Should You Mess with Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality?
Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Beyond - Will it Help the Post-Quarantine World?
The following is a “watered down” sample of what you get when you subscribe to the full blown newsletter. The topic is one that isn’t *as* pertinent to many companies so that’s why I felt it would be okay to share it with you as a sample.
Are virtual reality and augmented reality something your business needs to know or care about? If you’re in entertainment, absolutely. If you make software, maybe. But is there more to the story?
Magic Leap just booted their CEO after letting a lot of their staff go a few months before. They’re now seeking another round of investments and restructuring. The company made VR headsets (well, makes, but for how long) and some good demos. To read this, you’d think that the whole virtual reality space is problematic. Does your business need anything to do with it?
Not sure, but Gabe Newell who co-founded the very important gaming and entertainment company Valve said this:
”Personally, the area I’m spending a lot of time on has been growing out of a bunch of research that occurred a while ago in brain-computer interfaces” - said Newell to IGN. Also: “It would be like trying to describe the Internet to someone who’s never used the Internet before.”
There’s another quote in the video interview that you can watch at this link where Newell talks about companies NOT developing entertainment or interfaces with a direct-to-cortex perspective, and how that will put them years behind where he is with his efforts.
The general consensus on VR/AR is that it’s kind of interesting but not ready or prime time for many applications. There are some arguments or AR that are easier to make than for VR.
VR vs AR and What Does This All Mean?
First, there’s a term to start throwing around: XR. It basically just means VR and AR and the occasional crossover.
Virtual Reality is essentially a visual and audio experience that simulates a different environment than the one around you. Augmented reality is an overlay of information over our actual world (like adding a virtual floating motor assembly in the spot where the real one will eventually be).
If you put on a helmet and see a whole new world, that’s VR. If you open your phone and see a Pokemon standing on your desk, that’s AR.
Which Businesses Should Care?
I’ll give you a quick rundown on this:
Augmented Reality will be more useful to more companies than VR generally.
Any kind of training that requires hazardous environment exposure (like fire fighting, hostage rescue, deep water welding) is a perfect use for AR.
Field maintenance for MOST organizations using mechanical or electrical engineering skills is perfect for AR for showing schematics and operations lists and steps in real time, real space.
Architecture, Engineering, and Construction will benefit from both VR and AR Example: virtual walkthroughs become the norm on higher value properties. Example: construction blueprints and schematics floating in place while doing the work.
Mobile AR will grow faster than helmet-driven AR because it can be utilized with mobile phones or tablets and doesn’t require a bulky and expensive headset.
Vehicle Heads Up Displays for mapping will become more and more important as delivery jobs ramp even higher in the next two years.
WHICH INDUSTRIES HAVE THE MOST OPPORTUNITIES
Auto retailers, repair and body shops
Entertainment - all kinds
Education (particularly technical)
Health care (check out this report on pain management using virtual reality)
Military/Law Enforcement (training safety)
Retail (experience marketing)
If I skipped your industry, hit reply and I’ll let you know what I can find for it.
Should you look into careers in this space? If you are a software developer, then yes for VR and maybe for AR. If you are in any other industry, it’s early days and very hard to sell this technology to prospective buyers. Pushback is still very solid and your experience will likely be quite challenging.
Let me know what you need and/or what you missed and I’ll gladly help you along.