The last two years put immersive technologies on the high-speed growth path. They were needed to bridge the unprecedented gaps between people caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We saw an incredible adoption rate of AR shopping and VR entertainment as well as immersive learning. People of all ages found meaningful experiences in the virtual world and managed to fight off the negative impacts of isolation caused by stay-at-home mandates.
The Significant AR/VR Trends for 2022
One of the most important trends we note is the fact that AR/VR companies are working hard to democratize access to new technologies. Right now, developers are trying to create experiences that anyone can access, even with older computers and mobile phones.
At the same time, device manufacturers are trying to make their products easier to use and less expensive.
Let’s now look at more specific AR/VR trends expected to further shape the XR market this year.
1. Headsets Will Become Affordable
The main AR and VR headset producers are being challenged by smaller players, who have caught up and are in a position to offer less expensive headsets. This is the same trend that we witnessed in the mobile phone industry – with a few trailblazers followed by a wave of small companies riding on the waves of their developments.
Just as, right now, there are high-end and entry-level smartphones on the market, answering all user needs and budgets, we can expect the same thing from AR and VR headsets. Companies like HTC, Oculus (Meta), and Apple will continue to innovate and launch devices equipped with the latest technological developments. Meanwhile, a myriad of companies based in South-East Asia will flood the market with affordable headsets with average but satisfactory performances.
2. AR/VR Will Make Remote Work More Connected
Here is one of the most important AR/VR trends for 2022 from the point of view of the impact on people. As work from home appears to be here to stay, companies are looking for ways of creating meaningful interactions between team members.
Many remote workers have complained of the feeling of isolation and the negative impacts of lack of human interactions with colleagues. By implementing VR communication and collaboration tools, businesses hope that they will give their employees the sense of being together in the same space.
3. Augmented Shopping Will Become the Norm for Social Media Networks
Social shopping plus augmented reality make one of the best combinations. And, according to Grand View Research, a market research company, it is one of the fastest-growing markets. One of their reports estimates that augmented shopping will experience a CAGR of 47.1% from 2020 to 2027.
Moreover, Shopify findings indicate that digital interactions with products through AR/VR content have a 94% higher conversion rate compared to static/2D interactions. Thus, the idea of shopping on social media with AR is set to be one of the most important AR/VR trends for 2022.
4. 360 Degree Marketing
Although 360-degree videos are not technically a true VR experience, they are still immersive, and are increasingly easier to create and share, so brands are very keen to use this technology in their marketing strategy. This is the ultimate form of keeping the user’s attention captive and focused on the product.
Immersive videos will represent the next big advertising revolution, encouraged by the increasing number of consumers who can access and enjoy this type of content.
5. Further Investments in Metaverse
Metaverse became the buzzword of 2021, especially since the Facebook company changed its business name to Meta and announced its intentions to diversify its products and services.
Metaverse has the potential to become a world in its own rights, where individuals and businesses interact through virtual avatars. Thus, we end our list of AR/VR trends for 2022 with the importance of AR and VR – aside from other technologies such as AI, 3D modeling, and 5G – in building the metaverse and making it appear as real as we want it to be.