Although not yet in the hands of everyday consumers, virtual and augmented reality are gaining traction.
From the Oculus Rift becoming a well-known name to other products showcasing at major conferences, VR and AR are finding their place in the market. And from virtual meetings to robust new ways of prototyping, both have the potential to impact the business world in the near future.
To learn what we can expect, 13 technology executives offer their insights into the next five years of VR and AR technology.
1. We’ll Experience Our Reality Through Virtual Reality
Companies are realizing that VR/AR are viable options for capturing knowledge. PowerPoints are now embedded in VR. VR offers a practical way to convey knowledge and its immersive nature caters to the workforce. AR takes the manuals to the field and aids installation. These technology-driven tools are getting better, more realistic, and are already accepted by those entering the workforce. – Joseph D’Angelo, D’Angelo Technologies, LLC
2. Prototyping Will Go to the Next Level
Companies will use virtual reality and augmented reality to visualize what they’re building in a way that’s never been possible before. This level of prototyping will give unprecedented insight into a product at the beginning of the process. Decision makers and end-users will be able to provide better and more valuable feedback early in the game. Businesses will end up wasting less time and money. – Ashley Saddul, Recruiter.com
3. Certain Niche Markets Will Be Impacted
I love the idea of virtual/augmented reality taking off. Already, I can see nursing home patients pretending they’re at the beach, not to mention practical applications like telemedicine. Unfortunately, the price tags and social stigma will limit the customer base for the next decade or two. – Alan Romans, Ashland Health Center
4. Advanced VR Will Become the Social Laboratory of the Elite
The company Improbable enables realistic virtual worlds and complex “life.” So, their stakeholders don’t geek over “immersive experiences” like a dad at RadioShack. They’re simulating business strategy, government policy, etc — choices with billions in capital, human and otherwise, on the line. Sure, a Home Depot AR app will let you visualize a kitchen remodel; but for major players, they’re not gaming. – Gurpreet Singh, TalkLocal
5. It Will Offer a Tool for Every Aspect of Business
I see VR and AR becoming tools for every aspect of any business including future product prototyping, developing new features, driving sales, enhancing retail store experience, etc. It can be used as a marketing and advertisement tool to build models and predict new opportunities. AR can compliment artificial intelligence to mature predictive analytics models and drive more automation. – Bishnu Nayak, FixStream Inc.
6. Virtual Reality Devices Will Be the Next Breakthrough in Computing
Virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift will be the next breakthrough in computing. First you had personal computers, then the Internet, and then you had mobile. VR will be next. Every business will, once again, have to change the way they think about engaging with their customers. In short, VR will shake up the business world in a way that’s even greater than the Internet did in the 90’s. – Danny Boice, Trustify
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7. It Could Change the Talent Management Industry
From a talent management perspective, VR could enable candidates to spend some time in the company virtually so as to assess whether they would be a cultural fit within the organization. Remote and onsite workers would be able to interact more effectively and build better relationships, thus strengthening teams. – Ian Davies, Skiltrek Staffing
8. It Could Be the Future of Retail
Through virtual and augmented reality, companies will be able to invest in research and development of cultural, social and consumption trends as well as sector and industry forecasting. Virtual reality will have a tremendous impact on the future of retail by allowing companies to understand the trends of consumer behavior and product consumption in various settings. – Andres Focil, WebME Technologies
9. Virtual Reality Will Touch Everything
VR is recognized by many as the most significant technological advancement since the mouse and GUI debuted. Like the Internet, it will touch everything. Opportunities abound in education, healthcare, training and simulation, journalism, etc. It will fundamentally change how we interact with each other and our world. The next big step is photorealism for true immersive interaction, without limits. – Mark Papermaster, Advanced Micro Devices
10. The Smartest Companies Are Leveraging VR/AR Right Now
In the B2B event space where we operate, AR and VR are already being heavily leveraged as both a means to stand out from the crowd as well as to achieve significant cost reductions. A VR/AR experience or product demonstration achieves interactive brand engagement and makes this experience portable and reproducible at a nominal cost — objectives difficult to achieve with physical prototypes. – Ted Spies, Gateway Exhibit Services
11. ECommerce and Advertising Are the Next Wave for VR/AR
Gaming, movies and other forms of entertainment are an obvious space where VR will thrive, but eCommerce has exciting uncharted territories ripe for innovation and disruption. When you look at how mobile and desktop experiences have impacted traditional brick and mortar stores, VR/AR will carve out a niche where real world perspective is an important part of the purchasing cycle. – Greg Cullen, Solstice Mobile
12. Meetings Are Going to Change
Anything that lowers the delta between in-person and virtual interaction will have a huge impact on business. Ten years ago, fully distributed teams were more of a thought experiment than reality, but that’s no longer true with modern infrastructure. VR will tighten the gap more. That said, it’s probably further out than most people think. Can you imagine a meeting full of people with VR headsets on? – Yusuf Simonson, The Muse
13. Visualization Will Improve
The long-term potential of VR and AR in gaming, entertainment, education, and communication is huge. Today, VR can be a great tool to preview and review work that we are creating in the connected physical and digital space. We’re able to experience spaces before they’re built from a new perspective, giving us a much better view of what we’re creating, ultimately leading to better results. – Marc Jensen, Space150