Future of Virtual and Augmented Reality: Trends and Challenges
We are at a time when immersive technologies are growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, they are expected to grow exponentially in the next 5 years.
They have positioned themselves as a critical element in the digitization of the coming years, so we review the future prospects and challenges to be faced.
The future of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
According to research conducted by IDC, the virtual and augmented reality market will reach 15.5 billion euros in 2022. If we talk about spending on these technologies, we would stand at $18.8 billion, an increase of 78.5% over the previous one; and it is expected to grow by 77% more in 2023.
Therefore, AR and VR are at the center of the digital transformation of businesses and consumers. We analyze their evolution and challenges.
Evolution of AR/VR
In recent years, the use of this type of technology has increased in several areas and sectors, mainly in entertainment and video games. For example, video games such as Pokemon Go and devices such as Oculus Quest 2 and PlayStation VR have seen widespread adoption.
Now, companies in the retail sector are introducing augmented reality technologies to allow potential shoppers to preview products. This translates into a much higher conversion rate (up 94% according to Shopify), which has seen a big boost during the pandemic.
This type of technology is also experiencing its best moment in education, where its applications range from immersive teaching and training to combat dangerous moments, simulation of historical scenarios, virtual trips, educational experiences for students with ADHD or a visual impairment, etc.
Even healthcare is joining this trend thanks to the advances we have witnessed in recent years and those expected in the coming years. Virtual simulations for surgeries, telehealth services, treatments for post-traumatic disorders, etc. There is no end to the applications.
Upcoming challenges of Virtual and Augmented Reality
As metaverses are built, and virtual reality evolves, company leaders must be continually aware of the potential issues with this technology to ensure that the disadvantages do not outweigh the benefits to society.
Issues such as legal or moral aspects within the VR and AR world, where the risk of harm should be minimized; the handling of users’ personal data and its security; even the more long-term health-related aspects, such as motion sickness, eye health, or psychological impacts such as cyber addiction.
These are just some of the challenges that business leaders will face in an increasingly present future, where much focus must be placed on ethical and social implications.
How will Virtual Reality be used in the future
Today, the market is demanding applications that go beyond entertainment, tourism, and marketing, as well as being more affordable for users. As a result, we are likely to experience extended reality in ways that are still unthinkable.
We will have faster, lighter, and more affordable VR and AV thanks to expected technological advances. In addition, upcoming smartphones with improved cameras and processors, as well as 5G networks, will allow us to enjoy much more sophisticated immersive experiences from anywhere.
Some of the key developments that will shape the future of immersive technologies include:
- LiDAR and its more realistic creations for our cell phones.
- Virtual and augmented reality devices will be smaller, lighter, and incorporate more features.
- New accessories such as robotic boots will emerge to further deepen the experience.
- There will be a huge demand for AR/VR chips.
- It will go a step beyond haptic gloves as full-body haptic suits.
- Extended reality will be dedicated to learning, training, and healthcare treatments.
- There will be no need to download apps thanks to 5G and WebVR.
- Immersive sports and events.
Despite the challenges and obstacles that augmented and virtual reality will have to overcome, the potential benefits that this technology can bring to many facets of our lives far outweigh its more “negative” side. Companies that see this potential and invest in creating immersive solutions will make the difference in driving business success, optimizing business processes, and delivering better customer experiences.