AR/VR: Market Use/Challenges
This research presents the market use and challenges facing AR/VR technology. Gaming, education, retail, and tourism are some industries that have already implemented this technology. There is still potential in the growth/expansion of its implementation within the next few years. Challenges here include smartphone competition, missing technology, and a poor user interface. Over the years, customer anticipation has built up. Because of these challenges, AR/VR implementation is not yet ready for mass adoption.
- Most people remember the viral Pokémon GO as the first AR game in the industry. Oculus Quest was the first platform that built everything into one system. This game is expected to drive demand for VR gaming, and by the end of 2020, the revenue is estimated to reach $22.9 billion. Experimenting social gaming scenarios for both AR and VR is the focus of top development teams.
- This technology has great potential for companies in the gaming industry by either offering subscription purchases or by selling advertising sections to other brands. Additionally, this technology would be a great addition to arcade centers, as they can set up AR/VR escape rooms. Adding several rooms that are interconnected with a story line can be exciting to users, therefore, attracting customers.
- VR games could also be used in the fitness market where people can use this technology to work out. Additionally, it could also be used to participate in sports, or even begin a major sports league.
E-Commerce and Retail
- AR apps could drastically change the face of online and offline shopping, allowing customers to interact with various products. Companies can also create a personalized experience for each customer. This experience may be even more valuable than an actual visit to a store as one is able to see various features, elements, and details of each product, not only its price.
- The fashion and beauty industry is expected to lead this market by pushing the boundaries of retail visits.
- eBay and IKEA already use AR in various tasks. eBay uses this technology to facilitate shipping and IKEA's Place App allows users to visualize how furniture will look in their homes before making a purchase. This can be done from the comfort of one's home.
- There is an increased demand for being able to experience various products before making a purchase. One example is how people may see how clothes would look on them before making an online purchase. This is great for brands because it speeds up the decision-making process, reduces the return-rate, and increases customer satisfaction.
Tourism and Travel
- This industry offers several opportunities for the implementation of AR/VR technology because of the various activities and locations: transportation, hotels, tours, among others.
- One major factor to consider when traveling to new places is navigation. Google Maps' AR upgrade allows users to gather information and get directions by using the smartphone camera to identify the streets.
- Additionally, other GPS apps are able to translate signs that are marked with foreign languages, give tips/suggestions, and displays route options. These solutions are also made available for those accessing large in-door locations such as airports, train stations, offices, malls, and trade shows.
- Companies, hotels, and getaways can use 3D videos and VR experience to market themselves to potential customers, enticing them to purchase trips.
Education and Training
- AR and VR technology present unlimited possibilities that can drastically improve the teaching and learning process as it delivers realistic simulations within a safe environment.
- This platform allows students to experience 3D images, witness scientific breakthroughs, and even interact with various objects. Training simulators are already in use across various industries such as aviation, medical, military, among others. Using this platform reduces cost, boosts retention, and improves performance. Interaction with other students and educators via this technology enhances the experience.
- Institutions could add a AR/VR section that would capitalize on a 3D immersive experience from the content in books and the library's video content.
3D Design Interface
- User interface design is one of the main hindrances to wide adoption of this technology. As this technology is fairly new, there are not enough experts/skilled people to overcome the obstacles faced by 3D interface design. The design process is difficult and expensive.
- Additionally, designers are faced with the challenge to reduce eye strain and sound disorientation that is caused by using these devices. This will discourage purchases and massive adoption.
Key Technology Elements Missing
- VR is still within a niche market, even though some products/companies have implemented the technology. The major constraint to entering the mainstream market is the lack of hardware that offers convenience and control.
- Convenience in this context refers to access and availability of various options. Additionally, the cost and functionality of both hardware and software should be within reason. This means that it should be affordable and reliable.
- Customers will expect to have an immersive experience that they can control. At the moment, there are still challenges with movement and gestures that will need to be aligned to meet customers' expectations.
- Before customers move to AR and VR, they will still default to using their smartphones because of its convenience and familiarity. For this reason, smartphone AR will most likely be at the forefront of this industry as the hardware is widespread and it has a strong developer base.
- With time, people may get tired of holding up their smartphone to activate the AR experience. This inconvenience could pave the way for hands-free AR HMDs. According to Gartner, it is only after 2020 that these devices are predicted to come into market.
Our research team was able to identify the market uses of AR/VR from Onix Systems, a tech company. The challenges were identified in a Gartner report. In this research, we have provided a diverse list of market uses and provided challenges that would demonstrate that this technology is not yet ready for mass production and adoption.