The world was undergoing rapid digitalization when the pandemic struck. This further accelerated the adoption of new-age digital technologies that gained limelight when the world was battling the unprecedented health emergency. New digital and virtual ways of doing things led to a rise of new immersive technologies that transformed individual experiences as well as business operations across sectors.
The Intricacies of Immersive Realities
Immersive technologies utilize spatial computing to enable interactions in the virtual world through immersion provided by Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR). They interpret physical spaces and stimulate the addition of data, objects, as well as people, to real-world settings. Along with AR, VR and MR, immersive realities also include on-body and off-body sensors, haptics and location services.
This technology is enabling rapid prototyping of products, reducing the time and cost needed to enter the market. It is also ensuring scalability of training across sectors, helping non-desk workers to have access to quality hands-on learning experiences. As we are moving towards technological advancements, this tech is making processes faster and more efficient. The introduction of virtual 3D objects to physical spaces, immersing users in virtual set-ups, integrating AR and VR for people to interact with both, and feedback devices conveying sensations, are all just a few applications of immersive tech.
Immersive Tech Shaping the Future of Businesses
While initially immersive reality was concentrated in the gaming and retail sectors, it is anticipated that B2B use cases will transform how people conduct tasks. Various industries such as IT & electronics, media & entertainment, retail, healthcare, education, etc. are adopting immersive realities at a very fast pace.
VR-enabled participation in real-world events such as conferences, concerts, games, fashion shows, product launches, etc. highlights the fact that immersive tech is quite popular and is transforming the industry landscape. In fact, today VR tools help us analyze how certain products would look and could be used before we buy them from online stores.
Immersive educational experiences are already in place for learners to study in an engaging and advanced manner. In the logistics segment, this new-age tech is helping in identifying gaps in management of warehouses and vehicle fleets. We can now get a 360-degree tour of a property right from the comfort zone of our homes due to immersive technologies. Today, virtual tours, property showcases and floor and furniture planning are all possible due to this innovation.
The Progressive Future
The global immersive-reality market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24% until 2035. The increased use of smartphones, rise in connected devices and surge in adoption of 5G networks are the major factors that will be driving the growth of the market. The fact that VCs provided US$ 4 billion in funding to AR and VR start-ups in 2021, the 2ndlargest amount in any year after US$ 4.4 billion in 2018, and tech-based patents having grown at a 2x pace from 2018 to 2021, are indicative of the fact that immersive technologies are relevant for businesses.
Immersive technology is way beyond fun and entertainment. With extensive application across sectors, it would be appropriate to say that this new-age technology is playing an integral role in enhancing operations and improving customer experiences. In the future, its application will spike and disrupt more sectors.
It is also expected that immersive realities could assist in surgical procedures, training, telemedicine, imaging and pathology, as well as the treatment of mental health conditions. Holography, electromyography and microelectromechanical systems are other forms of immersive tech that will gain prominence in the times ahead.
While some of the required capabilities for immersive adoption are available today, device makers strongly need to consider features such as battery life, weight, ergonomics, etc. to improve sensory precision, mitigate security and privacy concerns, as the adoption and application of these technologies increases.