Innovation is a key to a fast and successful boosting business. Modern technologies bring good results in many trade and business sectors: industry and retail, construction and real estate, medical services and education. The benefits of digital innovation could be seen everywhere we turn. Virtual and Augmented realities are among the most disruptive and innovative technologies; having started as a sci-fi invention they completely blow up many known business models
Virtual and Augmented Reality: Short Guide
Today, the Virtual and Augmented reality makes a big entry into our daily life thanks to the wide variety of gadgets, which are designed to show the new technological advancements. So the new iPhones XS and XS Max, introduced at the beginning of October, are said to be extra big and powerful to host Augmented-Reality Apps.
Augmented reality (AR) was designed to provide the user with additional information about the environment and the objects belonging to it. One of the best known examples is a Nintendo’s Pokémon Go. But also, from IKEA Mobile App to the Disney coloring book and L’Oréal Makeup App, more and more companies are using AR solutions to attract more customers and provide them with better service.
Virtual reality (VR) is an alternative synthetic environment. At the beginning, it was used mainly for some very special training and in the entertainment industry. Today VR helps to create presentations, conduct scientific experiments, teach medical students, and so on.
For the business owners that would like to implement either Virtual or Augmented reality, there is one important difference between them. To experience virtual reality a VR headset or another dedicated device is needed. Whereas for creating an augmented reality experience, all the customer needs is to download an AR app from an official store to his mobile device.
VR and AR apps are designed to improve customer service and create the personalized customer experience. Successful VR and AR implementation as a business model has very much affected the way people ‘see’ the stores of the future.
Enterprise Opportunities with V&A Reality
Virtual reality is already changing the face of the business world, and experts claim that it won’t be long until most companies will start integrating VR equipment in day-to-day activities. Augmented Reality already has many existing applications in retail and industry. Companies are adopting these technologies to improve efficiency, especially in the areas where one virtual reality application can successfully replace many clumsy explanations and two-dimensional pictures.
Augmented Reality changes the approach to trade – both traditional and on the e-trading platforms. The focus has shifted to utilizing the technology potential for personalization and improvement of users’ purchase perception, their experience and satisfaction, and enhancing the interactivity of shopping experience. Virtual try-on rooms became the first step in using AR and VR technologies to increase customer engagement and provoke online orders and purchases. Augmented and Virtual Reality applications allow creating virtual fitting rooms where customers can try goods virtually. Or they can place a new furniture piece in an existing room and see how it fits, as it is the case with the IKEA mobile App. New possibilities, combining the convenience of technology with the experience of physical trading, drive more visitors to online stores.
Augmented and Virtual reality could be used on almost any stage of the design and manufacturing process through to the subsequent maintenance and repair of the products. AR and VR help engineers and designers develop products within the environment where they will be used. The technology allows taking into account all factors, features or constraints. Designed products can be tested, analyzed, and subjected to simulations that allow consideration of various factors in their use over time. The modern products are created with ever increasing complexity, which complicates their manufacturing. Augmented Reality apps can provide the manufacturing workers with all needed information about manufacturing operations at the right time. The digital content, added to the reality, improves the efficiency of work and optimizes production processes.
The tourism industry aims to offer and sell experiences and unforgettable memories. Augmented and Virtual Reality makes a significant contribution to achieving these goals by enriching tourists’ experiences and providing new visitors service. The technology allows users to experience destinations as close to life as possible and so determine which would make the best choice. The technology also improves and enriches the overall perception during the visits. Customers use Augmented Reality to have quick and easy access to information that is vital to their enjoyment and safety. The tourists receive data about hotels, restaurants, museums, landmarks and other locations around them in real time and in various forms like opinions, reviews and comments. This makes their traveling even better prepared but also exciting and memorable.
Augmented Reality contributes to the creation of interactive advertising campaigns that engage customers’ attention and promote active participation. Augmented or Virtual Reality is a perfect tool for increasing sales. Print materials can be turned into interactive with the additional 3D images or they can be enhanced with animations or videos. The technology provide users with a 360-degree view of the products. The product becomes personal when the user can try it in his personal world instead of the artificial store environment. The personalization of the products and the ability to interact with them helps customers make real purchases. On the other hand, creating an emotional relationship between users and products stimulates customers to share their experiences with friends, colleagues, family and in social media. This tendency is a prerequisite for companies to build a community around their products that lead to high social visibility and presence on the market.
Augmented reality influences health care in many ways – from how medical students learn about the human body, to the medical consulting via conference chat. The technology is already being used for making surgeries less invasive, since it enables physicians to “look” into a patient without making an incision. AR/VR applications have also earned a good reputation in counseling therapies that help patients engage in rehabilitation, improve pain management, and cope with such conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Improving work efficiency and safety is a key requirement for running warehouses. AR apps lead a warehouse worker to the exact location of an item safely and quickly and help to prepare it for shipping. Warehouse system removes the item from inventory list and sends it to a designated location for packing and shipment. It is said that General Electric has experienced productivity gains across seven of its business units by employing AR-based technology. Warehouse order fulfillment tasks were completed 46% faster since workers did not have to refer to a workstation. They simply pulled up inventory information on their smart glasses.
Design and Architecture
One of the key challenges for designers and architects is finding a way to experience the physical spaces, structures, and objects they create. Today, most create 3D objects on 2D screens. AR and VR applications allow designers to visualize 3D content while they are designing it in 2D. And, just as important, they allow to display the design to prospective clients and investors in a comprehensive way.
Looking Ahead: The Future of the VR and AR for Business
Virtual reality is currently one of the best marketing tools and when paired with augmented reality it creates another dimension for the user. The future of this technology looks very promising. As AR grows and continues to be adopted, it will likely stay in the mobile arena. This would result from the ease of access for businesses as well as from the absence of compelling headset technology. Beyond mobile use, AR may eventually pair directly with developments in AI and location-based services. AI can lay the groundwork for reading and interpreting data, and advances in location-based technology could create even more possibilities for consumers. Deployment of Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies offers new ways of interactions between customers, products and services.
Businesses are always looking to add more value to their services. Augmented reality can bridge the gap between customer expectations and offered products. Although this would be an over-simplified way of viewing the Augmented reality, it is nonetheless imperative that companies combine the best aspects of the virtual and physical worlds to generate new, engaging, interactive, and personalized experiences that benefit both customers and the business.
The experts predict a big shift in the way how businesses will use Augmented and Virtual reality in the next three years. It is thought that half of all businesses not using the AR and VR technology as yet, will start using it as they accept that the benefits for productivity, efficiency and safety in the workplace. The most popular uses of AR and VR in businesses may be in offering the remote real-time support to customers and in training staff.
Virtual and Augmented Realities certainly have the ability to change the future as we know it. From games to marketing and social networks, but also to industry and science, this modern technology has already made great strides. Moreover, with startups and technological giants that take initiative in using, the future of Augmented and Virtual reality in web and mobile app development seems bright.