By Raman Talwar, Founder and CEO of Simulanis Solutions
A PwC report last year predicted that nearly 23.5 million jobs worldwide would be using AR and VR by 2030 for training, work meetings or to provide better customer service.
These statistics might look quite promising; however, the looming unpredictability has forced some big AR/VR companies like Magic Leap and Valve to trim their workforce. The adoption of XR Technology post-COVID world across the industries is still yet to be seen; however, the emerging use cases across manufacturing units like remote assistance, product visualization, multi-user collaboration and digital workflow clearly show a sign of silver lining for the VR/AR economy. Here are some of the factors to be considered that can lead to higher adoption of VR/AR technology across various demographics.
Social Distancing – The new norm
Remoteness is the new buzzword and employees have now adjusted themselves to Work From Home setting quite perfectly. This has exacerbated the usage of communication tools to organize video calls, chat, host meetings, and collaboration. However, these tools are marked by certain limitations that can make interactions monotonous. In such cases, VR and AR can make a big difference by bringing immersion and interaction. For example, engineers of a manufacturing plant can visualize a product virtually, and get a sense of proportion that is unmatchable to viewing a 3D Model on a desktop using teleconference tools.
Reducing the Hardware Cost
Although, the prices of hardware have fallen over the past few years, its still not at the level of a smartphone, which can be used by everyone. High-powered VR devices that provide good resolution and field of view aren’t reasonable and accessible.
As noted by GlobalData’s Principal Analyst Lynnette Luna, COVID-19 and the increased time consumers spend at home present a perfect opportunity to do more with XR technologies but it depends on consumers having access to hardware to access it. Currently, many XR headsets are very expensive and require additional costly computer hardware to run but, if Facebook and other developers manage to release an effective, lightweight, low-cost device in the near future, it could significantly increase the potential audience for this technology.
Building new use cases
VR and AR are allowing Governments, Scientists and Doctors to visualize the massive amount of data originating from Coronavirus. The ability of such technologies to allow for remote work provides ample opportunities in the healthcare sector. To illustrate, Sheba medical centre in Israel partnered with XRHealth, an American based company, to monitor those quarantined while having less physical interaction. This can mitigate the time it takes for doctors to wear PPE kits and also keep them safe from getting affected.
The post-COVID world might not be the same as it was before; however, it is in our hands to experiments with cutting-edge tools to identify the benefits it can provide to the consumers and to make sure that it becomes an integral part of our work culture.