So much has changed over the past few years and nowhere more than in technology, with nearly every aspect of technology (and our lives) impacted by recent events. Two of the most exciting and successful technologies to continue watching in 2022 are augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Best known for their use in entertainment, we at Vector Solutions have seen firsthand the value of AR/VR technologies for training critical industries to make safer, smarter, and better decisions.
Here are some of the ways we expect to see AR/VR evolve in 2022 and beyond.
You may already have experienced and utilized machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technology that AR/VR developers are using in their applications. If you’ve ever used a filter in social media, you’ve experienced it! The opportunities for this technology extend far beyond social media, with the ability for machines to understand what a camera is capturing. An incredible example of this is Google’s prototype Augmented Reality Microscope (ARM) for Real-Time Automated Detection of Cancer, which uses deep-learning to provide real-time image analysis and presentation of results of machine learning algorithms directly in the field of view. This technology can identify breast cancer metastases in lymph nodes at a comparable level of accuracy as a trained pathologist and can be retrofitted to existing light microscopes used at hospitals around the world.
Learning and training are fortunate to benefit from AR/VR. One of the top ways we see this provide enormous benefits to critical industries, in particular, is by allowing for upskilling, optimizing safety, and mitigating risk through simulation. VR allows for employees to practice skills in a low-risk environment, but in a way that is virtually indistinguishable from actual experience. For those using complex and potentially dangerous machinery, or when other lives are at stake, this is a powerful tool. Similarly, AR allows employees to practice new skills or refresh on old skills in real-time.
Both in the learning and training field and consumer entertainment, immersion is a key factor to an optimized experience for the user. AR/VR allows for incredibly immersive experiences that can look and feel very real. Recent improvements in both hardware and software are leading AR/VR developers to forego 2D experiences and, instead, create 3D experiences that have a dynamic impact on the user experience. This is a market for AR/VR that we can expect to see explode over the next few years.
In part because of the costs associated with creating AR/VR content coming down in recent years, developers can employ AR/VR in more strategic ways. This means the content that features AR/VR is better, and longer-lasting, keeping users coming back. It’s easy to see how this would be a boon for creating impactful learning and training content that engages the students and increases participation, completion, and engagement.
Being stuck at home for the past couple of years certainly impacted those with wanderlust, but AR/VR has allowed us to continue to experience the world, including visiting museums, walking the streets of distant countries, and exploring cruise ships and hotels - all from our own homes. Far from replacing actual travel, AR/VR allows potential travelers to experience a location before visiting, gaining understanding and increasing their excitement before committing to a costly trip. After they do return home, AR/VR allows them to revisit these amazing places and the future for AR/VR uses in personal photography and videography is bright.
2022 is just the beginning of what’s to come for this exciting and fast-paced vertical. By 2024, AR/VR (as well as mixed reality or MR) is expected to reach a market size of $300 billion. The trends we’ve mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg for the ways AR/VR can be used to improve our lives, increase safety, mitigate risk, optimize learning, and even enjoy ourselves. We can’t wait to see where AR/VR is going and harness the power of these incredible tools to support the critical industries we serve. Learn more here.