When VR and AR were first introduced, they were primarily seen as gaming technology. However, we're beginning to see the opportunities this technology can offer across sectors, as it allows us to enter new, reality-based worlds.
One of the biggest benefits it will bring is access – a different type of resourcing for sectors ranging from automotive to healthcare. For example, if you want to learn how to strip down an engine, but don't have the resources to do so, VR or AR can offer an alternative solution. New projects and research are often delayed because of cost, but this technology can mirror and manipulate pieces of equipment or create scenarios that allow people to interact and discover.
We are quickly becoming used to VR headsets and the immersive engagement they enable due to the progress made by Oculus, HTC and Google. AR presents us with a different set of opportunities that are equally exciting: taking the real world and augmenting it with a deeper layer of information is a powerful tool.
Where VR takes us to another place, AR keeps us in the moment, connected to those around us, while still providing unique access to virtual objects. Holographic AR, through devices such as Microsoft Hololens, takes this a stage further by augmenting our world with 3D objects that appear to be part of that world – a true mixed reality. The sophistication of these experiences will continue to increase, providing new avenues of creativity to explore and new opportunities to connect brands with their audiences. The world is at beta – on the brink of a virtually augmented environment, and it will be exciting to see how we can change the ways we interact and connect.
Andy Hood, Head of Emerging Technologies, interviewed in Metro, January 2017. Read more about the adoption of VR here.