The world is still reeling under unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 related events such as physical lockdowns, brick-and-mortar retail closure, supply chain disruption, economic impacts, and more. During the COVID-19 pandemic, immersive technologies like AR (Augmented reality) and VR (Virtual reality) collectively known as XR (Extended Reality) helped mankind in many different ways to deal with COVID-19 related factors. It has helped us to move beyond the confines of social distancing and interact with the outside world while being at a safe distance. It is being helpful in many industries such as healthcare, education, entertainment, marketing and advertising, and more. The demand for AR/VR technology is expected to grow in the future. According to a report, the AR/VR market is expected to reach around $65 billion by 2024. In this blog, we are going to discuss how COVID-19 has accelerated the extensive demand for AR/VR tech in the market.
1. AR/VR technology in education
Schools and universities around the world have moved their classes online following the rule of social distancing. AR/VR technology helps educational institutions around the world to enable students to learn without being physically present. The ability of AR/VR to create remote, immersive learning environments is being utilized for students of all ages. Current AR/VR technology is advanced enough to provide remote collaborative classrooms and enable a large group of students to gather and learn while minimizing the risk of the spread of the virus. According to a report, 97% of students would like to take a VR course. There are various AR/VR-enabled tools to help students learn better such as Curiscope’s Virtuali-tee is a t-shirt and app that helps students to learn about the human body. One person puts on the t-shirt while the other uses an AR app to virtually reveal the various layers inside the body. Floreo is a telehealth platform that uses VR headsets to deliver social and behavioral therapy in schools and other settings. A recent report suggests that the VR market is expected to grow by $700 million by 2025.
2. AR/VR in healthcare
The potential of AR/VR technology is being utilized in the healthcare industry across the globe. During the COVID-19 pandemic, AR/VR technology has played a crucial role in providing safe healthcare services to patients through audio-visual based virtual communication. It is also helping to fast-track the development to end this menace. For example, Meta is an application that can assist doctors and surgeons with patient information and data with a total AR experience. There are various AR-based applications used to improve healthcare such as BioFightVR, EchoPixel, Vipaar, Proximie, Medical Realities and more. The benefits of using AR/VR technology in healthcare include a decrease in the cost and increase in efficiency, help in medical education, helpful in mental and psychological treatment, and more. The AR/VR technologies used in the healthcare industry have larger scope in the future as remote care and at-home medical care become more prevalent.
3. AR/VR in marketing and advertising
As the pandemic has restricted consumers to stay at home and pushed online shopping, AR/VR technology is helping to enable consumers to preview products before purchasing them. AR/VR technology helps brands and companies in runway shows, mirrors, showrooms, windows, and more. Brands and companies including L’Oreal, Kendra Scott, Suitsupply, and more have introduced virtual tools to engage shoppers. AR/VR technology is expected to be utilized extensively in marketing and advertising. E-commerce Company Shopify recently released new data which shows that interaction with the products that have AR content showed a 94% higher conversion rate than the product without AR.
4. AR/VR technology in entertainment
There is growth in the AR/VR gaming market due to the pandemic. AR/VR in the gaming market growth is primarily driven by extensive internet penetration rate and the rising adoption of VR hardware among gamers. VR accessories used in gaming applications include head-mounted displays, motion sensors, gloves, wireless controllers, and bodysuits equipped with motion sensors. Also, the increasing number of startups offering VR gaming software is expected to drive the growth of VR in gaming. COVID-19 has accelerated the demand for AR/VR gaming hardware and software in the market. According to a report, the VR gaming market is expected to reach $45.2 billion by 2027 exhibiting a CAGR of 31.8% during the forecast period.
According to ARtillery Intelligence, Virtual Reality used within businesses is forecasted to grow from $829 million in 2018 to $4.26 billion in 20213. It is being used for training, work meetings, and to provide better consumer services during the pandemic. Facebook’s VR headset brand recently released an Oculus for business platform amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There are much more opportunities for AR/VR technology in the future, there are several statistics available that suggest its enormous growth even after the pandemic. According to a PwC report, it is expected that nearly 23.3 million jobs worldwide will be using AR/VR technology for training, work meetings, and more by 2030.
About the Guest Author:
Piyush Jain is the founder and CEO of Simpalm, a mobile app development company in Chicago. Piyush founded Simpalm in 2009 and has grown it to be a leading mobile and web Development Company in the DMV area. With a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins and a strong background in technology and entrepreneurship, he understands how to solve problems using technology. Under his leadership, Simpalm has delivered 300+ mobile apps and web solutions to clients in startups, enterprises and the federal sector.