When we hear of AR and VR, gaming often first comes to mind. Most associate these immersive technologies with gaming technology. However, augmented and virtual reality applications have long been explored for use in various industries. They have applications in the field of medicine, military, and aeronautics.
In recent years, enterprises have used AR and VR to enhance their business processes. A recent survey on XR Enterprise Trends clearly shows the demand for AR and VR. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) surveyed 577 organizations. Of these, 77% indicated that they are currently engaged in AR and/or VR initiatives.
Corporate Functions That Use Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Applications
AR and VR have several use cases in the corporate setting. These include:
- Training and teaching;
- Design and visualization;
- Repair and maintenance;
- Virtual meetings;
- Customer engagement;
In the survey, CTA had 324 respondents from companies engaged in AR initiatives. Meanwhile, they also had 333 respondents from companies engaged in VR initiatives. The results of the survey show that:
- 45% of companies are currently using AR to increase customer engagement, while 34% plan to use it within the next year;
- More than eight in 10 companies use or plan to use XR technologies for training and design functions;
- 48% of companies are already using VR applications in virtual meetings, while 28% plan to use the technology within the next year;
- 55% are currently using AR in training and/or teaching, while 27% plan to use it within the next year;
- 51% are currently using VR in training and/or teaching, while 31% plan to use it within the next year.
Top Use Case for AR/VR Is Workforce Training
The CTA survey shows workforce training as the top use case for both AR and VR. More than 50% of the organizations indicated their current use of both technologies.
Sayon Deb, a senior analyst at the CTA, notes how approaches to workplace training in enterprises are being reshaped by immersive technologies. According to him, “Combining real and virtual environments and human-machine interactions, XR is helping provide experiential and immersive learning environments to prepare the future workforce.”
Augmented and Virtual Reality Applications in Workforce Training
Augmented reality and virtual reality applications are used in immersive learning where real-life situations can be mimicked. They are effective in training for different scenarios including those that have potentially life-threatening consequences. Specifically, these include task-specific modules for hard skills and safety. They are also useful in leadership development. Through various potential customer and employee scenarios, employees can learn proper engagement.
The Future of Workforce Training
In 2019, AR and VR headsets can reach revenue of approximately $793 million. This revenue projection by CTA indicates a 7% increase from 2018 data. With these technologies becoming more affordable and cost-effective, it’s likely for this figure to skyrocket in the next few years.
Majority of enterprises will leverage immersive technology to enhance the learning experiences of their employees. Indeed, AR, VR, and MR will blend the physical and digital worlds for smarter, safer, and more effective workforce training. Ultimately, this would lead to individual employee success and overall business growth.