The coronavirus pandemic shook our world’s economy and changed our realities forever. However, human beings are known for their tenacity and adaptability, and that’s key to the new reality.
In the initial stages of the pandemic, we started to adopt a new protocol, and a big part of the protocol was to stay at home as much as possible, so the virus can be contained. For businesses to go on, work was done from home, and meetings were held on Zoom.
In many instances, companies had to get creative, almost overnight, to continue to provide their services to consumers from the comfort of their homes. The shift to e-commerce and a truly online model was swift.
One such creative, innovative idea is to utilize technology, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). VR has been in existence since 1968 but only became truly popular in the mid-2010s. And the pandemic could be the very catalyst for its mass adoption.
In addition to purchases made by consumers, global spending on AR and VR products, software and services has increased in 2020 to US$12 billion, a 50% spike from 2019. That’s a significant jump.
More consumers now gravitate towards utilizing AR and VR in education and retail. A student doesn’t have to attend a workshop physically to learn a new skill. Customers can use an app to try on virtual clothes before purchasing them, and this adds to the customer experience.
The technology also encourages remote collaboration. Ever since the pandemic started, talented professionals can be scattered across the country or globe, and they are hired and grouped into teams. In this situation, AR and VR can be practical.
For instance, an architect is in a meeting with a client about a design for a house, and technology can be used to virtually access the house and check out its functionality and interior design. And this is just the very beginning.
Companies were just experimenting with the technology prior to the pandemic, and now it has been adopted into our lives. It is not the future anymore. It has become our present. We needed to find a new way to experience shared realities remotely, and this is it.
The pandemic has been an inspiration for businesses to become braver, and that breeds innovation. Boundaries just become impractical, to a certain extent, and the sky’s truly the limit. AR and VR might just be the very tools to pave a whole new reality for us.