In virtual reality, users wear headsets that fully immerse them in computer-generated environments. The development of virtual reality devices is done to meet not only education, design, marketing, training, but also retail needs. On the other hand, augmented reality involves computer images being superimposed onto the real world view of the users through a headset or a screen. Augmented reality presents a more complex challenge to the designers since it has to use software for the users to see what’s in front. That being said, both technologies have their spot in the modern world as they help solve problems and create unique experiences among the users.
The year 2019 saw huge growth for augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) – collected referred to as extended reality (XR). These breakthrough technologies are no longer limited to gaming and entertainment fields, where they were first popular, they have stretched their arms and now they are being utilized in various industries including retail stores, manufacturing plants, transportation, and agriculture. VR and AR are becoming common experiences in almost every industry from retail to healthcare to transportation. Retail businesses and other organizations need to take advantage of these technologies by seeking the help of Augmented Reality development teams to code apps that they can use in their business environment. There are just so many experiences that can be created to the customers with the use of AR apps. Also, there are many problems that can be solved in retail processes and environments with the use of AR and VR apps.
VR/AR Global Statistics and Projections
According to a report by Markets and Markets, the value of the augmented reality market stood at $4.21 billion in the year 2017 and it was expected to hit $66.55 billion come 2023, which shows growth at a 40.29 percent CAGR in the forecast period.
On the other hand, the virtual reality market had a value of $5.12 billion in the year 2017 and it was expected to climb to $34.08 billion by the year 2023, which represents a CAGR growth of 33.95 percent in the forecast period. The forecast period was between 2018 and 2023 and the base year was 2017. These figures are a reflection of how fast the VR and AR technologies are growing. Different industries are also positioning themselves to take advantage of the technology.
The increasing investment in the augmented reality market, as well as the increasing demand for the technology in healthcare and retail sectors, are considered the main drivers that are propelling the growth of the augmented reality market. Healthcare and retail are the big players when it comes to tapping the AR technology. On the flip side, the growth of the virtual reality market was propelled by the easy availability of VR devices that are affordable, increasing use of HMDs in both entertainment and gaming fields, and advancement in digitization and technology are some of the driving forces that have led to the VR market growth.
In addition, the growth of the VR market has been facilitated by high investments in VR technology or markets.
Moreover, consumer application leads both VR and AR market in the forecast period as the use of AR and VR in sports, gaming, and entertainment drives the AR/VR market or XR market for the consumer applications.
Overall, the AR market would be lead by the AR software market by 2023 owing to the rising use of tablets, smartphones, and other devices of augmented reality gaming. Similarly, the virtual reality software market would also see high growth due to the demand for content creation within the VR space expected to be witnessed in the next five years. In the AR and VR market, head-mounted displays are going to take a major share. These devices are the most promising gadgets expected to promote the AR/VR market growth. AR smart glasses lead the AR market when it comes to head-mounted displays since they have a high demand for automotive, commercial, healthcare, and industrial applications.
As the demand for VR/AR continues to rise across every other industry, the industry players are consulting with Augmented Reality developer to see what kind of products can be created. To have a successful VR/AR app, you need to work with a developer who is well versed with these technologies and who also understands your industry too well.
Additionally, the use of AR smart glasses would be witnessed in industrial and enterprise applications whereby the glasses would help in increasing the efficiency of the employees while also ensuring satisfaction and safety. Virtual reality HMDs would be mostly used in healthcare, retail, gaming, sports, entertainment, and eCommerce sectors. Among the major virtual reality devices are such as Google’s Daydream, Samsung Gear VR, Merge VR, Carl Zeiss VR One, and Sony PlayStation needless to mention Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
The AR HUDs would mainly be used in airplane and automotive navigation. Various details are displayed on the windscreen including roadmaps and speed something that would foster a safe driving experience for the driver. The major restrains in the adoption and use of AR are the limited user interface (UI) that affects the performance in the navigation of the augmented reality applications in addition to limited processing power. Other constraints would be less storage as well as the restricted size of memory cards within mobile phones or even the varying infrastructural quality of the digital network.
In regard to the virtual reality market, the constraints affecting the growth of the market would include health concerns related to lack of movement and low resolution when using the devices for example, when gaming or doing sports and entertainment using the VR devices. Energy consumption and display latency would also be other factors that affect the performance of virtual reality devices.
Now that we have said a thing or two about VR and AR markets and growth, let’s look at some of the trends we expected to see in the practical usage of the technologies in 2020.
1. Industrial Use to Outpace Entertainment, Sport, and Gaming
If you ask many people about their first experiences in the use of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies, they will tell you that it was in gaming and entertainment. Since the technologies were introduced in the market, the gaming industry took a wide adoption. However, come 2020, that is likely to change. Research indicates that enterprise XR solutions and their growth are overtaking XR on consumer solutions.
If you plan to use augmented and virtual reality technologies in your company, you should only contact an experienced AR development company to work with you. You want to deal with an AR/VR dev company that has handled similar projects to the one you have in your industry. Don’t allow a developer company to experiment with you in building a VR or AR app. It could do harm than good to your project or even your business.
In the 2020 XR Industry Insight report prepared by VR Intelligence, it points out that 65 percent of augmented reality companies that participated in the survey hinted that they were working on the industrial application while 37 percent of the AR companies said they were working on software and consumer products. In recent years, games made headlines in the world of VR/AR thanks to the Oculus Rift of Facebook and Pokemon Go. In the industrial environment, the potential for XR technology to boost productivity and promote safety among workers makes the technologies an attractive proposition. VR may be used to provide a simulation of work in environments that are considered dangerous or with easily damaged equipment and tools. The simulation would mean that there are no risks involved since no actual work by actual people is being performed in those environments.
Similarly, AR would be used in replaying important information directly to the workers about things that happen in front of them. This would mean reduced time spent by technicians, engineers, or maintenance staff when they have to refer to manuals or look up for information from the internet about a particular problem that has occurred in the industrial environment.
2. XR to Take Off In Healthcare
Both AR and VR have potential uses in the healthcare industry and 2020 is expected to witness many user cases transitioning from trials and pilot projects to real, general use. In therapy, VR has already been utilized in which the technology is used in treating patients who have anxiety disorders and phobias. A therapist with aid of biosensors that help to monitor patient’s physiological reactions such as perspiration and heart rate could have a better understanding of the way patients when they face stressful situations within a safe, virtual environment.
In addition, virtual reality has also been used in helping individuals with autism to develop their communication and social skills. The technology has also be used to diagnose patients who have cognitive and visual impairments by tracking the eye movements of those patients.
Within the healthcare industry adoption of augmented reality is projected to grow quickly. The market value of AR in healthcare will increase by 38 percent annually until 2025. Surgeons can use AR in training and in the theater to help alert them when there are hazards and risks while conducting their job or diagnosing patients. One app has been developed that helps nurses find the veins of patients and avert sticking needles accidentally on the patient where they are not wanted. These innovations have not only contributed to improved patient outcomes but also reduced treatment costs. In 2020, you will see more of these innovations in the healthcare industry.
3. Headsets to be Smaller, More Power, More Mobile
The prevailing XR technology faces many limiting factors including the encumbering headsets or even display units. People are nowadays going minimalist and if they have to wear huge headsets and use large display units, it makes them uncomfortable. In particular, the VR technology experiences this problem of bulkiness where the processing hardware used to generate graphics is found in the headset. Due to that problem, the manufacturers of the VR hardware devices have begun working towards building untethered products. Take, for example, Oculus Rift of Facebook initially needed an individual to connect it to a powerful PC, however, today, it comes as a self-contained gadget.
The headsets will not only be more mobile but will also have powerful processors thus helping improve the user experience. The shift from low-resolution polygons found in the early VR to the vistas available in today’s VR devices, it would mean that the experience of the users would be closer to reality. It would allow users to have a more immersive experience. The 8k combined AR/VR glasses by Apple will possibly be some of the anticipated breakthroughs we expect to see with the technology. These glasses will not be tethered to a phone or computer.
4. 5G Network to Open New Possibilities for XR
With the launch of the 5G network in 2019, 2020 would be a huge boost when it comes to having super-fast mobile networks. The fast network is going to boost the potential of AR and VR by strengthening its presence within the entertainment space and further paving way for more adoptions in various industries in 2020.
5G is truly a fast network considering that the average home broadband typically delivers less than 100 megabits of data per second, with the amazing, lightning speeds of data transfers amounting to up to 3 gigabits in a second, you can’t compare the two networks. The 5G network would provide super-lighting connectivity capable of streaming AR and VR data from the cloud. Instead of having to be glued up to a powerful PC or hampered by on-board hardware, you will have the VR/AR viewing devices upload tracking data that is sent to data centers from where heavy processing takes place. The users can have rendered images delivered back to them in real-time because of the improved connectivity speeds from the advanced 5G networks.
When combined with the cloud, the 5G technology is going to offer many benefits to the AR/VR users. In the end, manufacturers will deliver cheaper headsets as well as viewing devices with highly realistic VR simulations.
5. Learning Through AR and VR
It will become common for individuals to train through VR and AR in 2020. XR technology helps enhance the educational experiences of students. The immersive nature of the technologies allows students to engage with learning in a fun way. AR will offer new flexibility when it comes to on-the-job training. It would be possible for students to get a virtual trip to somewhere like the ancient Romans or experience conditions in different planets. In learning, VR and AR technologies will not only provide experience but also help in solving problems found in the current education systems. You may find that distance learners may be taught in VR- powered classrooms – where a collaborative environment is created for the learners just as it happens in a physical classroom learning session.
The Wrap Up
VR and AR are technologies that we expect to see them explode in 2020. As industries seek for ways to adopt the technologies, there will be a huge growth in the use of the technologies. The growth of the technologies is also expected to be fueled by the introduction of the 5G network. The fast speeds in connectivity along with innovative designs of the VR and AR devices will mean that the user experience will be promoted.
VR/AR technology will be used in retail, healthcare, and entertainment to a wide scale. Through the services of AR developers in India, organizations, commercial plants, companies, retailers, and other industry players will be able to build AR apps that are tailored to their specific needs. If a company deals with the manufacturing of products, it can use AR apps to help in reducing accidents and injuries or to enhance the productivity of the workers.