With new tech innovations constantly on the horizon, businesses must always be looking out for the “next big thing.” Gaining insight on what’s to come can help your company plan for strategic adoption of the latest technologies.
Two fields that are rapidly developing for business are augmented reality and virtual reality. As these technologies become more mainstream in the consumer market, companies are finding ways to bring them into their operations and workplaces.
What’s the AR or VR innovation you’re most excited to see in 2019, and how do you plan to use it to help your business, if at all?
Here’s what they said:
1. AR Retail Apps
There’s a lot of great AR apps on the horizon. HP Reveal is one that offers a lot of promise, both for the consumer and for the businesses supply chain. There are a lot of areas where retail, especially e-commerce, will be influenced by AR, making at-home shopping for everything a much greater reality. – Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting
2. Wireless Headsets
AR and VR experiences can be incredible and far surpass your usual 2D experiences, whether that be games or anything else. However, the main factor holding back wide adoption has been the complex setup with a headset that is tethered to a PC. We are on the verge of a wave of new wireless headsets that can offer a sweet spot between capability and portability. – James Simpson, GoldFire Studios
3. AR-Powered User Search
AR will bridge the gap between the digital and real world. Google Lens will be the biggest change, as it integrates into multiple experiences on the Android platform. As AR becomes more and more common, it will alter the user search and sort expectation, and bring the digital and physical worlds together. – Dan Golden, BFO (Be Found Online)
4. Non-Consumer Applications
There are many AR/VR applications outside of the consumer space, such as in healthcare to assist surgeries, and in warehouses to help workers identify location of items efficiently. In these cases, the form factor of an AR/VR devices is not an issue. Until the devices have minimal/non-existent footprints, I don’t see rapid adoption in the consumer space. – Reza Chowdhury, AlleyWatch
5. AR and VR Security Culture
With any new emerging technology, there will be security concerns. The companies producing this technology are facing a learning curve on how to properly secure their hardware and software. Allowing access to something such as what the consumer sees in front of them in an AR device is a massive violation of privacy. I look forward to seeing security culture develop around AR and VR products. – Zohar Steinberg, token payments
6. Immersive Journalism
Immersive journalism is where a story is told using a VR device. The body is telling the story as much as the words themselves. This is an interesting strategy that we may consider getting involved in throughout this year. It creates a more compelling experience for the viewer. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
7. Experiential Marketing
We’re really excited to explore how AR and VR technology can be integrated into experiential marketing campaigns. It’s exciting to think about how guests at trade shows, festivals and other events can learn about a company’s product or service from a VR experience. – Jessica Gonzalez, InCharged
8. Product Trials
Companies who couldn’t offer free trials of their product now can with AR/VR. For example, consumers aren’t able to bring home furniture from IKEA to see what it will look like in their home, but with AR/VR, they can test it out before they buy. – Blair Williams, MemberPress
9. Virtual Reality for Travel and Tourism
I expect to see retail travel agencies make a resurgence as VR headsets become more popular in 2019. These gadgets won’t yet be in every household, but retailers can use VR to show exactly what a travel experience is like before you book. In the next decade, VR will allow you to take safaris from the comfort of your own home before spending thousands on a trip to Africa. – Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences
10. A Truly Virtual Workplace
The next leap for AR/VR to become actionable from a non-consumer standpoint is its use to bring remote workforces together. Presently, virtual offices are limited and not conducive to open interaction. AR/VR offers huge potential to allow business to have productive and personal meetings without the constraints of dial-in numbers and webcams. – Ryan Bradley, Koester & Bradley, LLP
11. Data Center Improvements
Augmented reality will see a lot of use in data centers. It will be used to locate faulty machines on the data center floor and overlay them with fault and performance data from monitoring and ticketing software. AR bridges the gap between our software systems and the physical server and network infrastructure in our data centers. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting
12. AR-Based Mobile Apps
Integration of augmented reality in mobile applications is a premise we are most excited about in 2019. All market segments including gaming, e-commerce and healthcare are looking to incorporate AR in their apps. Several tools for prototyping AR-based apps like InVision, Framer and Prototypr are already in the market, which will see a surge of AR-based apps in the marketplace. – Rahul Varshneya, BenchPoint
13. Employee Training and Virtual Classrooms
There has been an impressive push towards applying VR technology to education and training. Although most of these developments are centered around employee training, I can see them being very effective for academic education through virtual classrooms. This is a way for students in remote locations to receive a learning experience on par with local students. – Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.