The new reality of Italian companies
More and more companies are exploiting the possibilities offered by virtual reality (VR from the English “virtual reality”) and augmented reality (AR from the English “augmented reality”) to improve production processes and their business activities. According to a recent study by the Market Research Future institute, the combined augmented reality and virtual reality market could in fact reach a global value of 766 billion dollars in 2025, with a compound annual growth rate, or the rate that measures the return on an investment of 73.7%.
Communication at the basis of the development of virtual and augmented reality
Virtual reality is a system consisting of a set of computer devices capable of reproducing more or less real situations in an environment other than the current one. The computer, therefore, creates parallel realities that the user can explore through technological devices, such as a viewer.
It is the American computer scientist Jaron Lanier who coined the term “virtual reality” for the first time in 1989, founding the first research company on virtual reality, VPL Research. For Lanier, virtual reality should have become a new way of communicating, a “post-symbolic” way in which words would leave room for the virtual construction of objects to give substance to concepts.
Within a few years, virtual reality becomes a tool to be applied in all fields of knowledge, attracting an ever-increasing number of users, mainly interested in its ability to create alternative environments to the contingent, capable of fostering new forms of shared creativity. and, consequently, unprecedented ways of relating.
Given its high entertainment potential, VR technology has become famous with video games. But virtual reality is now applied in many sectors: from medicine to architecture, from art to sport. Given its ability to create parallel worlds, it becomes a very important technology also and above all for carrying out simulations and training of all kinds: to test a new machinery, or to evaluate the driving ability of novice pilots, as well as to simulate surgical operations before performing them. in reality. A way, therefore, to reduce costs and, above all, minimize risks.
Augmented reality, on the other hand, is a technology that does not create an environment different from the real one, but that enriches reality with a whole series of information to be superimposed synchronously to what our eyes see. Due to this ability, it is currently used mainly to optimize the customer’s customer experience.
Companies therefore began to use augmented and virtual reality to create personalized experiences for their customers, collecting real-time data on consumer preferences. There are now many companies, in the world but also in Italy, that successfully use immersive experiences to communicate a brand or a product or to promote the sales experience.
From business to consumer and vice versa
Also thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has limited face-to-face relationships, interactions and travel, VR and AR technologies are used by an ever-increasing number of people and businesses. To date, around the world there are over a billion users who use augmented reality tools and 171 million users who use virtual reality. An ever-increasing number, as more and more companies turn to AR and VR to create engaging and immersive experiences to offer to their customers.
According to data published by Statista.com, by 2023 there will be approximately 2.4 billion augmented reality users worldwide, an increase of 2.2 billion compared to the 200 million observed in 2015. While the consulting firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper predicted that by 2030 the sector will bring $ 1,500 billion and 23.3 million new jobs to the world economy, an estimated $ 360 billion in manufacturing, $ 351 in medicine, $ 294.2 in global GDP. training, 275 in maintenance, 204 in retail.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are gradually extending their scope to e-commerce and consumer goods.
You can use VR and AR to visit an online store or to “test” the products before purchase, for example by using these technologies to see if a piece of furniture fits or not in a certain point of the house. To study these new trends, Capterra, a software comparator that helps small and medium-sized enterprises find the most suitable solutions to achieve their objectives, interviewed 990 consumers residing in Italy to find out what use they make of VR and AR in their purchases.
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