Virtual reality and augmented reality are gaining ground in the enterprise, with augmented reality showing the strongest potential for growth with its business-oriented applications.
Tech Pro Research recently conducted a survey to determine how VR and AR, as they're commonly known, are being used in business.
The main intent behind VR is to allow the participant to engage and interact with simulations, which is best with education or entertainment applications. This includes headsets such as the popular Oculus Rift. AR, on the other hand, is somewhat similar, but more applicable to the physical world. Think of Google Glass and how it overlaid AR technology against the real world. It can also apply a map over viewed terrain, or provide background details on individuals as you interact with them. AR helps the user interact with the physical world, while VR places the user in an entirely new world.
Both have a definite future in the enterprise, but AR has a stronger projectile. TechRepublic's Erin Carson said that Digi-Capital released a report in April that projected AR and VR would be a $150 billion market by 2020, and only $30 billion of that will be VR.
It seems that everyone has at least heard of VR, even if they don't have hands-on experience. The survey showed that 89 percent report some degree of familiarity with VR.
AR drew a smaller number, but still substantial, with 80 percent reporting familiarity with the technology.
Who is using VR and AR
The Tech Pro Research survey showed that 37 percent of respondents are using VR already at their organization, compared to 39 percent using AR.
Adoption plans for VR and AR
Augmented reality won, hands down, in the comparison of future plans for AR vs. VR. Of those not already using AR, 67 percent said they are considering it for future use at their organization, and 20 percent plan to use it within the next 12 months. Of those not using VR, only 47 percent said they're considering it for future use, and 13 percent plan to use it in the next 12 months.
The future of VR and AR
It's clear from the survey and resulting report that plenty of people are familiar with VR and AR and many have hands-on experience. The question isn't if there's potential for growth, but more about how much it will grow and if there will be any limits.