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According to McKinsey, almost $3.9 billion worth of venture capital investments were made in AR/VR startups in 2021. The consulting giant also stressed the notion of “increasing innovation” by revealing how immersive reality patents saw a 2x growth between 2018 and 2021. A similar growth pattern was envisaged by ABI Research, as they confirmed a whopping 66% CAGR for enterprise adoption of AR technologies until 2026. The research firm further highlighted how some consumer verticals can experience growth beyond 100% CAGR.

Indeed, the AR/VR market is booming. But what factors are driving its adoption? How are businesses and other entities taking the plunge into the world of immersive realities? And how can organizations leverage this technology to their benefit? Let’s explore the driving forces behind AR/VR’s surge.

1. The Strengthening of the Digital Twin Use Cases

Businesses today increasingly rely on digital twins to simulate complex processes. Digital twins create a digital copy of physical assets and provide valuable information related to the asset’s performance. For instance, they can help aerospace institutions understand how environmental factors (such as weather) can influence an aircraft’s performance, machinery, etc.

AR/VR technologies can further enrich the level of detail when it comes to digital twins – greatly enhancing their value for businesses and organizations. Consider this; augmented reality, when leveraged for digital twins, can help:

  • Connect the digital and physical aspects of the asset – allowing for a more profound assessment of the product’s viability
  • Enable more nuanced interaction with the digital twin data – since it’s better visualized and overlaid onto the physical world
  • Enhance situational awareness – allowing for more accurate and informed business decisions

This is complemented by VR’s capability to allow the technicians to run in-depth virtual assessments, carry out digital prototyping, and profoundly study the product’s ergonomics. This explains why the combination of AR/VR and digital twins has broad applicability. For example:

  • Smart factory managers can remotely access and assess real-time data from the factory floor, carry out predictive maintenance, fine-tune the capabilities of the product, assess performance, and drive optimization initiatives, etc.
  • Healthcarefacilities can comprehend the experience of patients and visitors within the facility and accordingly optimize the same.
  • The education sector can leverage this to enable and facilitate immersive learning experiences – this is especially viable in the context of remote learning at schools or workplaces.

2. The Perceived Ease of Use

AR/VR technologies have long been deemed too complex for businesses to adopt and leverage to their advantage. This perception is slowly disintegrating as technology has become more accessible and devices more inexpensive. For starters, businesses now have access to a growing trove of AR/VR applications that enable the deployment of immersive experiences with minimal effort or cost. But more importantly, the immersive experience can now be facilitated using everyday mobile devices. According to Statista, there were around 1.1 billion AR mobile users across the world in 2022. This number is expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2024 – strongly indicating the strengthening accessibility of AR and VR.

As far as the perceived ease of use is concerned, augmented reality capabilities are highly viable in the retail sector, for they allow retailers to showcase products without the need for physical interaction. Customers can experience the product in real-time, access in-depth information related to it, and even compare it with other products – all without having to leave their seating. Then, of course, there’s innovation-seeking behavior that encourages both the users and businesses to explore and leverage the potential of immersive realities.

3. The Increasing Penetration of the Metaverse

As per some estimates, around 25% of the users will be spending an hour (or more) in the metaverse on a daily basis. In essence, the metaverse is a large-scale virtual shared environment where users can interact with other users, access digital assets, purchase virtual real estate, participate in live events, and more.

Metaverse is powered by AR/VR technologies – and as the penetration of metaverse increases, businesses will increasingly leverage immersive realities to capitalize on the opportunities that arise from this emerging technology. For example, metaverse (to some extent) entails the possession of AR/VR equipment, such as AR glasses, VR headsets, etc., to access it. Considering that work meetings, education, training, advertising, branding, etc., can all be accommodated by the metaverse, businesses are likely to make heavy investments in AR/VR technologies going forward, and rightly so.

4. The Reduction in Costs

Studies have outlined how AR adoption has allowed for a 46% reduction in task completion time and a 32% improvement in productivity. This stands to reason, as AR/VR technologies offer unparalleled visualization capabilities that allow for deeper insights into business operations, thereby opening avenues for predictive maintenance, comprehensive training, etc.

Furthermore, the cost associated with AR/VR technologies has also decreased drastically over the years. Thanks to the increasing accessibility of technology, businesses can now deploy immersive realities for their consumer-facing applications.

The Way Forward with AR/VR

Indeed, AR and VR technologies have come a long way since their inception, and the transformation of businesses through them has been nothing short of spectacular. With that said, it is highly likely that these immersive realities will continue to be leveraged in novel ways to drive higher ROI and customer experience.

However, building AR/VR-powered solutions requires businesses to enter the space with a clear understanding of their objectives and end-users. In essence, businesses should identify the target personas of their products, employ AR for effective customer engagement, and explore each aspect of the immersive reality for maximum impact across the board. Of course, this is a massive undertaking, and that’s why it’s wise to partner with expert partners like Pratiti Technologies, who can help businesses understand the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Contact us to learn more.

Nitin Tappe

After successful stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is a postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 24 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.

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