May 05, 2017
May 05, 2017
Contributor: Amy Forni
Augmented reality and virtual reality offer ease of use, scalability and new types of content for customers and employees.
How great would it be to see home improvements before investing in them? Lowe’s makes this possible with Holoroom, an in-store virtual reality (VR) room. Customers can virtually test different materials, lights and home products before making a purchase. DHL is applying augmented reality (AR) to logistics. The company’s Vision Picking Program uses advanced smartglasses in shipping warehouses to reduce errors and increase the speed of pick-and-pack tasks.
Enterprise architecture (EA) and technology innovation leaders should consider integrating AR and VR to improve customer and employee interactions and business performance. AR and VR offer new ways for customers to engage with brands and for organizations to achieve efficiencies via devices like smartphone VR, head-mounted displays (HMDs), smartglasses and 3D experience rooms. Immersive technology provides many benefits including ease of use, scalability, and new types of content and application experiences for customers and employees. “AR and VR will transform today’s user experience into a more continuous and contextual one that significantly changes how people interact with each other and computing systems,” said Brian Blau, research vice president at Gartner.
The immersive technology market is quickly advancing. Gartner forecasts that by 2020, both consumers and businesses will have easy access to quality devices, systems, tools and services. The market currently offers more consumer devices than enterprise-ready ones. However, “the gap between consumer and enterprise adoption will close, possibly by 2019, once market segments for both consumers and businesses are firmly established,” said Mr. Blau.
“We predict by 2019, AR, VR and mixed reality (MR) solutions will be evaluated and adopted in 20% of large-enterprise businesses.” AR and VR require input from user movement, sensors and historical data. When combined with other technology like conversational platforms, immersive technology can be used to create extremely personalized products, services and experiences for customers. AR and VR can also enhance employee job functions.
Organizations are using immersive technology solutions for training, product visualization, maintenance and prototyping. For example, the British Army and Visualise created a 360-degree VR recruitment video, so prospects could experience military training. The VR video increased awareness of the British Army’s recruitment campaign by 20%.
Although AR and VR are currently 5 to 10 years away from mainstream adoption, organizations are already realizing the significant benefits of immersive technology. A recent Gartner survey showed that out of the organizations that are currently using or piloting AR, 40% found the technology to exceed expectations. “EA and technology innovations leaders should consider using AR and VR to engage customers in new, unique ways and improve employee job functions,” Mr. Blau said.
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Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Market Guide for Augmented Reality
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.