Are you ready for VR, AR and mixed reality for business?
By now you’re aware of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology. When used in combination with the real world, these technologies are described as mixed reality. They are rapidly moving beyond the realm of science fiction and are on their way to ubiquity. The next step in the evolution is mixed reality for business.
In an upcoming Spielberg movie, Ready Player One, based on a novel by Ernest Cline, a VR game called Oasis has become the world’s most valuable economic resource by 2044. While the dystopian fiction overestimates VR’s economic potential, it’s portrayal of a world in which VR is used for school and work may be closer to reality than the original author intended.
Mixed reality has many educational and business applications that are on the verge of becoming commonplace. When you think about mixed reality as the next evolution in unified communications, it’s easy to imagine. In the Axia fibre optic network, which covers 16,000 km, almost all the enterprises have deployed some form of unified communications, from VoIP to video conferencing.
In a survey of 400 executives at mid-market companies, Deloitte found that 67% were developing mixed reality technology. Some were only in the experimental phase, while others reported having mature applications. And 33% of respondents had already deployed mixed reality solutions in their firms.
Consumer product and technology companies are using mixed reality technology for advanced machine work, technical work and warehousing. Financial service and consumer product firms are using mixed reality for training purposes.
According to Rayna Hollander of Business Insider, product showcasing in the retail segment will account for most of the growth in business use, with a projected investment of $422 million in VR and AR technology. Business Insider projects an investment of $309 million in mixed reality tech by the manufacturing segment.
“Although retail, consumer, and manufacturing segments are expected to heat up first,” says Hollander, “other segments including government, transportation, healthcare, and education will soon follow suit.”
New products for business users will likely increase the uptake in VR and AR technology. In November, the Samsung HMD Odyssey, a mixed reality headset, was released.
In October, Facebook-owned Oculus released the Oculus for Business bundle that includes the Rift headset, touch controllers, three-room sensors, a remote and three Rift Fits (replacement foam facial interfaces). Oculus business customers also receive additional support and warranties.
An announcement on the Oculus blog stated:
“Businesses of all types can use Rift to boost productivity, accelerate trainings, and present the otherwise impossible to their employees and customers—across industries like tourism, education, medical, construction, manufacturing, automotive, and retail.”
The post goes on to share examples of Oculus business use:
Audi uses Oculus headsets at dealerships so that customers can use immersive technology to customize their purchase.
DHL Express is putting together a training program using VR headsets
Cisco is using Oculus headsets for team meetings
The Samsung HMD Odyssey for Windows is being touted as one of the easiest VR headsets to set up. Users don’t have to worry about installing extra sensors, and they can move freely while using the headset. TechRepublic’s Conner Forrest predicts this ease-of-use will make the HMD Odyssey attractive as a marketing and training tool.
Microsoft has also purchased AltspaceVR, a social VR application that allows users to interact in virtual meetings and events. This is the next evolution in unified communications.
For AltspaceVR, or any other social VR application, to be truly successful it needs to use high-quality graphics that require heavy bandwidth. Today, 4K video streaming requires around 20 Mbps per 4K stream, that’s up from 4Mbps for the HD stream. Bandwidth at this level requires better infrastructure that can keep up.
In an article titled, The era of Windows Mixed Reality begins Oct 17, Conner Forrest wrote:
“We are standing at the threshold of the next revolution in computing. A revolution where computers empower us to expand our capabilities and transcend time, space, and devices. A revolution where we immerse ourselves in virtual worlds of our choosing and we accomplish seemingly impossible things.”
What kind of impossible things are you hoping to accomplish with your business? With mixed reality and a fibre optic network, you can make them happen.
For more information on our secure fibre connectivity solutions, contact your Axia salesperson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-773-3348.
Looking for a quick distraction, or rather, further research on virtual reality? See the Ready Player One movie trailer.