Story image

2018, the year that...AR will overtake VR in popularity

09 Feb 2018

By Simon Horrocks, Country Manager ANZ at AppDynamics

Due to its high price point and the need for users to be somewhat cut off from the world, the hype around Virtual Reality (VR) will soon be overtaken by appreciation for the more accessible benefits of Augmented Reality (AR).

Over the past two years, VR has received a great deal of publicity from both technology companies and the media. Although VR products, such as HTC Vive and the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, have been around for a while, there hasn’t been a huge amount of content created and adoption has been limited.

In Australia, recent research by Telsyte shows that while almost half (45%) of surveyed retailers have a strategy in place to develop VR, there’s a disconnect between consumer need and business intention.

Almost half of all VR device revenues in Australia came from video gamers alone, and this niche audience may not be adequate to propel VR to a mainstream field.

Gamer enthusiasm aside, there is a belief amongst VR developers that whilst early adoption rates have been encouraging, it will be years (and probably another generation of hardware) before it reaches anywhere near mass-market adoption.

Telsyte has estimated 2021 adoption rates at 25% locally.

To really take off, VR would need to enhance customer experience and perform flawlessly, otherwise, they will simply be dismissed as a gimmick. Only the most practical use cases will survive, which is why AR is set to overtake VR in popularity in the coming years due to its greater levels of accessibility.

AR’s advantages becoming clear

Despite VR having attracted much of the attention and generated the most hype, it is AR that is set to assume its place as the more revolutionary of the two concepts.

A key reason for this is simply the fact that VR requires the user to be shut off from the outside world, whereas AR overlays realistic images to a user’s physical environment, allowing them to complete tasks in the real world.

Another major, clear advantage AR has is, unlike VR, no expensive headset is required – the apps can simply be accessed and used with a regular iPhone or iPad, giving AR instant mass-market reach.

AR’s tipping point in industry

AR has a multitude of business applications, where the technology will first thrive before becoming adopted in the mainstream by consumers. AR has all the advantages of remote conferencing, collaboration, design and realistic experience, without the need for cumbersome or expensive headsets.

Microsoft’s Hololens is the most promising example of the technology yet, offering use cases ranging from manufacturing to healthcare. 3D designers can see holograms of their models as they design them, and construction workers can overlay blueprints on real building sites.

AR has also been introduced in the mining industry to great effect. As well as the aforementioned 3D interactive mapping capability that enables mining companies to communicate their designs to clients and stakeholders far more effectively, it has also been used to enable maintenance and service technicians to conduct their work remotely.

They can use AR to see the issue on site and relay instructions on how to resolve it to personnel on the ground, rather than having to physically travel to remote sites across the country.

This means that their time is used much more effectively, as no time is wasted on getting to and travelling between jobs. In a sector such as mining, where the failure of an important piece of equipment can cost many thousands of dollars an hour, this can be critical to the ongoing viability of a mine.

Mining is just one of a number of examples of industries on the cusp of disruption thanks to AR technology. Moving forward, manufacturing, health, and education will note the benefits of overlayed visuals on real-world scenarios to increase safety and experience whilst decreasing inefficiencies.

Considering AR’s varied and often business-critical use cases, reliability and performance will play a huge role in deciding the magnitude of its success.

Once it has infiltrated the business world, it is only a matter of time before consumers are also introduced on a mass scale to the many benefits of AR technology.

Why 'right to repair' legislation could be a new lease on life for broken devices
“These companies are profiting at the expense of our environment and our pocketbooks as we become a throw-away society that discards over 6 million tonnes of electronics every year.”
Attacks targeting Cisco Webex extension explode in popularity - WatchGuard
WatchGuard's Internet Security Report for Q4 2018 also finds growing use of a new sextortion phishing malware customised to individual victims.
SAS partners with NVIDIA on deep learning and computer vision
“By partnering with NVIDIA, we combine our strengths to augment human intelligence and realise the true potential of AI.” 
Why businesses must embrace automation to ensure success
“For many younger workers, the traditional view of a steady job at one company, perhaps for life, simply doesn’t reflect reality."
Dropbox invests in hosting data inside Australia
Global collaboration platform Dropbox has announced it will now host Australian customer files onshore to support its growing base in the country.
TYAN unveils new inference-optimised GPU platforms with NVIDIA T4 accelerators
“TYAN servers with NVIDIA T4 GPUs are designed to excel at all accelerated workloads, including machine learning, deep learning, and virtual desktops.”
Worldwide spending on security to reach $103.1bil in 2019 - IDC
Managed security services will be the largest technology category in 2019.
How Cognata and NVIDIA enable autonomous vehicle simulation
“Cognata and NVIDIA are creating a robust solution that will efficiently and safely accelerate autonomous vehicles’ market entry."