How VR & AR is being used to boost business

Organizations are using AR and VR to increase efficiency, experiment with new ideas and provide training for their workforce.
18 December 2018

A man experiencing a VR glasses at the Light of Internet Expo. Source: AFP

The evolutionary nature of Augmented Reality (AR) has impacted businesses far and wide. Immersive and engaging experiences abound for customers and employees alike. Organizations are using the power of AR and VR to boost efficiency, experiment with new ideas and provide training for their workforce.

# 1 | Innovation in the automotive space

One of the benefits of AR is in the automotive space, where it’s helping manufacturers with the overall design process. The technology can serve as a catalyst for designers to visualize the body structure of a vehicle, to improve efficiency, safety and durability.

AR is also a facet that will feature heavily in autonomous vehicles in the future. Information on routes and key performance metrics could also be shown on AR-powered displays. Sharing safety and environmental data is also another feature of these AR-fueled advancements.

# 2 | Retail therapy reimagined

Businesses are using AR to help customers experience an immersive shopping experience. Customers can use AR to try out new clothes, accessories by overlaying them on an image of themselves.

From smart mirrors with AR functionality to smartphone cameras, customers can take the guesswork out of choosing a product and ‘trying it on’— creating a virtual fitting room experience with all with the convenience of e-commerce.

# 3 | Ramping up efficiency

As businesses chase improvements in a bid to boost efficiency across the board, AR is there to help. For example, car manufacturers are testing the efficacy of their manufacturing process using AR systems.

VR can also be used to test new patterns, processes or workflows to ultimately boost efficiency. Moreover, the safety and durability of the finished product, in this case, vehicles, can be greatly enhanced as well.

# 4 | Marketing gone wild

Games like Pokemon Go introduced the wonders of AR to the world, and now almost every vertical market has a marketing strategy that involves AR in some shape or form. Movie studios and even retail outlets employ VR to great effect to generate more buzz and engage with audiences.

AR-inspired advertising is another way to keep customers immersed. Companies like Pepsi designed bus shelters in London that acted like AR lenses and displayed life-like animals and random objects popping out into the streets. It is evident with AR, marketing strategies are getting increasingly engaging and realistic.

# 5 | Upskilling is a priority

With all the talk of AI and automation contributing to job losses and the creation of new ones, upskilling is fast becoming a priority for companies. Apparently, 40 percent of employees leave their jobs within a year if they get insufficient training.

A correlation between employee training and employee retention is emerging. This is where AR and VR can be of immense help in terms of visualizing scenarios, for example, in a manufacturing operation, where potential mistakes could result in shutdowns or even injury to the workforce.