The big questions about both AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) in business is “Will they really happen and make a difference”, with the subtext being “or is this just another fad we need to wait out?”
Both great questions. AR first - Pokemon Go, the mobile gaming app that bridges the digital and physical worlds, launched in the US on July 11, 2016. It turned heads and helped marketers - especially in the retail space - think differently and outside the box.
In 2018 and beyond we will not only see AR in advertising and marketing - we will also it in the enterprise. Companies like HP will use AR in practical applications to help with such mundane things as printer cartridge replacement. That’s just one simple, but very practical, example.
VR is exciting in the gaming and entertainment segments, of course. The value proposition of immersion and storytelling in VR seems obvious and is super fun to explore.
The enterprise applications for VR - the training for professional drivers (UPS, for instance); simulating difficult environments for first-responders; and almost endless medical uses, from surgery to diagonsis, to genetics - are very intriguing. Companies like VIVE are exploring these segments and also positing that VR could be a powerful platform for greater empathy, as we can truly ‘put our selves in the shoes of others’ via virtual reality.
And we’ve barely started on how the use of AI (artificial intelligence) could help overcome technical barriers and improve realism.
Think of all three to take a space adventure to Mars to examine the alien landscape in true topology. That’s where I want to go!
Beverly is the author of the best selling book The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She also teaches the Global Business of Sports & Entertainment at UCLA Anderson School of Management and is a thought leader in IoT, Big Data and Digital Media trends.