Augmented reality and virtual reality technologies are fun to play with. Many people have used them as part of a game or virtual experience, wearing a headset to do something fun in their home. But they are also both being employed in various industries for a variety of uses. Both AR and VR can be used to create a range of experiences that help businesses and organizations to do various different things. They are being used to train staff, improve customer experiences, and much more. People are finding new ways to use this technology all the time.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that it’s being used across various industries.
Delivering Customer Experiences
Virtual reality and augmented reality can both be used to deliver enhanced customer experiences. One industry that has made full use of this in recent years is travel and tourism. With global travel restricted due to the pandemic, many businesses and organizations in the industry turned to technology to allow them to continue to engage people. Some of them included museums such as the Louvre in Paris, Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, and Bryce Canyon in the US. All of these places have benefited from the use of VR technology to provide immersive experiences for people who can’t be there in person. National Geographic’s virtual reality experience also proved to be popular, showing people different places around the world.
Although travel is now more freely available again, many organizations are sure to continue using AR and VR experiences. Not only can they give travelers a taste of what’s to come, but they can also allow people not willing or able to travel to experience different places. They can offer a way for people to “travel” in a sustainable way that’s also more affordable and can be carried out at any time.
AR and VR as a Training Tool
In many industries, augmented reality and virtual reality have been employed as training tools. They can allow for trainees and employees to practice real-world scenarios in a safe environment that also helps businesses to save space. One research organization, MRI Global, has made use of virtual reality technology to provide in-laboratory training. Using VR training experiences, they can benefit from rapid development and training that is safe and timely even when there is no lab space available.
VR and AR can be used to simulate training environments and tools in a realistic way while also enhancing safety. Trainees can learn new skills with no risk of any real-world consequences if they get something wrong, providing a similar experience to a vehicle or flight simulator. Using virtual reality technology can also allow usual workspaces to remain in use because there’s no need for them to be tied up with training.
Retail companies are making use of virtual reality and augmented reality technology to provide immersive in-store experiences. They have also been making use of the tech to create hybrid experiences that reflect the use of both in-store and online shopping by their customers. For example, Ulta has introduced a tool that allows customers to try on makeup from anywhere using augmented reality. Retail brands have also connected with other virtual opportunities, such as in the case of Gucci, which released an exclusive digital shoe design that can be used in apps like Roblox.
Augmented reality has also been shown to improve the conversion rate of products that use it. Shopify collected data that shows products with AR content have a 94% higher conversion rate compared to products without. Brands are sure to continue to use augmented reality and virtual reality technology to create different experiences.
Prototyping and Product Design
AR and VR are also being employed as technology to improve the speed of prototyping and product design. Developing new products quickly is important in industries where competition is fierce, and VR and AR can help to make the process a lot faster. New iterations of products can be tested using these technologies so that they can be improved upon before they need to be made into a physical product. The time between initial design and physical modeling can be reduced significantly. The technology might even remove the need to build physical prototypes completely in some cases. This enables businesses to innovate more easily and quickly.
AR Technology in the Field
People in professions where they need to go out and work in the field are benefiting from the use of augmented reality technology. Using AR interfaces, people such as engineers, plumbers, electricians, and technicians can access information, instruction manuals, and other helpful material that allows them to find problems and carry out repairs and maintenance more easily. For example, digital models of physical assets can enable them to interact with them and collaborate with other people. VR headsets and smart glasses can be used to display essential information.
With remote working more popular than ever and workers for projects often spread out across different locations, VR and AR can help people to work together. Using these technologies, people can connect with each other, view the same things, and collaborate on projects without having to be in the same location. VR and AR can be used to reduce the need for travel when it comes to things like training or anything else that might have required in-person collaboration before.
Even something as important as data visualization can be made possible and more interactive using augmented reality and virtual reality. For example, Great Wave and Salesforce have developed a VR analytics tool that helps businesses to understand customer data. Hand gestures and eye movements can be used to control and manipulate the way that the data is displayed and provide more detail about different data. It helps to make big data easier to understand and drill down into with a more visual experience.
Both AR and VR are being used across different industries and are sure to continue to provide a range of excellent uses.