The tech industry is on the brink of moving from mobile to immersive computing, according to the World Economic Forum, in this new era, immersive technologies will change the way companies communicate, collaborate and get work done. It also means immersive computing will empower brands to build stronger engagement with customers.
Immersive computing will be powered by Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. VR enables users to immerse themselves and interact within a virtual space, either in a simulated real-world environment or a computer-generated one. AR uses computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, and GPS data to enhance reality.
Gaming and entertainment have been early drivers of AR and VR technology adoption. Pokémon Go introduced AR to the mainstream by encouraging millions of users to visit places in their city to collect Pokémon creatures superimposed on the scenery using their smartphones. Today, a host of VR headsets provide users with immersive gaming experiences across smartphones, gaming consoles and PCs.
But now, these immersive technologies are demonstrating potential beyond gaming and entertainment.
In April 2016, the Royal London Hospital live streamed an operation to VR headsets and smartphones using 360-degree cameras. This allowed other surgeons, medical students and members of the public to immerse themselves in the surgery in real-time. In addition, Lexus is using Oculus Rift VR headsets to enable prospective buyers to virtually test drive its new models.
Mainstream applications such as these are fuelling expectations for significant growth in the AR and VR market over the next few years. In the “Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide,” IDC estimates total spending on AR/VR products and services to reach nearly $215 billion by 2021, representing an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 113.22 percent from 2017.
There are many areas in which immersive technologies are set to transform the enterprise and the workplace environment:
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