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While many still believe that VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) are limited to consumer-level solutions and entertainment applications, these technologies are steadily making their way further into business-to-business applications.
VR and AR can deliver value in many sectors, from design, engineering and architecture all the way to healthcare, says PwC in its recently published Technology Forecast Report. The report names five ways businesses could benefit: shorter time to market, reduced production design risk, increased agility and flexibility, talent development & training, as well as new business models. The study is a very accurate representation of the state of VR/AR for B2B, says Nilson Kufus from nomoko AG, a high tech company based at PARK INNOVAARE. All of the examples are logical and «straight forward» applications. The critical question will be if companies manage to generate enough high quality content for the devices.
By Nilson Kufus, nomoko AG
Despite excessive coverage of VR in the media, specifically the noise around display technologies for VR and AR (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, etc.), the fact that high quality content to be displayed on such devices isn’t available yet is often overshadowed. However, any future success of VR and AR will depend on it. This remains a challenge, as it is still impossible to create realistic 3D content quickly and at affordable cost.
The adoption of VR and AR, next to the necessity of having the right content, will depend on the actual technology adopters. The industries that could potentially use these two technologies can be divided into two categories: those industries already working with 3D datasets (e.g. design, entertainment, engineering, architecture, etc.) and those that aren’t.
The following development will be likely: the first group will adopt the technology quickly, as the benefits are at the same time obvious and implementable. This will represent an incremental innovation in terms of ease of adoption, but also a disruptive one in terms of impact on their overall workflow. For those industries not yet working with 3D, the vision of how to use the new technological possibilities is not yet clear. As a consequence, a lot of still unthought-of opportunities will arise (and with them risk, because the market entry will be complex and added value will need to be proven in every single case). But along that path, real breakthrough types of innovation may be expected.
It is absolutely certain that AR as an industry will be big, very big. For VR, the question will be whether it might be the next big thing or the next big failure in the visual industries. From a technological perspective, implementing AR in B2B applications is more challenging and may take longer to trickle down to the broad market and succeed. There is a good chance that VR, in the meantime, will create true killer applications and immediately build a totally new market of its own.
At nomoko, we are currently working on this challenge and have found a solution by creating the first ever compact 2-gigapixel camera. Using photogrammetry, we turn 2D-images into photorealistic 3D-models, in a fully automated, fast and easy-to-use process. As such, our 3D models will be unrecognizable from reality, making them the most detailed and accurate models ever made. This is how we will clear the way for cutting-edge application in the VR sector.