Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will become mainstream for business within the next 3-4 years, according to a new study from Capgemini, which predicts that global spending on AR/VR is now expected to reach $17.8 billion in 2018, an increase of nearly 95% over the $9.1 billion estimate for 2017.
According to the study, titled: “Augmented and Virtual Reality in Operations: A guide for investment” report, Capgemini Research Institute, surveyed 700 executives in the automotive, manufacturing and utilities sectors and found that 84% of survey respondents believe that, within 3-4 years, VR and AR will become a core part of their organisations, while 82% of those currently using the technology saying that it has met or exceed their expectations.
However, a shortage of in-house expertise and insufficient back-end infrastructures are significant barriers to growth, it said.
The report revealed that while AR is more complex to implement, organizations perceive it as more beneficial than VR. It highlights that these technologies generates productivity benefits across four areas such as design and assembly, immersive training, inspection and quality assurance and repair and maintenance, seen as the most popular focus of implementation efforts.
It also revealed that the United States and China are currently leading the implementation race, with over 50% of companies surveyed already implementing immersive technology for business operations. In contrast, over 50% of companies in France, Germany, the Nordics and the United Kingdom are still only experimenting with initiatives.
Immersive technology has come a long way in a short time and will continue to evolve. For organizations, the major brakes on progress will be technological integration, data readiness, and inability to identify use cases, talent, and general awareness. However, these challenges outweigh the long-term growth potential this technology offers, the study researchers said, adding that even among the organizations not exploring AR/VR the study, shows 50% will start exploring AR or VR within the next three years.
Capgemini warns, until broader adoption happens, companies shouldn’t overlook the importance of having internal key influencer’s champion AR/VR technology to bring awareness of its potential benefits.