You have probably seen augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) products in unlikely places by now, but the fact remains that the majority of people still consider AR and VR as high-tech toys aimed at the video game market.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are the hottest technologies in various industries. Augmented reality has the potential to enhance anyone’s everyday life. Some of the most practical everyday uses might surprise you, and there is incredible potential for both of these technologies to improve people’s lives in the future.
Everyday Uses of AR and VR
1. AR and VR in the Medical Industry
AR and VR are now the most important training tools in the medical field, enriching the education of medical students in various disciplines.
Advanced AR technology can help with anatomy instruction, procedural guides, and various aspects of medical training for diagnostics and treatment. VR could potentially allow medical students to perform mock operations and treatments in a safe and controlled environment.
VR and AR can provide medical students with interactive 3D models of the human body for various medical training and research purposes. Eventually, AR and VR could help reduce training costs in the medical industry, improve training efficacy, and offer training to more medical students to help handle the growing demand for high-quality healthcare.
2. Tourism Enhanced by AR and VR
Have you ever wanted to visit the other side of the world? What if you finally made it to your dream destination only to find it is nothing like you expected?
Thanks to modern AR and VR tools in the tourism industry, you can talk a walk on the Great Wall of China or explore the Australian coast from the comfort of your home.
Many tourism companies are developing augmented reality tours that allow users to explore new places and gain a taste of a travel destination before actually visiting.
Currently, AR and VR tours only provide predetermined “routes,” but in the future, potential customers could remotely take in local scenery from across the world, turning their heads to change the viewing angle as if they were actually there.
3. AR and VR Public Safety Tools
AR and VR could potentially make it easier for people to navigate heavily populated areas more easily and more safely. This technology could also help first responders react to dangerous situations more quickly and more effectively.
Imagine an ambulance driver wearing AR-enabled glasses that provide a heads-up display, highlighting the quickest route from the ambulance’s current location to the destination.
Another example could be an AR app that assists with navigation while you’re traveling for business in a new place. These apps could point you toward emergency services or highlight dangerous areas, keeping you safer in unfamiliar territory.
4. Product Development and Modeling with AR and VR
The consumer product manufacturing process typically requires extensive prototyping, testing, and quality assurance before a product can enter mass production. AR and VR are already reshaping product development in many different industries.
AR displays can create interactive 3D renderings of prototype products, allowing for faster, easier collaboration in a shared space. Team members can manipulate prototype mockups, potentially speeding up development cycle time with less waste.
AR and VR product development applications can also streamline future product development cycles by storing project data for later reference. This makes product improvement faster and more efficient.
5. Education with AR/VR
AR and VR have already found their way into the education sector with moderate success, but there is an incredible amount of potential for these technologies in education.
These technologies could allow students to explore other cultures and ancient civilizations as if they actually stepped into a new world. AR and VR could potentially enhance learning experiences for various disciplines, including biology, astronomy, music, and art.
6. Immersive AR/VR Product Demonstrations
AR and VR have also become boons to the retail sector, affording customers with a fun and valuable way to shop. Some retailers have already created AR and VR experiences and marketing campaigns aimed at creating more memorable, more immersive interactions with their customers.
AR apps can allow people to see what clothes will look like before purchasing them, try on different colors of nail polish or cosmetics, or see how different jewelry pieces would look when worn using AR camera applications.
Imagine an AR camera tool that analyses a product and instantly looks for better deals from other retailers. The possibilities for VR and AR in the retail sector are virtually endless.
7. AR and VR for Gaming Continues to Evolve
While the applications for AR and VR continue to evolve, the video game industry was one of the first industries to adopt these technologies as marketable products, from the failed Virtual Boy of the 1990s to the hugely successful Pokémon Go in 2016.
These technologies continue to evolve in the video game industry, and developers are searching for new ways to incorporate VR and AR technology.
Products like the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and VR applications provide gamers with incredibly immersive experiences, from fighting zombies to virtual dating with lifelike and animated characters. Video games have eclipsed Hollywood films in terms of raw market value, and more people than ever play video games of some type every day.
If you haven’t experimented with any AR or VR applications yet, you can find many affordable or even free options to do so. Just try these new technologies for yourself and imagine their potential.