Top VR and AR Trends to Watch Out in 2022
In recent months we have seen how the adoption of Extended Reality (XR) has increased exponentially in companies around the world, and this trend will only increase in 2022. The benefits this technology brings to many sectors and its attractiveness when interacting with brands make the forecasts put it at the top of the trends that will mark this year.
Studies show that this technology has only just taken off, and it is predicted that by 2022 the global AR and VR market will grow to reach $209 billion. Not only that but the growth of this technology is also reflected in the forecasts for global downloads of AR and VR apps, which stand at 5.5 billion.
Customer habits and demands are changing, so we’ve compiled the most relevant trends in VR and AR that you shouldn’t miss out on.
- 1 Augmented and Virtual Reality Challenges and Future Trends
- 2 Virtual Reality Shopping
- 2.1 Improved Interior Navigation
- 2.2 Mixed Reality in Healthcare
- 2.3 AR and VR with Artificial Intelligence
- 2.4 Metaverse
- 2.5 Augmented Reality as the Future of Work
- 2.6 Training for Employees
- 2.7 PointCloud
- 2.8 AR and Automotive
- 2.9 Interactive User Guides
- 2.10 Augmented and Virtual Reality in Architecture
- 2.11 WebXR
Augmented and Virtual Reality Challenges and Future Trends
Virtual Reality Shopping
Purchasing a product or service has taken on a different meaning than what we were used to, and now the demand is for a new and improved shopping experience. The emergence of a new buyer profile that demands interacting with products digitally before visiting the store has made AR and VR technologies crucial when offering this digital immersion in the purchasing process.
Moreover, we are not only referring to clothing, as it is also applicable to accessories such as eyewear or furniture and household products, all at our fingertips using a smartphone. Even in the stores, introducing smart mirrors or NFC tags is key to providing a unique customer experience and moving from being a potential customer to a buyer.
Another major AR trend concerns how people will navigate from one place to another. Currently, we find a wide variety of tools that can be used to improve the experience in this field, but the best options are those based on AR.
For example, Google Maps AR walking directions have improved tremendously since its launch in 2019. Now, Live View integration with Google Maps location sharing and altitude enhancement is expected to be implemented in the coming months, further improving indoor navigation.
Or ARKit and ARCore-powered apps help consumers find their way around enclosed places like airports or shopping malls. Apple has introduced a potent navigation tool called Geo Tracking, which uses street views to improve positioning as much as possible. Couple all this with the vast development of augmented reality, and it will be impossible to get lost.
Mixed Reality in Healthcare
Augmented reality is completely reshaping healthcare. This technology’s evolution makes it possible to provide the best possible care and facilitates the work of the healthcare team.
Forecasts predict that this industry will be worth $2.4 billion by 2026. The most widespread uses focus on surgery, where surgeons use it for checklists, checks for intervention, and the most recommended routes for the organs they will work with. An example of a use case in the healthcare sector is the system for the study and planning of biopsies using the HoloLens 2 mixed reality device. It takes advantage of the full potential of the device to study, simulate and execute extraction operations using holograms in the most precise and intuitive way.
AR and VR with Artificial Intelligence
The possibilities of marrying AR and VR with AI are as numerous as they are hopeful. We have already observed that advanced machine learning algorithms and other AI approach help machines understand data and automate tasks efficiently. If we extrapolate this to augmented and virtual reality, very attractive workplaces and great applications in interactive item recognition and identification will develop.
Some examples of working together are automated suggestions given to shoppers in a store using the AR interface on their phones. These suggestions could also be joined up and driven by virtual assistants, enabling experiences and products to be taken to the next level.
It is the trend par excellence of the past 2021 and will be even stronger this year. This virtual universe will provide more immersive experiences and connect people worldwide as if they were in the same place. One of the most widespread uses in the work environment is the virtualization of offices, where workers from one or more companies, geographically distributed in different parts of the world, can meet in the “same room.”
But this is not the only application, as the metaverse will open up new possibilities for everyday experiences, in addition to the work environment, whether for a more leisure-focused experience, shopping, traveling, or developing our work in a much more immersive manner.
Augmented Reality as the Future of Work
It is evident that teleworking, and hybrid work models have increased significantly after the pandemic, and it is a model that will remain for the future.
With this increase in teleworkers, new solutions are required to ensure the effectiveness of the work while maintaining the same service as when it was done face-to-face. One example could be the repair of equipment. Augmented reality is a handy tool for IT professionals to guide through on-screen instructions, and both parties will be able to see the same screen in real-time.
In addition, thanks to the advances in the metaverse mentioned above, entire office environments will be transformed into virtual spaces never before seen.
Training for Employees
In the training field, AR has a great future ahead of it, as its impact when applied to employee training is very interesting. It is a tool that can improve the learning and understanding of any profile, from junior to senior.
In addition, it can be applied to other areas such as promoting greater employee participation, raising safety awareness, and reducing learning curves. This technology facilitates hands-on learning in a structured, safe, and interactive way. In addition, there is no wear and tear on the elements being used (as is the case in reality), making it quick and easy to keep training up to date. All employees will receive the same training and can be automatically evaluated to receive a score upon completion.
It is a laser scanning or digital photometry formed by millions of points positioned three-dimensionally in space, reproducing a wide range of metric information on the scanned surfaces. It is the future of digital twins and mainly has a great projection in industrial, architectural, and energy sectors. It improves the final products, reduces costs and time, improves the inspection and control of facilities and infrastructures, the manufacture of pieces, etc.
An example is PointNet, our PointCloud viewer, which we have used to scan the Cathedral of León, as shown in this video.
AR and Automotive
The possibilities promised by augmented reality in the automotive sector are among the most surprising in the coming years. Just a few months ago, Mercedes already presented a display screen inside one of its electric models, which projected the speed, the direction of the vehicle, or the distance to the car in front, in addition to sending alerts when the vehicle deviates from the lane or approaches an intersection. All directly on the windshield.
But it is not the only one, as Audi, BMW, and Kia, among others, have already announced that they will launch models that include AR technology in 2022. Little by little, we will see more and more technologies being introduced to help autonomous driving and facilitate communication with humans. It will completely change the way people move and travel.
Interactive User Guides
This trend may be a bit out of the short-term vision of businesses, but their importance in the coming years makes it impossible for them not to appear on this list.
The idea is simple and can be applied to products with a steep learning curve. Customers can use an AR app to scan instructions through a virtual tour explaining how to set it up, its functions, and everything the customer needs to know.
Augmented and Virtual Reality in Architecture
The architecture and construction industry may be most likely to benefit from the advantages of augmented and virtual reality, whether accessing digital spaces using specialized devices or virtual reality experiences complete with motion sensors.
However, this is just the beginning, as 3D modeling will enable the creation of fully interactive models. Users will be able to immerse themselves in the project entirely, and designers will be able to create CGI on the fly with hologram projections or immersive equipment. The evolution in this industry is taking giant leaps and bounds, and it is now much easier to show visual results that were harder to imagine before. These technologies will help us to see the result of a construction or renovation from the eyes of an architect.
Finally, there is a barrier to the mass adoption of these technologies, and that is the lack of multiplatform standards. The advent of the metaverse opens up this gap even more. The need for a standard technology that breaks down the barriers between each digital universe becomes even more apparent.
WebXR technology is a web standard to which the world’s leading browser manufacturers have committed to facilitating the incorporation of VR and AR experiences that can be consumed directly from a web browser. It comes, therefore, to democratize this access, reducing the digital divide and laying the foundations in virtual reality learning. It will allow anyone to access a VR experience or bring AV into their world through a URL, ending the need to use apps.
This is an excellent opportunity for companies and brands that want to create their own digital experiences without a significant investment in technology.
All these trends might have seemed distant a few years ago, but thanks to their growth and development, they will be a critical factor shortly. If you want to discover all Evergine can do in your sector and company, do not hesitate to contact us to learn more.