In 2021 we can expect that these technologies will be further integrated into our lives. AR and VR usually work in tandem with some of the other new technologies we mentioned on this list and have tremendous potential in training, entertainment, education, marketing, and even rehabilitation after an injury. Doctors can either be trained to perform surgery, provide museum visitors with a deeper experience, improve theme parks, or even improve marketing, like with this Pepsi Max bus shelter.
Fun fact: 14 million AR and VR devices were sold in 2019. The global AR and VR market is projected to grow to $ 209.2 billion by 2022. This only creates more opportunities in trending technology and welcomes more professionals who are ready for this groundbreaking field.
While some employers look to optics as a qualification, it should be noted that getting into VR doesn’t require a lot of expertise – basic programming skills and a forward-thinking mindset can create a job. Another reason this new technology trend should be on your list of lookouts!
Virtual reality learning for real results
Organizational learning is undergoing radical changes, including the introduction of virtual reality tools to enhance the overall learning experience. The technology is available, but implementing it requires asking questions that most organizations cannot answer.
The next extraordinary technology trend – Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) as well as Extended Reality (ER). VR immerses the user in an environment, while AR enhances their environment. Although this technology trend has so far been used primarily for games, it has also been used for training, such as VirtualShip, simulation software used to train captains in the US Navy, Army and Coast Guard.
Virtual reality: another world within sight
When we talk about virtual reality (VR), many of us think of science fiction films like ‘Minority Report’. However, the truth is that this technology is fully fitting into our daily lives these days. Video games, medicine, education … Virtual Reality is here to stay. But what is that exactly?
DIFFERENCES WITH AUGMENTED REALITY
Although it is a technology that originated decades ago, many people are still unfamiliar with the concept of virtual reality. It is also quite common to confuse the term virtual reality with augmented reality.
The main difference between the two is that VR builds the world that we immerse ourselves in through a specific headset. It is completely immersive and everything we see is part of an environment that has been artificially constructed through images, sounds, etc. On the other hand, in Augmented Reality (AR) our own world becomes a frame in which objects, pictures or the like are placed. Everything we see is in a real world environment and it may not be necessary to wear a headset. The clearest and most common example of this concept is Pokémon Go.
However, there is also a combination of both realities known as a mixed reality. This hybrid technology makes it possible, for example, to see virtual objects in the real world and to build an experience in which the physical and the digital are practically indistinguishable.
MAIN APPLICATIONS OF VIRTUAL REALITY
That is enough for the theory that projects us into the future. In which industries is virtual reality actually used today? Medicine, culture, education and architecture are some of the areas that have already used this technology. From guided museum visits to muscle dissection, VR enables us to push boundaries that would otherwise be unimaginable.
THE FUTURE OF VIRTUAL REALITY
Virtual Reality is one of the technologies with the highest projected growth potential. According to the latest forecasts by IDC Research (2018), investments in VR and AR will multiply 21 times over the next four years and reach 15.5 billion euros by 2022. Additionally, both of these technologies will be critical to businesses’ digital transformation plans, and their spending in this space will exceed that of the consumer sector by 2019. It is therefore expected that more than half of the larger European companies will pursue a VR and RA strategy by 2020.
Today the market demands applications that go beyond leisure, tourism or marketing and are more affordable for users. Virtual interfaces also need to be improved to avoid errors such as clipping that make certain fixed objects appear to be traversing them. Or to minimize the effects VR has on humans, including motion sickness, which is vertigo caused by the mismatch between the movement of our bodies and what is seen in the virtual world.
The fastest recognizable component of virtual reality is the head-mounted display (HMD). Humans are visual beings, and display technology is often the biggest difference between immersive virtual reality systems and traditional user interfaces. For example, automatic virtual CAVE environments actively display virtual content on room-sized screens. While they are fun for people at universities and large laboratories, consumer and industrial wearables are the wild west.
With a multitude of new hardware and software options, the future of wearables is unfolding, but it is still unknown. Concepts like the HTC Vive Pro Eye, Oculus Quest, and Playstation VR are groundbreaking, but there are also players like Google, Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, and others that can surprise the industry with new levels of immersion and ease of use. Whoever has the edge, the simplicity of buying a helmet-sized device that can be used in a living room, office or factory floor has made HMDs the focus of virtual reality technologies.
Virtual reality and the importance of audio
Compelling virtual reality applications require more than just graphics. Both hearing and seeing are central to a person’s sense of space. In fact, people respond faster to audio cues than they do to visual cues. In order to create truly immersive virtual reality experiences, accurate ambient noise and spatial properties are a must. These give a virtual world a strong sense of presence. To experience the binaural audio detail that goes into a virtual reality experience, put on headphones and tinker with this audio infographic published by The Verge.
While audiovisual information is easiest to replicate in virtual reality, active research and development efforts are still being diverted into the other senses. With tactile inputs like omnidirectional treadmills, users feel like they’re actually walking through a simulation instead of sitting in a chair or couch. Haptic technologies, also known as kinesthetic technology or touch feedback technology, have evolved from simple “rumble” motors with spinning weights to futuristic ultrasound technology. It is now possible to hear and feel lifelike sensations along with visual VR experiences.
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