Discussing About Upcoming AR/VR Trends ,Impact on Online education and the Future and Scope Of Immersive Reality
There’s no doubt that technology has been a great pillar of support during these unprecedented pandemic times. With a sudden shift to remote working, dependency on digital technologies has significantly increased. Whether it be in the case of online shopping, entertainment, or online education, technology has helped companies mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 on the overall global business landscape. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) is one of those technologies that’s helping carry through a slew of different industries amid the pandemic.
Mashable India interviewed Mr. Shrey Mishra, Co-Founder at XR Central who gave us interesting insights on the impact of AR/VR on the digital education domain, different AR/VR trends, and more. XR Central, also known as XRC, is a tech startup in India that has bagged many large enterprise logos as the customer base. XRC prides itself in developing cutting-edge, innovative, and very personalized experiences and solutions for its customers. XRC specializes in the following areas: Virtual spaces (museums, events, experience centers, concerts, virtual showrooms, digital briefing centers, virtual product launches, etc.), 3D web and VR content (spatial computing), Web AR and Web VR, and AI-powered voice (google & Alexa), among others.
“COVID-19 has pushed boundaries for all of us. Since March we have been finding a so-called comfort zone. All businesses across sectors have been negatively impacted. The education domain is no different. March is the last time when students went to schools or colleges. Educational institutes ever since shifted to digital conferencing platforms like- Zoom, GoToMeeting, MSTeams, Google Meets, etc. These platforms are causing burnout and students are now stressed out if they are to attend a zoom class now. The challenge with these platforms is that they are not engaging and interactive. This is where technologies like VR and AR will have prominent roles to play. Major challenges in today’s education system are that there is a gap between what students perceive reality is and what actually it is. VR and AR can close that gap that is caused by words of reality by actually making students/learners experience and be a part of that reality.
Schools can utilize VR to create simulation-based content. Example: Setup a virtual chemistry lab, where students can keep on experimenting with all the chemicals they want without the fear of any hazard being caused. VR simulation training can help schools to prepare students for almost any situation in life (eg- decision-making under stress, hospitality training). For Medical students, VR training is a blessing. Medical Institutes can create VR modules that will actually take medical students inside the human body and they can start practicing all kinds of surgery, learn reactions of medicines on any part of the body, and so on. AR is a powerful tool for storytelling and visualization on top of the real world. With a combination of volumetric capture or chroma key capture, students can actually have seen their professors hologram in their own house. This is as personalized it can get- 1 to 1 lectures/sessions. Using AR on smartphones/tablets, students can point their cameras to anything and enter into an experience.
In all, AR and VR will transform the education system. It’s all about experiences (which is remembered for longer than just 2D content or book content) and storytelling. We all know- stories have longer shelf lives in our brains. The time is now for Immersive and Interactive Learning”.
“The biggest challenge for XR (AR and VR) has been the dependency on devices and the dependence on the store policies. The covid 19 outbreak has been pretty great for the gaming industry due to the huge surge of users, engagement and so much more. In terms of VR, we feel this is the time we will now see widespread adoption slowly beginning. The Oculus Quest 2 was pre ordered five times as much as the original, Developers are also seeing increased sales. Third-party Oculus developers are benefiting from the influx of new users, too. Pistol Whip creators shared that their sales have increased tenfold since the launch of the Quest 2, while , Apex Construct studio Fast Travel Games saw an 800% uptick in sales.
I feel the greatest challenge has definitely been the supply chain in the case of VR since it was severely impacted by the Covid 19 lockdown. But as I stated the numbers above it has already started to see recovery. In the case of India, I feel India is a more AR friendly market than a VR friendly one. Simple factors such as device dependency and superb 4g network contribute to the same”.
“I think it is fairly simple to see that the sector is bound to grow. New cheaper headsets will be introduced in the market with a higher level of flexibility. Virtual reality (VR) in the gaming market was valued at USD 7.7 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 42.50 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 32.75% over the forecast period, 2020 – 2025.
The way we see it growing in the consumer sector is with some super fun and addictive games like Beat saber which appeals to a larger audience than just gamers but also serving the intersection of EDM aficionados. A huge surge will through AR-enabled messengers like Facebook and Snapchat messenger which are driving a huge wave of users to augmented reality. Snaplens and Spark AR provide a very simple and intuitive way to create AR experiences. The big change could also be introduced by the highly hyped Apple AR glasses. Let’s keep our fingers crossed”.
“AR/VR is being used by many brands to significantly enhance the shopping experiences of its valued customer. Many brands in-fact have made it a mandate to think AR strategy for starting any particular marketing campaign. We have had conversations with many brands like- Croma, Fab India, and a few others. These brands are known for their customer experience (so-called brand experience). The challenge that COVID-19 brought is fairly large when we talk about customer engagement in online shopping.
AR and VR resolve this challenge for brands. Following are the ways that brands are utilizing AR/VR in online shopping. The virtual try-on (WebAR)- luxury brands like Gucci, and a few more have already implemented this strategy. Furniture brand like Ikea has been using AR since 2018. Virtual Brand showrooms- This is a new concept. Brands are investing in creating their store’s digital twin. Isn’t this fascinating? I feel so.
VBS, as it is called, will exponentially enhance the user experience as customers will feel as if they are actually walking inside the actual brand store. They will be able to interact with the items, add to cart, place an order, talk to the customer executive or store manager. The best thing is this entire experience will run on web browsers. That means no specific VR device is needed to stream it. It will run on any device with an internet connection.
FMCG brands are utilizing AR to create fun and joyful campaigns. They are utilizing the branding on their product packaging to engage customers and their families. This is smart! Once products are delivered to the home, customers use their smartphone camera to point to the AR content as directed by the brands, and all of sudden the packaging may talk to you, tell you a story, or play a game with you and many other possibilities of engagement”.
Device dependency on AR and VR will diminish. Web-based AR and VR solutions are the future (XR Central focuses on the same). AR and VR will be included in corporate strategies under innovation and competitive edge. Digital Marketers will be continued to experiment with AR/VR and many enterprises, if not already, will create a new arm of marketing called experiential marketing. AR will become mainstream for online shopping. Gartner already predicted 100 million people will shop in AR by end of 2020. Virtual Experience Centres/Briefing center are being set up and will continue. This will be the preferred way of client visits for large enterprises as travel will remain halted for the near forcible time period.
Virtual events will continue to be in limelight for the Events and Entertainment industry. Even after the travel resumes, enterprises will be looking at hybrid event execution models (the combination of online and offline activations). Educational institutes will shift to AR and VR for experiential and immersive learning Training, across all enterprises, will no longer be limited to PPTs and Excels. VR based gamified simulation and training modules will be a focus upon, as it will significantly improve the ROIs. Maintenance and Operations work will be executed through- AR.
Source: Mashable India