2017 came and went without any “breakthrough” moments in the world of virtual and augmented reality, however small, incremental advances on both the software and hardware sides of the emerging technologies shed light on the promise VR and AR hold. In this new year, the innovation will certainly continue.
Now is the time for innovators and investors to think about the opportunities available for their businesses now and, more importantly, how they can create what’s next. Click To Tweet
Making Progress Where It Counts
As more and more companies – from healthcare and education to financial services and entertainment – embrace the idea of digital transformation, VR and AR players continue to up their game; they’re busy working to expand the application and improve the usability of their software, while simultaneously optimizing the performance of their devices. Especially among market leaders like Sony and HTC, the software is becoming smarter, more intuitive, more realistic, and less buggy. The hardware is increasingly wireless and more elegant and ergonomic than ever before.
Some of the more interesting and evolving uses of VR and AR spawning from advancements like these include:
Physical and occupational therapy:
- Both VR and AR are increasingly being used to aid those recovering from stroke, injury, and / or surgery. In the healthcare space more generally, VR and AR are also being used to support pain management, chronic disease management, and mental health, including PTSD.
- In the retail space, VR and AR are already (on a small scale) allowing consumers to try on clothes, cosmetics, and accessories without stepping into a store. Similarly, shoppers are using VR and AR to see what a specific piece of furniture might look like in their home and digitally test out paint colors for their walls. (Want to see virtual furniture placement in action? Check out this cool demo video from IKEA.)
- In education, VR and AR are quickly gaining traction and being used for everything from virtual fieldtrips to teacher training. This list of Top 20 Virtual Reality Apps that Are Changing Education from The Tech Edvocate offers some specific examples. (Awesome stuff!)
- In addition to the more familiar VR / AR entertainment experiences that have been available on devices like Xbox and PS3 for the last few years, VR / AR technologies are quickly pushing into the world of mainstream television and film. Just this month, NBC made many of the 2018 Winter Olympics events viewable in VR. There’s much, much more to come (and soon) in the entertainment space.
Moving Toward What’s Next
While in the past it’s been easy to think of VR and AR as novelty, now is the time for innovators and investors across all industries to think about the opportunities available for their businesses now and, more importantly, how they can create what’s next.
Consumers are ready for VR and AR. How will you pave the way for the future? As the tech quickly becomes more affordable and more refined, you’ll need to have an answer to this important question.
Not sure where to start? We’re innovation experts and we can help.
To learn more about this topic or to connect with one of PointClear Solutions’ technology experts about our digital strategy, design, development, and/or management services, Contact Us. (And don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn for more great content!)
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