholar at Indiana University School of Medicine, concluded in a study that surgical residents who underwent training in laparoscopic suture using video simulators had reported improved operative performance, speed, and mobility at the end of the practice. Performing surgeries that require vast experience and sensitivity, such as an osteotomy (bone-cut surgery), can be simplified for surgeons through virtual simulations. Immersive simulations along with tactical feedback are safer and cost-effective than traditional teaching methods.
5. Impart health education and awareness among patients
In addition to practitioners, patients also can gain awareness of their medical conditions and treatment principles using VR. Clinical professionals can use simulated environments to communicate the impact of unpleasant lifestyle practices such as noxious drug usage, metabolic dysfunctions, obesity, growth of certain tumors, the effect of smoking and drinking on lung and liver functions, etc.
Chronically ailing and hospitalized patients can use VR goggles or headsets to experience their home in an immersive environment and chat with their family members. By installing a 360-degree camera in their home, the patient’s family can make sure that the patient experiences the interaction just like how he/she used to feel it while at home. During the COVID-19 pandemic, VR was highly applied in remote sites to facilitate telemedicine, control the spread of infection, plan, treat, and provide proper awareness to people regarding this disease.
Getting started with VR
Medical VR is no more a sci-fiction. VR-trained surgeons report a 230% boost in their overall performance compared to their traditionally-trained counterparts.
VR can help you conduct engaging medical conferences, help women get through labor pain, train surgeons and medical residents, reduce pain and anxiety among patients, and expedite recovery in physical therapy by tailoring exercises to patients’ therapeutic needs.
If your next question is how to start with VR, Fingent helps you develop these virtual simulators:
- ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support System)
- Accident Trauma Care Standard Operating Procedures
- Orthopedic or Cardiac surgical procedure that involves using complex tools
- Neo-Natal Resuscitation Simulator (GOLDEN MINUTE PROTOCOL)
Would you like to discuss that with our expert? Drop us a line, and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.
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How AR and VR augment employee safety training programs in industries
Employee Safety has taken on a new meaning as the world totters and tries to wrap its head around COVID-19. The pandemic spared no prisoners as it touched every aspect of our life, including our work and our businesses. It has changed the way people work and accomplish their jobs and altered the way employers look at employee safety training.
For starters, traditional employee safety training usually takes one of two forms: on-the-job and classroom learning, which might be a problem at this time. Fortunately, the latest training methods that feature immersive technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) demonstrate their ability to close the current gaps in employee safety training. This blog discusses the impact AR/VR has on employee safety training. Before we discuss that, it is crucial to understand why businesses require augmented and virtual realities now.
The increasing significance of AR and VR in employee safety training
Adapting to the new normal, most employees will continue to work from home. Others will face new measures and procedures when they return to workplaces. It can pose a challenge to employers as they struggle to find new methods to train new employees while following physical constraints like social distancing.
Before we look at the solution, let’s have a look at a few drawbacks of the traditional classroom training:
Drawbacks of the conventional classroom training
– Ineffective training procedures
Usually, safety procedures are taught with a combination of computer testing and classroom exercises. These methods do not allow repetition training. It is good but not good enough because it lacks effectiveness and does not encourage knowledge retention. Besides, social distancing norms make it difficult to arrange for classroom training.
– Doesn’t engage employees
As traditional learning techniques are not imparted in a realistic environment, they do not simulate the hands-on experience in scenarios that are tough to be recreated. Classroom learning is often not a useful or engaging teaching style for workers who are in highly mechanical roles. With such training, employers cannot risk a technician to perform their jobs effectively and safely on day one.
– Classroom trainings are expensive
According to the 2019 training industry report, on average, companies spent 1,286 dollars in 2019. The same report also mentions that, on average, employees received 42.1 hours of training. It proves that traditional training methods and materials are a significant expense for financials and lost work time. Employers must look for newer ways to train their employees. Thankfully, AR and VR technologies help support employee safety training.
Top 7 ways AR and VR impact employee safety training
Workplace injuries cost businesses more than 59 billion dollars per year. However, companies cannot cut back on employee safety training under any circumstances. In professions where inadequate safety procedures are a huge risk to the employee, employers must ensure that safety training is practical and accessible.
1. No more trial and error
Specific jobs, such as working in power plants or manufacturing units, require that employees be trained before assuming full responsibility. Augmented and virtual reality help make simulations that allow for training that is safe and free of consequences. Employers can create an exact simulation of their operations and enable new employees to practice repeatedly. Such training allows them to see and correct their mistakes before they start using the actual equipment.
2. Risk-free immersive training
AR and VR technologies allow instructional designers, animation engines, and game designers to combine fun with practical learning. It raises levels of engagement in trainees. Besides attractive and fun components, AR and VR appeal to learners because of the risk-free training element. It eliminates the need for employees and trainees to be in the same location during the training session.
3. Increased retention and skill acquisition
Practice is the best way employees can sharpen their skills. It is a well-known fact that we retain much more information when we combine learning with “doing.” Compared to discussions, reading, lectures, or even audio-visual learning, hands-on-practice is the best way to retain information. AR and VR technologies allow for such training that increases knowledge retention and skill acquisition. These technologies enable employees to practice the concepts they have learned immediately.
4. Allows self-paced learning
Each employee is different with varying levels of learning abilities. AR and VR allow each person to learn at their own pace. It means they can work on the same concept multiple times without the risk of injury to themselves or the machinery. This risk-free approach allows for self-paced learning and the ability to take the training until they master a particular concept.
5. Enhance the effectiveness of learning
Most employers have deemed it unsafe for their workers to share headsets to receive safety training in the current situation. Augmented and virtual reality allows employers to develop solutions where an employee can point his phone camera to a portion of the training manual that opens up additional materials or resources on his screen. This technique allows companies to train their employees about specific products, solutions, or services.
6. Prepare employees for emergencies
Augmented and virtual reality are ideal for training employees to handle real-life situations. This technology is apt for safety training. It can minimize damage to the equipment and the cost of training. AR and VR allow firms to train employees to handle emergencies or real-time threats such as controlling a shooting situation.
7. Easy to customize training
Each organization and its requirements are different. Employees may encounter unique challenges and problems because of location, weather, or just the project’s complexity. AR and VR provide a considerable advantage in terms of flexibility and costs to offer company-specific training. It can accommodate a more tailored training experience.
The future of AR and VR in employee safety training
The safety risk is a real challenge that all industries face. Whether it is theft or operating potentially dangerous machinery, employees face risks, including physical hazards. Besides, the pandemic has necessitated a transition to a new way of life. There is currently a desperate need for new solutions that allow businesses to continue with some semblance of normalcy. AR and VR technologies provide organizations effective ways to train their employees while still preserving physical distancing norms. The use of augmented and virtual reality in employee safety training will become the new normal!
Want to explore how you can start with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies? Talk to us right away.
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5G and the World of Work – An Overview
- COVID-19 to act as a Catalyst
- Remote Work: Story so far & Roadblocks
- 5G to the Rescue
- Impact on Video Conferences
- Impact on AR and VR
- Improved VR Training with 5G
- Improved AR Training with 5G
- Other ways in which day-to-day work will be different with 5G
- Real-world example
- Security and other concerns for 5G
COVID-19 to act as a Catalyst
Did you realize? The working world is evolving, forcing organizations to think and act differently. Nothing happens without a trigger. In most cases, these triggers are trends.
What are these trends? Globalization, Mobility, Changing Demographics, and Technology are a few to mention.
If we focus on Technology alone; Big Data, Collaboration Tools, Wearable Devices, IoT, Cloud Computing, and 5G are some of the recent trends. This blog will take you through how 5G is enabling organizations to Reimagine and Rethink the way they work and how 5G is solving a lot of tech headaches.
It was already predicted that an economic recession will spur investments in technology. The owners and CEOs will need to find alternate ways to increase efficiency, drive revenue, and meet customer needs. Remote work is one such measure companies are adopting to make it work. As firms worldwide embrace remote work in the wake of COVID-19, we expect remote working culture to be the next trend.
Remote Work: Story so far & Roadblocks
In fact, remote work culture was one of the most defining tech trends of the past decade. The report by GetApp found that remote work expanded by nearly 400%. Quoting the report “The rise of remote work during the last decade has been driven by the proliferation of powerful mobile devices, ultra-fast internet connections, and the pervasiveness of cloud-based storage and SaaS solutions.”
With all the above-said factors which enhanced the adoption and acceptance of remote work culture, companies also faced a lot of tech headaches in implementing it properly. The shoddy WiFi network will lead to the slowdown of internet speed, digital distractions, inefficient communication, poor video calls, heavy buffering, etc. Besides, in-person sociability or daily face to face interaction is a major factor that boosts employee productivity.
5G to the Rescue
To accelerate business capabilities, 5G is addressing the fundamental needs such as:
- Connecting more devices faster than it is now
- Reduce the lag time between devices
- Enabling the bulk volume of data transmission from a large number of devices with better responsiveness
- Higher bandwidth & lower latency
The above concerns can be addressed once 5G is implemented. Thus, 5G is going to reinvent the way people are working from home and the above factors enable 5G to host new business applications.
The current internet revolution makes it possible to work remotely without many disruptions, but 5G will enable VIRTUAL WORKING.
Let us look at the changes it will bring to different work functions:
5G will augment changes in remote work, virtual meetings, hiring, training, or other work functions.
According to the Consumer Technology Association, once complete, 5G will be 100 times faster and 5 times more responsive than today’s networks. Download speed of 20 gigabits-per-second means 5G will enable more specialized tasks at the workplace like:
- Hold remote meetings in virtual spaces, remote trouble shootings, remote business meetings, thus saving the operational cost
- Interactive digital whiteboards – 5G enables transmitting a lot of data in a very fast and responsive way and thus digital displays will be able to interact with mobile devices, applications, and cameras.
- Virtual and augmented reality – With 5G, it will provide more immersive & interactive content experience, to make it as fully-realized collaborative technology.
- 5G will enhance highly data-intensive services Multiperson video conferencing.
- 5G will empower IoT by allowing real-time collaboration between employees and things
- Real-time cloud processing will be easier with 5G as the speed and processing capabilities increase. It will boost productivity. How 5G Will Boost Enterprise Investment In Cloud
Impact on Video Conferences
It seems that the combination of 5G and increased remote work will lead to more video conferences. This may be a piece of welcome news to people who have suffered through meetings, whether it was due to video freezing up, or forgetting to put the mute button on before making an awkward comment. 5G is all set to eliminate these deficiencies. Let’s see how:
- Speed: As mentioned above, 5G will be 100 times faster and five times more responsive than today’s networks. The increase in speed can improve streaming speed, download speed, video calls, and conferences with much more ease. More devices can work much more quickly and simultaneously with 5G.
- Bandwidth: The increased bandwidth, which is approximately allowing for 1,000 devices per meter on a connection will boost the network speed and fewer dropped connections. 5G bandwidths are projected to be 10 times higher than 4G LTE.
- Video Quality: Better speed and bandwidth can facilitate calls in HD and 3D without lag, latency and other interruptions
- Mobility: Mobility is one of the underrated advantages of 5G, one can easily connect with their partners, stakeholders, and colleagues via video, anytime, and anywhere. This is possible because 5G relies on higher frequency radio bands. The frequency of 5G ranges from 30GHz to 300GHz while 4G operates at 6GHz. It is a massive improvement.
Impact on AR and VR
5G can improve virtual meetings with the help of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. With 5G remote meetings could be held in virtual spaces. What would this look like? Each participant could be at home but feel like they are sitting around a table with the other participants, thus making use of VR technology. Also, new capabilities like digital whiteboards would also be available.
AR augments elements and other things in the real-world environment, whereas the task of VR is to immerse users fully in a virtual environment. The objective here is to manipulate and trick the minds of employees to feel and enjoy the immersive experiences. Although VR & AR is in use now with 4G, it hasn’t attained it’s full potential yet. AR and VR solely rely on network connectivity. Any disturbance in the connectivity will result in an unsatisfactory and unpleasant customer experience. By offering rich levels of computing power, 5G can take it to the next level.
For example, the NBA has tried weekly broadcasts in virtual reality (VR). It was providing viewers with a chance to see the action from the best seats anywhere in the house. However, due to blurred pictures being reported, the VR broadcast was turned down. But with 5G this problem can be solved.
Improved VR Training with 5G
The limitation of 4G when it comes to the application in VR is already proven. With 5G and it’s better bandwidth and speed, VR training will be much smoother and effective. 5G will help unlock the full potential of VR by causing a 10X decrease in latency. In VR, users will lose interest when the latency is over 20 ms. 5G guarantees a latency of sub-5 or sub-2 ms latency, which will provide an amazing user experience. As VR is all about immersion – feeling like you are in the virtual environment – this is incredibly important. For VR head-mounted displays (HMDS), currently, it requires a powerful PC to run them, which limits the application and enjoyment of VR to a certain location. Implementing 5G will push the power consumption, storage, and processing power away from the PC and will push into the edge cloud.
Read more: Virtual Reality: The Revolutionary Force
Improved AR Training with 5G
AR is highly data-intensive – even a minute of AR will consume 33 times more traffic than one minute of a 480p video, so you can see the impact 5G is going to have on AR. One peculiar thing about AR is that it expands on human potential, allowing people and machines to function better together in a collaboration that what they both could do alone. AR superimposes digital information, enhancing the real world we see, offers additional information that improves the comprehension.
Imagine the conceptualized design of a product you are going to build printed in a piece of paper, and imagine you are seeing that product right in front of you, appreciating all the specifics, and realizing what it would look like in real life, this is the difference between AR training and traditional training. AR aids point-of-need visual learning in real-time. AR training organizations can enhance the experience of training around the existing data and information.
Organizations can train their employees and partners more effectively using AR. AR provides a highly visual and interactive format that is far better than normal text and video approaches. For example, imagine a SAAS platform or an Office Collaboration Software that enables employees to scan the product and receive direct training in a highly immersive experience. This will further increase productivity, reduce the time, and provide better flexibility.
Other ways in which day-to-day work will differ with 5G
Remote work was made feasible by high-speed broadband internet, video conferencing, and other technologies, thanks to the increase in communication speed. Now, the next challenge is simulating the collaboration and co-worker interactions of the traditional workplace. That’s where holographic calls come into the picture. It is possible through remote meetings that could be held in virtual spaces with the help of 5G. The holographic calls show us a 3D projection with the help of 5G. This is one such example of how day-to-day work will be different from 5G.
A holographic call allows companies to organize meetings in a shared holographic workspace. Participants can share the content, both 3D and 2D within this workspace. It will be visible to all other colleagues or clients attending the meeting.
It is also possible for anyone to interact with each other differently, like in the real world. Suppose, If a person decides to roam around the workspace, which is shared, their avatar, the disembodied version of their head and shoulders will move as well. Such movements are visible to everyone except the same person.
For digital whiteboards, 5G can further enhance connecting a large number of IoT devices from movement sensors to smart printers to usher the workspace environment to go digital.
Volvo Car is using HoloLens to demonstrate the extensive safety features of their cars to clients. The technology helps educate clients, close sales, and ultimately places the emphasis on safety, the key element of Volvo’s brand.
Read More: 5G Network Vehicle Safety and Security
Security and other concerns for 5G
Even though 5G offers huge potential for businesses around the world, it seems the technology is much more complex when it comes to security concerns.
- 5G will enhance location tracking and personal data collection. Since 5G signals are short-range, it requires more cell towers covering a much smaller area. It means they know your exact location which is a piece of sensitive information.
- As per a research study by Purdue University & the University of Iowa, 5G inherits many security policies and subprotocols from its predecessors, which are more error-prone and thus raise privacy and other security concerns.
To summarize, 5G is enabling us to work in new ways while keeping us more engaged and enhancing productivity. The role of technology is shifting from being a luxury to a necessity by acting as a central nervous system for the organization, and 5G is one among them. Thus, the world of work is changing rapidly and the organizations have to adapt. Is your organization ready for the 5G revolution? Get in touch with our experts today and know how your company can embrace the benefits of 5G.
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5 Technology Trends Every Travel and Tourism Business Needs To Invest In 2019
If we look at the sheer number of customers involved, the travel and tourism sector is one of the world’s largest industries. Back in 2017, it was a USD 1.6 trillion industry worldwide and over 1.32 billion international tourist arrivals were recorded worldwide according to emigration agencies. With such a phenomenal target audience base, businesses that want to flourish in this sector from hotels to travel companies to flight and cruise operators are continuously seeking new differentiators to win customer loyalty and survive profitably in the face of intense competition. And the competition is not just from peers in the industry.
Today, there are thousands of technology companies that have transformed the conventional travel and accommodation experiences for the common man by shifting the power of choice to the consumer from the hands of the service provider. To remain viable, traditional players in this industry have also shifted their investment priorities to technology that helps them provide better services with lower costs.
There has been a paradigm shift in how the travel and tourism industry works. What was once a monopoly of travel agents, today an end customer has the freedom to chart their own travel itinerary, arrange every necessary and ancillary service throughout their journey and ensure hassle-free travel experiences anywhere in the world.
The best part is, they can accomplish all this from the comfort of their homes using just their mobile phones. The proliferation of smartphones and a large digital savvy guest base necessitates players in this industry to continually invest in technology platforms that help them connect with potential customers across all channels, be it booking offices or online portals.
Today, we shed light on the top 5 emerging technology trends that travel and tourism-related businesses need to keep a close watch and invest wisely if they want to remain successful. Here are our picks:
1. Mobile Friendly
Did you know that over 47.96 percent of global web page views have been from mobile devices alone? This implies, that irrespective of which travel or tourism service you offer, you need to ensure that every presence you have for your business on the internet needs to be mobile friendly. Additionally, businesses need to ensure that they offer customers access to critical services on their premises through smartphones. An example would be a hotel offering customers to book ancillary services like spa, cabs, recreational activities, restaurant, and in-room dining services, etc., through a mobile app rather than having to call up the reception to do so.
Check out the video to learn more about how hotels are embracing technology to provide better customer service.
This video is made using InVideo.io
Some of the world’s most premier hotel chains have gone one step further by creating smart room keys that help guests unlock their rooms with just their mobile phones or a wearable device like a smartwatch. Even more, if such services can be offered by integrating the hotel’s technology back-end with popular services that users already use will ensure greater customer satisfaction as they need not download another app on their mobile phones to use the new feature.
Related Reading: Find how realtors are winning tenants with innovative mobile apps.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Gartner predicts that by 2020, consumers worldwide will handle 85% of their interactions with a business without the need of a human agent. For the travel and tourism sector, customer engagement and the subsequent experiences are critical for continued success. AI can be a game changer in this regard. By serving multiple roles ranging from a virtual assistant or chatbot, AI enabled platforms to help businesses keep their businesses open to customer queries 24 X 7 without dedicated human staff.
Considering the fact that the travel and tourism industry is a global sector with business opportunities available without time zone restrictions, AI becomes even more special. By using machine learning, AI systems can study user behavior and offer automated recommendations and services during interactions for booking a cab or tickets to a nearby destination and so on.
AI can also help businesses automate much of their intense manual data management jobs like generating reports for management, staying compliant with local and regional laws, facilitating verification of guest background and biometrics and much more. The list is endless and in the coming years, AI will turn into a significant contributor to profits for key players in the travel and tourism industry.
Related Reading: Read on to know the top artificial intelligence trends of 2019.
3. Immersive Visual Experiences
What if you could offer a virtual tour of your hotel or resort or a popular tourist destination where your business operates, to a potential customer in another country? Well, this is possible today, thanks to the advancements in immersive visual technology like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR). It can be used for virtual simulations of travel destinations and accommodation facilities and even for interactive content marketing campaigns. With hardware costs going south every year, more users would buy devices that facilitate such experiences.
The popular Oculus Rift that had a hefty price tag of $799 when it launched in 2016 now sells for just $199 and this is an indication that hardware hindrances will not deprive AR, VR and MR technologies of their worth in the coming years. Businesses can offer interactive opportunities for other ancillary service providers to market their services in their properties like for example, a hotel chain, allowing AR-enabled shopping from popular brands for their guests or running promotional campaigns of nearby attractions that guests can explore virtually before making a decision. The possibilities are limitless.
Related Reading: Check out which technology has a better future: AR or VR
4. Internet of Things
Today, technology is moving from the bounds of computers and smartphones and integrating into almost every physical environment surrounding us. The Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm has opened new possibilities for improving customer experiences considerably. The travel and tourism sector too can leverage the potential of IoT to serve their customers more efficiently. From hotels offering a smart room environment controls to guests and airlines facilitating smooth check-in and boarding through beacons within airports, the number of offerings in this segment is numerous.
With the advancement made in hardware sensors, it is possible to gather a large volume of data from a customer or potential customer’s physical surroundings and businesses can use this data to offer personalized services. With an increased focus on data security, today’s IoT platforms will assure end users of personalized services without the risk of unauthorized access by imposters. From an operational standpoint, businesses such as airlines and hotels can use IoT platforms to automate several key operational tasks such as maintenance activities to improve their efficiency, save costs and reduce manual labor risks in the long run.
Related Reading: Read along to know where and why should you invest in IoT.
5. Big Data Analytics
From the huge gamut of data generated by guests and travelers, businesses in the travel and tourism sector can derive insights that help them make the best decisions for growth. This is facilitated by powerful big data analytics platforms that are today available even on a subscription basis. This makes the proposition sweeter for even smaller businesses as they can now compete with the giants in their respective business community by gaining vital knowledge about customer behavior, their spending habits, and their interests.
By analyzing data on past travel experiences, hotels and travel companies can provide personalized recommendations to customers and aid their decision-making process considerably. These systems allow travel companies to suggest the most profitable itineraries for both them as well as the customer making it a win-win situation for everyone. It also allows them to segregate travelers, according to several criteria such as cost preferences, location preferences, interests and much more. This allows them to create personalized marketing and promotional campaigns for each segment and gain more business opportunities.
Related Reading: Check out how big companies are using Big Data to boost business
The travel and tourism sector will undoubtedly rank among the largest in the world when it comes to investment potential. However, the future of this industry will largely be decided by who makes the wisest technology investment decisions among competitors. By converging human interactions and technology, businesses in this sector can serve their customers better and run their infrastructure smarter.
The choices are numerous and it requires an expert advisory partner for travel and tourism companies to realize the full value from their technology investments. This is where our consultants can be your differentiator. Talk to us today to know how your business can survive and succeed in the age of digital disruption by investing intelligently in technology that matters most to your business.
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5 Technology Trends Real Estate Players Should Watch Out For
Digital transformation is today the hottest area of interest in almost every business sector. With the huge growth in a digital savvy user base, enterprises big or small are continuously investing in new age digital technologies and tools to help them serve customers better and survive the tough market competition. The real estate sector is no different in this regard as digital technologies have reshaped both the customer and property landscape over the past couple of years. From facilities such as a simple listing of properties online to AI enabled best property matching based on preferences, the list of digital innovations in the real estate sector is huge. If your primary business is centered around real estate, then the following 5 technology innovations should certainly be on your watch list for 2019.
Augmented and Virtual Reality Applications
Today, real estate is a globally accessible commodity and not restrictive to localized demand. A property may attract interest from buyers across the world and not just in the vicinity or city that it is located. The challenge then lies in providing a holistic experience for the interested buyer to have a good look and feel of the property before investing. It may not always be possible to bring them physically to the place due to cost or other travel related concerns. This is where technology such as AR and VR can make a difference. With hardware devices, making AR/VR capabilities, inexpensive and accessible, property managers can easily facilitate an AR/VR demo for buyers to make faster and better decisions from anywhere. Another useful application would be for homeowners to use AR/VR to decide their home décor or construction techniques. For example, the positioning of furniture, temporary or permanent interior fixtures, etc., can be decided way before the actual construction begins. This allows more planning and elimination of cost overheads wherein both buyer and builder would have a clear understanding of how the building is to be constructed.
Check out how AR and VR are revolutionizing the real estate industry.
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Big Data Analytics
Real estate is one sector where pricing is a highly dynamic constituent. There are a number of factors influencing property or land prices and very often owners or enterprises that manage properties find it hard to offer competitive or profitable pricing to prospective buyers. However, several forward-thinking players have now started to utilize the power of big data analytics to get the most preferential pricing schemes that bolster both interests from buyers as well as maintain a competitive profit margin for sellers or property owners. Historical rental or property cost data along with trends such as demographic changes, population density, preferential behavior, amenity choices, spending patterns, etc., are supplied as data insights into powerful analytical systems. These in turn offer insights or in other words recommendations for property owners to price their offerings competitively and enhance the overall buying or rental experience for a consumer.
Related Reading: Find how Big Data is influencing the health care industry.
Innovative Property Management
The rise of start-up culture and the global workforce paradigm has impacted the real estate sector considerably. Today, it is not just one major tenant that leases an entire building or space within a building to set up its office, but several players invest to take up co-working spaces. In fact, studies have shown that shared workspaces have grown at an incredible rate of 200% over 5 years from 2013 to 2018. Co-working spaces facilitate companies to set up a presence where their best employees prefer to work thereby helping in boosting retention levels. For the real estate sector, this change in occupancy trend has called for the rise of innovative property management software that incorporates several new technology offerings. For example, power and other utility services have to be shared among multiple tenants in a co-working space and this requires the property management tool to be integrated with an IoT powered building management system that can monitor occupancy levels, adjust power and other environmental support features like lighting, temperature control, etc. Doing these tasks manually would require considerable overhead and hiring of a large workforce. Autonomous IoT integrated property management solutions can easily facilitate multiple tenants to collaborate in a workspace saving them the hassle of worrying about unwanted costs and the owners can have peace of mind without having to deal with manual supply and maintenance of essential support services.
Related Reading: Check out tips to select the right software for property management.
Blockchain Powered Smart Contracts
While some of the technology advancements we mentioned before require autonomous property management, blockchain is the key ingredient that can help make it possible in real time. The decentralized and highly immutable features of blockchain can help transform real estate management and property leasing considerably. An owner or landlord can easily rent out or sell portions of his property with agreed terms and conditions all recorded on smart contracts. The contract makes the details of the sale or rental highly encrypted and complies with all local laws and regulations. Besides, several government agencies are increasingly investing in blockchain to set up regulatory repositories that can autonomously validate land records, property and tax implications and much more. So, if real estate buyers can bump up their investments in blockchain, they can turn to become more compliant and legitimate in the market. This would increase affection for their offerings for prospective customers.
Digital Advertising and Sales
Today, a large portion of prospective buyers or leasing clients are hooked to social media and other digital channels to gain information. As a real estate dealer, you need to ensure that your properties are marketed in the right digital channel and reach the right audience within such channels. There are tons of social media advertising platforms that help you filter your target audience to the finest level. If you do not want to spend time on the filtering part, there are AI-powered tools that help do the job even better than humans. AI is not just limited to ad filtering for the real estate sector. There are intelligent chatbot applications available today for deployment in your website. These bots can converse with potential buyers when they inquire on your website, collect their information, suggest them the best choices based on their preferences, pass the right information to sales agents to take the lead further and ultimately help them close it quickly. From marketing automation to intelligent sales conversations, there is a host of digital solutions that the real estate players, can utilize to win customer hearts with personalization in highly competitive markets.
Related Reading: Watch out for the emerging technology trends of 2019.
No longer can the real estate sector be labeled as a laggard in terms of technology innovations. There are plenty of digital avenues where smart players can invest and stand out from the competition. We have showcased 5 of these avenues that are increasingly driving more value for adopters and we believe that these should be on the watchlist of any real estate player in 2019. Going digital friendly is no easy task, especially if you do not have a sizeable technology team in-house who is well versed in all these innovations. But that is where a technology partner like Fingent can prove to be the decisive factor in on-boarding the best technology innovations in your real estate business. If you are aspiring to be a leader in the real estate space through technology, talk to our experts today to explore the vast opportunities in digital transformation for your business.