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AR/VR Technology To Become Mainstream in Business within 3 Years

Very soon, we will stop calling AR/VR technology new tech and consider it a regular part of daily business operations. This is the key finding of a recent in-depth study conducted by Capgemini Research Institute. The world leading research company surveyed over 700 companies – located in USA, China, Germany, UK, France and Nordic countries- the majority of whom are already experimenting with or using AR/VR technology in their operations. The findings of the report are also based on the analysis of 35 use cases focusing on:

  • The way AR/VR technology is used in industrial operations: product design, engineering and field services;
  • Key industry sectors that use AR/VR: automotive, utilities, manufacturing.

AR/VR Technology Set to Become Mainstream in The Near Future

One of the key questions respondents were asked was: “When will AR/VR become mainstream in your organization?” The answers indicate a definite move towards a near-future adoption.

For augmented reality, the respondents stated:

  • 7% less than 1 year
  • 41% 1-3 years
  • 37% 3-5 years
  • 14% more than 5 years.

For virtual reality, the potential timeframe for mainstream adoption is:

  • 9% less than 1 year
  • 34% 1-3 years
  • 38% 3-5 years
  • 16% more than 5 years.
AR/VR Technology mainstream in business survey

Thus, an average 46% of the respondents believe that AR/VR technology will become mainstream within the next 3 years, while 53% see this deadline pushed forward towards 5 years.

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Augmented Reality – More Beneficial and Relevant than Virtual Reality

66% of the companies included in the Capgemini survey indicated that AR technology is more applicable to their operations than VR.

When it comes to differentiations between the two immersive technologies, 66% of the companies included in the Capgemini survey indicated that AR technology is more applicable to their operations than VR. This perception is supported by the fact that AR creates a blend of the real world and holographic objects, with text-based and image-based instructions being superimposed on the field of vision.

When it comes to differentiations between the two immersive technologies, 66% of the companies included in the Capgemini survey indicated that AR technology is more applicable to their operations than VR. This perception is supported by the fact that AR creates a blend of the real world and holographic objects, with text-based and image-based instructions being superimposed on the field of vision.

Thus, the survey found that among the companies that have already adopted AR/VR technology to a certain level:

  • 45% of them implemented AR in their operations;
  • 55% are currently experimenting with AR.

In contrast, the adoption rate for VR is significantly focused on experimenting (64%) compared to actual implementation (36%).

US, China and France Lead the AR/VR Technology Adoption Race

When it comes to the countries with the highest adoption rate of AR/VR technology, the largest and most developed economies are in the lead.

AR implementations are led by:

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  • 59% USA
  • 51% China
  • 48% France

However, the countries with the most intense AR experimentation efforts are Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland) – 85%, followed by UK with 64% and Germany with 62%.

Virtual reality adopters are:

  • 51% China
  • 43% France
  • 42% USA

When it comes with VR experimentations, the undisputed leaders are:

  • 77% Germany
  • 72% Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland)
  • 67% UK

Key Business Operations Benefiting Most from AR/VR Technology

Focusing on the actual benefits of immersive technologies for their daily operations, the survey respondents indicated two large activity sectors:

  • Repair and maintenance
  • Design and assembly

For repair and maintenance, the key perceived benefits are:

  • 31% – ability to visualize reference videos and instruction manuals;
  • 30% – ability to be guided by a remote expert;
  • 30% – ability to visualize specific components and functions hidden from sight by physical barriers;
  • 29% – ability to superimpose step-by-step instructions.

For design and assembly activities, AR/VR technology will provide benefits in terms of:

  • 28% – simulation of product performances in extreme conditions;
  • 28% – visualizing a large infrastructure project from various angles;
  • 27% – displaying digital instructions for assembly and configuration;
  • 26% – holographic overlay of design components onto existing item.

The First Computer Virtual and Augmented Reality Headset – The ‘Ultimate Display’ Concept and the Sword of Damocles. If we could name one person as the father of Virtual and Augmented Reality headsets as we know them today, it would without a doubt be Ivan Sutherland. In the 1960s, he described the concept of the ‘Ultimate Display’ that would be able to stimulate reality to a point that the viewer would not be able to tell the difference between the virtual and the real world. His concept included a head-mounted display with 3D sound and tactile feedback, a computer that would create and maintain the virtual world through this device and the ability of a user to interact with objects from the virtual world in a realistic manner. Sutherland later created the first VR/AR head-mounted display, which was connected to a computer and not a camera, known as the Sword of Damocles. However, the contraption he made was too heavy for a person to wear comfortably on their head, so the device had to be suspended from the ceiling. Furthermore, the computer generated graphics were too primitive with wireframe rooms and objects.

Early Adopters Already Perceive Significant Benefits

The companies included in the Capgemini study that have already implemented AR/VR technology are reaping the benefits. According to the decision makers within the companies, the use of immersive technologies allowed the organizations to increase efficiency, safety and productivity, and reduce complexity.

AR/VR Technology To Become Mainstream in Business within 3 Years survey

Steps Needed to Adopt Immersive Technologies

The companies included in the study that have already implemented AR/VR technology are reaping the benefits.

Finally, the respondents shared their own journey towards the adoption of AR/VR technologies. These answers were centralized by Capgemini in a 4-step process recommended for all organizations which are currently not using immersive technologies:

Finally, the respondents shared their own journey towards the adoption of AR/VR technologies. These answers were centralized by Capgemini in a 4-step process recommended for all organizations which are currently not using immersive technologies:

  • Step 1: upskill existing staff and recruit new employees with AR/VR skills;
  • Step 2: develop a centralized governance structure, where all AR/VR activities are coordinated by a specialized team, and build AR/VR awareness among employees;
  • Step 3: focus on identifying an adequate use case with long term benefits,
  • Step 4: update and prepare the technology interface to support and integrate AR/VR technology.
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