Trends in Immersive Experiences and Virtual Reality -2018

There is growing demand for immersive experiences from video game enthusiasts and end users. These technologies, enabled by advances in hardware and high performance computers, are beginning to blur the line between the physical, digital and simulated worlds.

Explaining the drive to invest in these technologies, Clay Bavor, VP of Virtual and Augmented Reality blogs

“VR can transport you. With it, you don’t just get to see a place, you can experience what it’s like to be there. And AR brings computing into your world, letting you interact with digital information in your environment. Both technologies enable us to experience computing more like we experience the real world—they make computing work more like we do. That’s why we’re making investments in the core technologies that enable VR and AR, and in platforms that make them accessible to more people.”

image from Google

Applications of immersive and Virtual Reality

The most advanced use of Immersive Experiences, Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies are in design of flight simulators. These simulators are used for a variety of applications including flight training, the design and development aircraft and research into aircraft characteristics and control handling qualities. The airline industry invests millions of dollars on advanced flight simulators since they can reduce the cost of training or re-training pilots.

A recent article in a trade journal, “Simulating Reality,” highlights how advances in flight simulation technology are changing the way pilots train.

Advances in computing technology over the last several decades have certainly contributed to the amazing capability of today’s full-flight simulators, but that’s not the whole story. Motion systems are being converted from hydraulic to electric for improved fidelity and smoothness, and visual systems are advancing to the point that it can be hard to tell at a glance whether you’re looking out at a real world or not. Perhaps the only thing left that can take you out of the virtual experience of sitting at the controls of a simulator are those occasions when you can try things you’d never be brave enough — or dumb enough — to do in a real airplane.


The DoD and militaries are also advanced users of these technologies. A US Army blog highlights (link) the use of Combat Simulators

“The first-ever, fully immersive virtual simulation training system for Soldiers is being fielded at Fort Bragg. The Dismounted Soldier Training System will be available for leaders to enhance their Soldiers’ training in a fully immersive, virtual reality environment. This virtual system allows leaders at the squad level to maintain their squad’s proficiency of their assigned tasks in a timely and safe manner, even in the event new Soldiers arrive to the unit.”

AR and VR techniques also offer the promise of deeper customer engagement, and are being used by marketing teams across industries.

  • Realtors and property managers are using AR technologies for virtual walkthroughs of properties.  A blog post (link) describes how “The real estate realm is changing rapidly by embracing innovations in technology that make it possible to envision and experience a property personally without actually being present physically. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two powerful technologies making a big impact in the real estate industry.”
  • Home improves chain Lowe’s is letting customers visualize and ‘see’ home improvements before investing in the products. The company released Lowe’s Vision, an app for Google’s 3-D smartphone platform Tango that lets customers visualize how new furniture and appliances will look in their homes. It can also take accurate measurements through augmented reality. Customers can go from mapping out their rooms to browsing a filtered selection of Lowe’s products.
  • The Do-it-yourself furniture chain IKEA decided to bring its catalogue to life using augmented reality technology. Users can scan for selected pages the catalogue with the IKEA catalogue app and can browse it on a smartphone or tablet. After selecting a piece of furniture, users put the device with the app on the ground, where it acts as an anchor for the 3-D image of the chair or table. If the furniture needs to be rotated, the user simply rotates the smartphone or tablet.
  • In a Linkedin post, Gary Herring writes about L’Oreal’ AR solution called Makeup Genius that allows users to try any makeup or style virtually. “Essentially, this app scans your face and creates an image on your smartphone. It then allows you to try any of the 4,500 and odd products sold by L’Oreal to get a feel of how it would look on you before you go ahead and buy it. This app captures 64 facial data points and more than 100 different facial expressions to discern the shape of your eyes, lips and other facial contours, to place the makeup accurately on your face. You even have the option to save your selfie, share it with your contacts on social media and buy the products you used directly through the app.”
  • Virtual Reality Is Allowing Us To See Some of the World’s Most Inaccessible Archaeological Sites– A Native American tribe in California got a chance to reconnect with its past through virtual reality models of sacred sites. We often associate virtual reality (VR) with thrilling experiences we may never be able to have in real life – such as flying a jet fighter, exploring the oceans or going on a spacewalk. But researchers are also starting to use this technology to study and open up access to archaeological sites that are difficult to get to.

Enterprise adoption of These technologies and devices seem to be keeping pace with consumer adoption. Analysts are predicting that Augmented reality and the Internet of Things (IOT) will begin to converge. According to a blog in singularityhub

“Enterprise resource planning, warehouse management and even electronic health record systems will be able to connect a workforce to its surrounding environment, whether a factory, warehouse or hospital—workers will be able to see information projected onto their environment. Eventually, the value will likely be driven upstream, as well into concepting, design, layout and other knowledge worker tasks, connecting the digital world to the physical one through connected data ecosystems.”

Links and References


Edited and compiled by: Mohan K | Reproduction with permission only | Contact