Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are set to become mainstream in business operations within the next three years, new research suggests.
Firms that are already using AR/VR say that it improves efficiency and safety, and generates productivity benefits.
Capgemini Research Institute surveyed more than 700 executives in the automotive, manufacturing and utilities sectors, with 82% of those currently implementing AR/VR reporting that the benefits are either meeting or exceeding their expectations.
The most popular uses of AR/VR are repair and maintenance, and design and assembly.
AR, while being more complex to implement, is perceived as more beneficial than VR.
“While VR has been found to enhance a solo, immersive user experience that is isolated from the real world, AR connects the digital world to the real world, and therefore supports a number of breakthrough use-cases,” Capgemini explained.
Half (50%) of enterprises currently not implementing AR and VR will start exploring immersive technologies for their business operations within the next three years.
Overall, 46% of companies believe the technology will become mainstream in their organisations within the next three years, while a further 38% think it will become mainstream in their organisations in the next three to five years.
However, a shortage of in-house expertise and insufficient back-end infrastructures are significant barriers to growth, Capgemini noted.
The report, Augmented and Virtual Reality in Operations: A guide for investment, identifies four key strategies to expand AR/VR initiatives:
- Establish a dedicated central team or innovation centre to manage AR/VR activities.
- Invest in agile, in-house teams of experts to gear up for future adoption.
- Focus on the right use cases that provide lasting value and support employees.
- Prepare technology infrastructure to integrate AR/VR.
Worldwide spending on AR/VR is expected to reach $17.8bn in 2018, an increase of nearly 95% over the $9.1bn estimate for 2017, according to IDC, with growth forecast to continue at a similar rate for the next three years.