According to TechSci Research, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) market in India is projected to register a CAGR of 55.3% during 2016 – 2021. Cutting across defence, consumer goods, entertainment and gaming industry, they are changing the way consumers experience reality.
Back in time, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) used to be consumed in the space of defence and gaming creating heightened experiences that transport the users into a virtual world by engaging all of his senses. Now, however, they are the talk of the town in retail, health, real-estate, education, engineering etc. In other words, they have gone mainstream.
Increasingly, companies like Apple, Google and Facebook are acquiring AR and VR startups to improve their user experience in addition to building home-grown functionality in that space. In fact, Google has just released its VR app, Blocks that offer simple tools to help novice users to create 3D objects in virtual reality. The beauty of globalisation is that the developing world can instantly catch up with the new trends in technology in the developed world. Faced with intense competition from multi-national companies, Indian companies are compelled to come up with innovative ways of engaging consumers. Also, AR/VR technology has scalability as it can reach to a larger audience, including the rural population.
A few use cases across industries:
VR pain therapy is used to substantially bring down the pain of patients by arming them with VR goggles and helping them view calming videos. According to cancer specialist Pramod Chinder, “The VR therapy treatment has reduced pain in patients by 40 per cent”. Medical practitioners and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly adopting VR technology to assist in therapy, surgery and medical awareness.
Right To Pray, India’s first VR narrative documentary transports its audience to a temple site and makes for a more compelling storytelling experience. It is eight minutes long and based on the incident where women stormed into a temple in Nasik to fight patriarchy and assert their right to pray.
Lenskart allows the user to upload his image and virtually “try out” various frames on the shelves of the company. This helps a lot of users use the technology to shop online without having to visit the brick-and-mortar store which used to be a must for purchasing eye-wear earlier.
What’s the big picture?
According to IDC, in India, approximately 50 per cent of businesses will adopt AR and VR by 2017.
That sounds like a very aggressive projection. For instance, it is still a costly dream for many advertising agencies today who find the talent hard to come by. Though that is hard to achieve, the writing on the wall is clear: AR and VR have the power to enhance user experience and hence they will be on the drawing boards of every company that has its sights set in a digital future.