Put simply, augmented reality and virtual reality are those technological drivers which seek to create alternate experiences for users by playing around on the boundaries of the real and virtual world. While we have talked about the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality in detail in our previous piece, here we shall take them under an umbrella term of AR/VR. In this piece, we will not go into the specifics and definitions of these terms. The focus will be on how they are creating an impact on the society as a whole. Therefore, the objective of this blog is to identify the top AR/VR use cases, especially focusing on the key industries for the Indian economy.
On the face of it, we tend to believe that AR/VR use cases limit themselves to only gaming and similar experiences. However, that is only a small area of their application. While it is true that AR/VR has immense potential to transform gaming and similar experiences, their use in key human sectors like healthcare, education, etc. also deserve due recognition. In fact, the AR/VR market is growing at an unprecedented rate, and is likely to reach $61.39 billion USD by 2023. Let’s explore the top use cases!
We shall start the discussion on AR/VR use cases with one of the key industries today, i.e. healthcare. AR/VR is impacting almost every step of the healthcare lifecycle. Right from diagnosis to treatment, doctors are leveraging AR/VR to ensure better healthcare services. To begin with, augmented surgery is gaining momentum. AR/VR allows doctors to visualize patient anatomy using AR headsets to overlay it over the patient body without the actual procedure. This allows the healthcare professionals to cut through bones and internal organs in a virtual environment, before even picking up their tools. This will allow them to meticulously visualize where to inject or create an incision, adding effectiveness to the surgery.
At the same time AR/VR will allow patients to diagnose better. This especially comes in handy when patients are unable to describe their symptoms properly. Doctors can take the help of AR and VR to understand them better. For instance, AccuVein allows nurses to use a handheld scanner powered by augmented reality to project it over the patient body and identify where the veins are for smooth injections.
Since the manufacturing industry thrives on what it creates, AR/VR use cases in manufacturing have significant implications. Traditionally, manufacturers had to create a physical prototype of anything new they sought to introduce. However, in case the product didn’t work, a lot of time and effort would go to waste. With AR/VR, manufacturers can have virtual prototypes in place of the physical ones. For instance, AR/VR could come in handy while preparing virtual models of vehicles before the actual model.
At the same time, AR/VR is facilitating more efficient inventory management. With the right AR/VR gear, individuals can hit the nail right on the head and head out straight to the place where they need the product from. This is a big relief from all the conventional guesswork. Finally, any manufacturing unit or assembly line is vulnerable to safety hazards. VR can help manufacturers to better visualize and mitigate them before anything happens.
AR/VR use cases in education do not require much thought. To begin with, using overlays and virtual experiences, educators have the potential to generate more curiosity and excitement among learners. Invariably, learning about medieval ages is not the most interesting part of academics for most students. However, if the characters from that age come to life and the students are able to engage with them, the experience takes a different turn. Therefore, AR/VR in education is constantly changing the way education is delivered. Not only is AR/VR making learning more exciting, it is becoming more meaningful too. Students are able to retain information better when they experience it, i.e. learning by doing.
Traditionally, real estate as an industry requires a lot of manual interaction and work. If you are looking for a property, your agent will hand you a long list that you will have to physically visit. This requires too much effort, energy as well as time. The plight of the agent is also similar. He/she has to coordinate and escort the clients for every physical visit. AR/VR use cases in real estate seek to bridge this gap. Firstly, virtual property showcases are sweeping the floor. With a VR headset, individuals can virtually visit the property and get a 3 dimensional walk through. This allows the clients to virtually visit as many properties as they wish and then physically visit only those that are worth the effort.
For the realtors, this allows them to expand their pool of clients as the number of physical visits reduces drastically. For instance, Matterport allows real estate agents to set up virtual tours for the clients and expand their base. Another application of AR/VR is in terms of virtual staging. Visualizing one’s life in an empty house is sometimes tricky. AR/VR allows individuals to visualize furniture and other paraphernalia in the property to make a better choice. In fact. 77% realtors claim that staging helps deals convert faster.
AR/VR use cases in retail are on the rise like any other industry out there. To begin with, research shows that 40% of customers are willing to pay more if they can experience the product before they buy it. Customers can now sit at home and get the same experience of product selection as they would do in a physical store. Also, when they are physically at the store, AR/VR facilitates navigation by allowing them to visualize the whole store in one go. Additionally, they can visualize how a particular product would suit their need by visualizing it in their homes. For instance, many furniture stores allow users to overlay the images of their furniture at home to get the right experience.
Marketing for retail is another part that is benefitting from AR/VR. Personalized marketing using 3 dimensional graphic rich content can augment user attraction. Finally, employee training in retail is a very crucial process. However, hands-on practical training can lead to financial losses. Retailers are now increasingly using AR/VR to create real-life simulation environments for the training process.
Undoubtedly, AR/VR use cases in the gaming industry are the most widely known. Remember the world went through the whole craze around Pokemon Go? Well, that is one of the well known applications of AR/VR. AR/VR in gaming give gamers a real time experience of what they are navigating in the game. Be it fighting aliens or destroying planets, this technology allows them to redefine what they experience. While using headsets for gaming is one aspect, today simple smartphones and gaming consoles are also supporting the AR/VR experience. Using smartphones, gamers can use geolocation based apps to immerse into virtual experiences. Sharks in the park, Pokemon Go, Ingress, etc. are a few games that bring AR/VR to the users.
Finally, AR/VR use cases in hospitality seem to be the most unconventional in this whole list. More often than not, the hyper conscious consumer of today has many questions about the hotel or place they are going to visit. Ranging from questions about hygiene to aesthetics, different questions come to the forefront. AR/VR allows the hospitality industry to have ready answers for the same. Additionally, hotels are creating augmented hotel environments. Here they allow visitors to use their smartphones or other gears to see an augmented reality. For instance, in one of the hotels, visitors can use their smartphones to see realistic visualizations of celebrities that visited the place. Besides, hotels are also embarking on interactive rooms where they have wall maps and visitors can see through those maps and get additional information about their place of interest.
AR/VR Use Cases: How do I Create an Experience?
Well, it goes without saying now that AR/VR use cases are present in almost every industry out there. If you wish to augment your business experience with AR/VR and are not sure from where to get the right talent, get in touch with us. We promise to help you get top AR/VR developers who will deliver productivity from day one!