Today’s world is dependent on technologies and AI development. Various software and widgets are being designed and created across the world. With an increase in the industrial, billboard, and educational use of such reality-based tools and equipment, technological trends such as AR and VR have risen exponentially. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) rose to prominence in 2020 and have since then witnessed explosive growth in their commercialization and marketing. AR has been cited as one of the top five major technological trends in 2021 and has its user marketing units doubled in just a year. We have been exploring the avenues and trends of VR tools and technologies since 2020 that have helped in reshaping our lives and introducing wonders in many fields.
But what are AR and VR? Augmented Reality or AR creates a unique experience by layering numerous digitally created features and components over our real world. We can come across this approach through various AR devices like glasses, headsets, digital projection on a lens, etc. On the other hand, Virtual Reality focuses more on a completely immersive experience in a simulated environment. They are accomplished through computer simulations, animations, and graphics. And due to their frequent use by many multinational company leaders such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, etc. they have found unprecedented popularity and worth in the commerce market and stores around us, especially in 2021.
Let us briefly look at the top 10 AR and VR technology trends that you can try in 2021:
- AR in Indoor Navigation
The navigation of many indoor spaces like a university campus, airports, shopping malls, and hospitals can be made much easy and cost-efficient with the inculcation of augmented reality. You can find the virtual path and steer your way out comfortably using various augmented tools like ARKit and ARCore. They are equipped to provide locations and arrow-directed ways to the user from their current position to their destination and helps one to know their exact location. With the provision of virtual paths and quick routes to follow, indoor navigation could never be any easier!
- VR in Travel and Tourism
Imagine experiencing the Taj Mahal while sitting in your room! Or what if you could explore the top of Pyramid of Giza just by laying on your couch and binging on your favorite snack! Sounds like a fairytale, right? Well, it has become more of an actuality now. Due to the introduction of VR in the travel and touring industries, people have been able to go through the pleasure of visiting a popular place by staying indoors. What makes it even better? You can virtually understand and explore a place or area and then decide if you wish to physically visit it and pull out your cash. It has made re-experiencing several holidays a delightful experience and will only add further accommodations in the years to come.
- AR in mobile Devices
AR in mobile devices has been a trending result from the onset of 2017 itself and has only managed to grow more in 2021. Let us take the example of ARKit 4.0 developed and launched by Apple. It is the latest open-source AR development tool that has provided much worth trying features. This has stirred the digital market and Google has also been coming up with new ideas like ARCore to maintain the competition. Can you imagine the easy availability of publicly-made Street View photos, hassle-free location anchors, and new depth AI for androids in a single device? Well, AR is making this dream a reality. You can even tap into the LiDAR hardware of your iPhone and find greater app development support on Play Store.
- VR in 360 Degree
The popularity and demand of 360 marketing have increased in the last 10 years. Now, this feature is not only limited to images but as of late the inclusion of VR has allowed developers to use the same in videos as well. This enables the user to have a fully immersive experience of any film or mp4 platform work. VR in 360-degree work is slowly drawing many companies to invest in the same to use it for a wide range of purposes in the entertainment market. This trending technology has plenty of potential for further growth in the coming years!
- AR in Artificial Intelligence
Augmented reality and Artificial Intelligence have become role models for pushing the other’s limits in 2021. Without the implementation of AI, AR cannot expand its elements and without AR, AI cannot move to a broader field of research. AR in Artificial Intelligence plays a major key as it provides a wider range for the software to display its output and not just rely on the coding and programming skills of a human. This co-dependence and evolvement have allowed machine learning to play a supportive role in establishing neural networks and aid in the success of Augmented-driven software for AI. We can experience it through enabling AR experiences in our smartphones that have transformed the reality of healthcare business, educational channels, and AI-based development tools. It can be ensured that this combo isn’t going away anywhere soon!
- VR in Training and Education
We remember doing science labs and project trips in our schools and colleges. They have helped us to learn and gain a better understanding of the subject and its practical application. But with the onset of lockdowns and social distancing, it has become difficult to achieve the same precision for training and learning. But by using VR, students, and trainees can now immerse themselves in a similar environment and learn by staying at home. Whether it be an architect, an engineer, a medical trainee, or a student, VR in training and teachings has improved learning and has ensured an undisrupted supply of e-learning material for everyone.
- AR in Education and Healthcare
If there’s something that was affected the most during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the educational institutes and the healthcare facilities. Since the students were forced to pursue their classes online, it’s not a big surprise that their doubts would be left un-cleared. The same could be said for hospitals. With lockdown tormented everyone’s life, it became taxing and difficult for people to go out and seek a good doctor when they suddenly fell ill. But thanks to AR in Education and Healthcare, these shortcomings have been minimized to the maximum. Augmented experiences have come in handy for teaching students with better effects and visuals in an engaging background. It has also helped several patients connect with doctors online and get medication without much hassle. And many doctors have been able to quickly treat critically conditioned patients and perform emergency mediation thanks to AR assistance.
- VR in Gaming
Games are the doorway to enriched visuals and storytelling narrations where you can command a character and explore a world that could never be real. With gripping themes, stories, and magnificent visuals, it is impossible to forget its impact on us. And using VR in gaming has opened new ways to heighten the gaming experience. The fully immersive surrounding will drown you in an atmosphere of beautiful effects, a realistic setting, and a feeling as if you are really inside your favorite game. You can compare this environment with escape rooms, where you try to escape out of a game room within 60 minutes by solving puzzles and completing challenges. With the advancement of games, escape room sensations, and VR technologies, you are in for a treat from the countless ambitious crossovers they will publish ahead.
- AR in Retail and Shopping
There was a time when the Trial-Before-Buying experience was possible only through physical shopping. But thanks to the introduction of AR in the field of shopping and retail services, it is now a reality. It has brought several mind-blowing virtual shopping features for customers to try by sitting at home and has helped solve a major problem of overcrowding in shops during the pandemic. The virtual fitting room technology provides you with several product suggestions and allows you to create a picturesque scene of what some furniture and object might look like when placed in your home. Another reason for the AR and its extensions to become easily accepted and extremely popular in today’s time is since anyone can enjoy a series of shopping trip facilities available right at their fingertips and simultaneously not worry about social distancing in 2021.
- VR in Vehicles
The fully autonomous vehicles are years away but mankind has already started treading gradual steps to achieve it. And it has been made possible using the latest VR technologies in vehicles and automobiles. There has been more focus emphasized on ensuring the safety of the travelers, enhanced GPS, and alerting of any impending hazards in the way using AI fused VR. With elements like a graphic interface monitor, mounted displays, and VR boosted music system, driving is reaching a point of enjoyment and exploration for so many drivers. This trend is going to last for a very long time in the coming years.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and the subsequent lockdown and pandemic made the concept of distant and remote working a common phenomenon for every common man. The dependence on gizmos and technical trends found its way ten folds in our life. To come up with ways to support these demands, AR and VR have developed from a niche technology to a mainstream necessity in 2021. There is an infinitely long roadway of scopes and opportunities like Military, Tourism, Workout, Travel Vehicles, Cinema, Classrooms, etc. that could be transformed using AR and VR. With them setting new vogues in the industry and allowing a sharp increase in their consumers, it can be concluded without any doubt that investing in them is a must and a good opportunity that will not be wasted. It won’t be too long before they will be the ruling technologies in our coming future, for AR and VR have been predicted to bring technical enhancements that can only be imagined by us. Whether for gamers, die-hard sci-fi fans, or geek lovers, one can only cross their fingers and see the miracle gradually unfold from here onwards!