Augmented and Virtual Reality: Future Opportunities

While many people have heard about augmented and virtual reality, few actually have a full grasp of their potential. Some are quick to dismiss these technologies as something solely built for entertainment. However, augmented and virtual reality opens up a lot of opportunities for different industries and government sectors.

How AR and VR work

Augmented reality combines real-world feedback with virtual elements. A good example would be having a person see computer-generated images while still being able to  perceive their real-world environment. The person can interact with both virtual and real-world elements and can also distinguish the difference between the two.

On the other hand, virtual reality completely immerses the person’s senses in a virtual world. Everything they see and hear will give them the impression that they are in a completely different environment. Despite today’s virtual reality technology currently being limited to motor and audiovisual feedback, attempts to stimulate other senses through VR are also being developed.

How Can AR and VR Help People?

AR and VR technologies have already been around for years and used in various applications. However, recent developments have made these technologies even more effective for their intended purposes. Here are some examples of how they are being used today and how they might be employed in the future:

  1. Military – For many years, VR has been used by pilots to simulate real-world flying conditions when they are training. The technology gives pilots enough time and opportunity to learn the necessary skills without putting their lives and billions of dollars’ worth of equipment at risk. As AR and VR tools get better with improved graphics and feedback mechanisms, even more complex training such as squad-based ground combat situations can be simulated with greater realism.
  2. Law Enforcement – Law enforcement personnel can also use AR to improve the way they patrol the streets. For example, they can wear visors or eyeglasses that add a non-intrusive head-up display to what they’re seeing in real life. Information about traffic and individuals, and even live video feed of criminal activity from street cameras can be relayed to these devices without the user having to take their attention away from what’s going on around them.
  3. Education – Aside from being very engaging forms of media for students, augmented and virtual reality also allow educational institutions to create visuals and educational materials that are easier to understand. Subjects such as astronomy, biology, and physics, for example, can benefit greatly from AR and VR technologies since students can have a three-dimensional look at complex natural structures such as planets, cells, or atoms.
  4. Telecommunications – AR and VR will allow users to take remote communications beyond voice calls and live video streaming. Soon, it will be possible for AR or VR users to see, hear, or even feel in real time other people who are miles away from them. Online virtual meetups can also be developed as an alternative to meetings in physical locations such as bars or restaurants.

Preparing for AR and VR Technologies

Due to the amount of information used by AR and VR technology, there will be an even greater demand for connectivity solutions that can accommodate larger volumes of data once the tech goes mainstream. Major service providers, network professionals, and businesses will be wise to invest in improving the current networking infrastructure.

For example, high-capacity connectivity solutions such as wireless backhaul and more efficient Wi-Fi access points allow faster transfer of larger data volumes without being affected by physical limitations that hamper conventional wired networking options.

It’s only a matter of time before AR and VR technologies find their place as mainstream medium of information and communication. It’s now up to businesses, service providers, and even consumers to embrace these technologies and find different ways to benefit from their massive potential.