Technology 4 min read

Study Points to AR and VR Becoming the Industry Standard by 2021

AR and VR companies have taken a number of big leaps forward in the past few months. Now, they may be set to take the world by storm. | Image by Andrush | Shutterstock

AR and VR companies have taken a number of big leaps forward in the past few months. Now, they may be set to take the world by storm. | Image by Andrush | Shutterstock

With AR and VR expected to go mainstream within the next few years, most of the companies that have deployed the technology achieved results that meet or exceed expectations.

Last year, according to data from the IDC (International Data Corporation), global spending on AR/VR reached $9.1 billion and is forecast to nearly double this year to hit $17.8 billion.

The IDC report, which expects similar growth rates through 2021, puts VR as the bigger driver of spending compared to AR, with consumer and commercial users alike.

As it seems that the AR and VR mainstream is only a matter of time, a new survey gives AR the edge over VR when it comes to industry implementation.

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AR Wins the Implementation Race Against VR

Capgemini Research Institute has conducted a survey among hundreds of companies, startups, and vendors, and found most of them (603 out of 709) are already experimenting and or implementing AR and VR.

Conducted between May and June 2018, the survey focused on 35 use cases, particularly “the use of AR/VR for internal industrial company operations, including, but not limited to, design, engineering, and field services”, across the automotive, utility, and discrete manufacturing sectors.

The results of the study, published in a report (Augmented and Virtual Reality in Operations) show the large-scale deployment plans awaited over the coming years and the low competitiveness for companies that don’t catch up.

Among the highlights of the results is that while more companies are experimenting with VR, AR is more ahead in the implementation phase. Of the companies deploying AR, 55% are experimenting and 45% implementing, while from those deploying VR, 64% are experimenting and 36% are implementing.

82% of companies in different stages on their AR or VR implementation plans report results that meet or exceed their expectations, with companies in the US, China, and France leading the race to AR and VR implementation.

According to Capgemini’s report, “the US, in addition to having the most AR implementers (59%), is also expected to be the largest AR/VR spender in 2018, at $6.4 billion”.

How AR and VR are Benefiting Automakers, Aerospace Manufacturers, and Utilities

Executives surveyed revealed significant productivity gains following the implementation of AR and VR technologies.

73% of organizations reported revenues in excess of $1 billion for the 2017 fiscal year, 30% of them are American companies.

Boeing, for example, started rolling out AR instructions (instead of laptops) for its technicians to work efficiently, hands-free.  For its AR implementation, Boeing worked with the AR startup Upskill, and the result is cutting aircraft wiring time by 25% and bringing error rates to zero.

German automaker BMW also resorted to VR and Mixed Reality technology in the engineering and design of different components, which cut costs and saves time that usually go to physical prototyping. BMW engineers used Unreal Engine 4, the same suite of VR/AR tools used in video games.

A San Francisco (CA) utility company, PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric), is experimenting and deploying VR to make equipment inspection a safer and faster task for its workers. For that, PG&E has partnered with Space-Time Insight, an IoT analytics and data-crunching startup, which is a Nokia subsidiary.

As you can see, each of these three companies, all ahead of their own game, has outsourced its AR/VR solutions instead of spending years developing them in-house, providing an example to follow for other companies, regardless of the sector they operate in.

Can “industry AR/VR” help AR/VR become a mainstream consumer tech?

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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