This archived TechRepublic Premium report, originally published in February 2016, is available for free to registered TechRepublic members. For all the latest research reports, 100+ ready-made policies, IT job descriptions, and more, check out TechRepublic Premium.
From the report:
Once the stuff of Hollywood films, virtual reality (or VR) has become more widespread and mainstream as the technology has advanced. VR is based upon computer simulation, in which an interactive virtual environment is presented to the viewer - “participant” may be a better term - and they can see, hear, or even smell and touch elements therein. Virtual environments can be based on real-world locations such as famous landmarks, monuments or locales, or they can be entirely imaginary such as extraterrestrial worlds and fantasy realms.”
The intention behind VR is to allow the participant to engage and interact with simulations for the purpose of education or entertainment. Headsets such as the Oculus Rift, which immerse the wearer in a virtual environment with various applications, are a great example of VR products.
VR’s younger sibling, augmented reality (AR) is somewhat similar, except a bit watered-down and more applicable to the physical world around us. AR technology may overlay virtual components against the real world such as applying a map over viewed terrain or identifying and providing background details on individuals with whom you interact. The goal is to help improve interactions with the physical world and Google Glass is one such example of an AR product.
Virtual and augmented reality products were showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year – however, it should be stressed these products have many business-oriented applications as well. TechRepublic’s Erin Carson offered four key takeaways from the experience, stating “There are VR platforms for music, a VR life coach, personal movie theaters, training tools, education tools, social VR.” She reported, “in April, Digi-Capital released a report that projected AR and VR would be a $150 billion market by 2020. Only $30 billion of that will be VR. That means that while VR is definitely the cool kid right now, AR is hanging in there and gaining traction in less flashy ways.”
Tech Pro Research conducted a study in December 2015 and 205 respondents gave their thoughts on where VR and AR are headed in business. We gauged exposure and experience levels, common uses of these technologies and how vendors can help potential or existing customers embraces the possibilities behind these revolutionary technologies.