The global crisis caused by COVID-19, which forced several operations in diverse industries to shut down, is slowing down the global progress a lot. The pandemic also sends billions of people to stay home with access to only the most essential services. In such a situation, most are talking about advancements in technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). In the pre-pandemic time, we have already seen the capabilities of both technologies in areas of retail, healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, among others. Now they are playing significant roles in the time of coronavirus outbreak and social distancing.
While people cannot stay alone and satiate their social instincts in person with them, AR and VR here can assist them by engaging virtually. These technologies allow people to work, talk, and socialize using immersive platforms. The COVID-19 epidemic is likely enabling the rise to a new phenomenon wherein individuals will become more reliant on AR, VR, and mixed reality (MR).
From giving access to eLearning to attend cultural events virtually, applications of AR and VR could help people trounce the isolation of lockdowns implemented due to novel coronavirus. AR can assist deliver the virtual world with real-world experience, including from a virtual wild safari with 3D animals to working in collaboration with remote colleagues. Some industry experts believe that this is the right time to scale these technologies.
AR and VR in the New Social Distancing Age
In order to contain the contagious COVID-19 spread, people have advised to maintain social distance. In such a situation, the applications of AR and VR are playing key roles. We all aware of that meetings between management, leader, and administrators are crucial to keep businesses working and boosting efficiency. However, in today’s social distancing time due to global lockdown, this has become difficult to how to connect with others. Thus, leveraging immersive technologies like AR and VR are effective solutions.
Even, shopping malls and stores are completely empty and have affected more. To overcome this challenge, retailers as well as e-commerce businesses are offering their users innovative services using AR-enabled try and buy options. Moreover, companies are addressing consumers’ preferences by serving them virtually.
In an effort to encourage social distancing and proper hygiene, Social Media Company Snap Inc. has collaborated with the WHO on a pair of educational Snapchat Lenses, with the hope to assist flatten the curve over the coming months. The first one, called My Social Distance, leverages AR technology to create a virtual circle around the user. According to the company, the digital barrier features a radius of approximately 3 feet, the minimum safe distance as recommended by the WHO. Conversely, the second Lens features a number of colorful animations reminding users to stay at home, wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, and refrain from touching their face.
These emerging trends in the time of COVID-19 are shaping the future of augmented and virtual realities. According to a report from Digi-Capital, that predicts the market of AR and VR will add around US$65 billion in revenue by 2024.