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How COVID-19 has boosted augmented and virtual reality in manufacturing

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By Ryan Condon, Head of Content at Comparesoft

Prior to 2020, the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology in business was steadily increasing. AR and VR are among the top technologies consumers look to for assistance in their daily lives in a 2019 Neilsen global survey. With a total of 94.3 million users in the United States alone in 2018, mainly in sectors such as consumer, manufacturing, retail and healthcare, global spending on mixed reality technology is expected to reach 160 billion by 2023. projected to reach US$.

But in March 2020, the world shut down. COVID-19 has affected just about everyone, from how businesses operate to how they live their daily lives. But there is one area that has not only avoided being caught in a global decline, but has actively prospered. It is the adoption of augmented reality and virtual reality technology.

More companies have explored the idea of ​​using AR and VR technology in socially distanced environments. This has dramatically increased both projected global spending and AR/VR adoption rates. But what else has COVID-19 impacted on the use of VR and AR in business?

3 Industries That Will Benefit From Immersive Reality Tech

Arts & Entertainment: This industry has been struggling with declining foot traffic in 2020-2021. To combat this, the museum opened its doors to anyone with a VR headset. This allowed visitors to experience the British Museum and the Louvre in Paris at home.

Healthcare: Social distancing protocols and staff shortages hampered the training of some healthcare professionals. But thanks to mixed reality technology, the facility was able to provide nurses and doctors with much-needed training. Staff can use virtual his reality training to immerse themselves in procedures such as neurosurgery.

Field service: AR and VR technologies have enabled companies to provide full field assistance to their technicians and engineers. Combining immersive technology with his IoT sensors and real-time data, the field worker can immerse himself in real-life scenarios such as repairing infrastructure or machinery.

Risks still associated with AR and VR adoption

Before you get too carried away with the idea of ​​a mixed reality world, remember that AR and VR pose the same risks as any other technology. These include online safety and security, data protection, virtual harassment, and more.

But there is one risk that could negatively impact the adoption rate of immersive reality. available bandwidth. Without the right infrastructure, such as 5G access and massive data collection capabilities, immersive technology is limited. This could create an even greater technological poverty gap between those who have the infrastructure to use immersive technology and those who do not.

How far can immersive technology go?

Augmented and virtual reality technologies have played an important role among manufacturers and will continue to do so. Ultimately, the success or failure of immersive technology use in business depends on three areas: affordability, accessibility, and bandwidth.