Top 5 reasons AR and VR are for business

Augmented and virtual reality aren't just for video games anymore. Tom Merritt discusses the top five ways businesses can take advantage of AR and VR.

Top 5 reasons AR & VR are for business

If I say augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR), do you think video games? It's alright, most people do. But the near future of VR and AR is in the workplace--helping field workers and fixing things. Here are five reasons AR and VR are good for business.

  1. Varjo: In February 2019, Finland's Varjo launched its VR-1 headset, which promises more than 60 pixels per degree of resolution--the equivalent to the human eye. The device will be sold to companies in industries like engineering and construction for $6,000 per device.
  2. HTC Vive: The latest headset was not targeted at gamers. At Mobile World Congress, HTC announced the Vive Focus Plus, a standalone headset that includes eye-tracking and a pair of its updated motion controllers. The Vive Focus Plus is aimed primarily at business customers.
  3. Microsoft's AR apps for Android and iOS: Remote Assist for Android lets service engineers show what they see to a remote expert who can then provide guidance. And an iOS app called Product Visualize lets salespeople show customers products in context--like how big machinery is, or whether equipment fits in the space on the factory floor, similar to the HoloLens Layout app.
  4. Microsoft HoloLens 2: It has a wider field of view, better 3D tracking, and better weight distribution to make it more comfortable on your head. It can also be bundled with Dynamics 365 Remote Assist: Microsoft will also work with third parties for specialized hardware for certain industries, an example being a hard hat made with Trimble.
  5. Workplace safety: A company called Altumai has developed a "connected worker platform" that aggregates data from wearable sensors, smartphones, and other sources to give clients risk mitigation advice. That data could not only be collected from AR wearables, but also inform virtual worker models for training or to overlay onto the real world for risk mitigation.

Yes, it's fun to shoot aliens as they crawl out of your living room wall--we'll never deny that. But if you know anyone deriding VR or AR as a fad, now you can show there's some serious work potential they might be missing.

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Image: iStockphoto/yacobchuk