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Are You into the VR/AR World? Check These Trends.

It is not a surprise that Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are again in the spotlight and fast-growing in popularity. This is not the first time AR/VR has gone through this hype; back in 2016, with the release and success of Pokemon GO, these technologies gained a lot of popularity. 

But soon enough, the hype started to fade due to technical problems like connectivity, and product experience that didn't meet expectations.

Now, with the second wave of popularity, there are some interesting trends that we think are worth paying attention to, as well some of the issues that come with these increasing trends. Understanding the benefits as well as challenges can help create a better overall AR/VR strategy for your company.
This article will focus on three of the most relevant themes related to AR/VR: People, Tasks, and Technologies and how they are related.

People

Possibly the main factor driving success is people. As they are the beneficiaries & users of the AR/VR technologies.  

So far, the experiences people have with AR/VR focus on the single user. Where a single user explores or interacts with the technology. This has worked relatively well since Pokemon GO was released. But would it be more exciting to share these experiences with others? This is one of the first trends we can discuss with the ability for the user to access AR/VR as a social tool. Where more users can interact and have more reach, just like social media does right now. 

This means that any user should be able to access it, even if they have any disability. That has been a conversation with the current digital products. However, AR/VR is still a new experience involving much more than our eyes and hands. Much research has to be done to understand all the physical limitations.

The concept of AR/VR as a social tool has been around for a while, and it's not that far from reality. There are just a few pieces to solve to be an inclusive experience.

Tasks

In the current digital products, users' tasks are much easier to identify and solve since we design for a limited and constrained context (tablets, smartphones, computers, etc.). On the other hand, AR/VR presents a wide variety of contexts and different tasks. 

For example, imagine you could run an application on the surface of a table, in a complete room, or even on the go, where users could switch their surroundings and continue with their tasks between different spaces. 
And that's a trend that some industries are exploring and gaining traction, for example, simulating workplace training. 

"Serious Labs teaches workers to operate heavy machinery using VR simulations that provide feedback based on factors like route selection and awareness of surroundings.”

If VR is good enough to understand everything involved in a space, it could be used in different contexts, learning, remote meetings, productivity scenarios, and more. But for VR to be good enough, several issues would need to be ironed out. 

First, tracking issues, how well the VR can follow, for example, what you are doing with your hands, monitoring movements and positions in the area you are. Second, many VR solutions still work very poorly in the daylight. They are still very focused in closed spaces, reducing the possibilities, and that affects engagement through the user's tasks and context.

Ultimately solving these issues will grant the user more control and engagement with VR/AR.

Technologies

Technology set associated with AR/VR is rapidly evolving, . For example, use cases with ARapplications integrated with various devices like smartphones and tablets, make experiences much more accessible and on the go. Newer use cases such as AR integration with robotic vacuum cleaners can improve, mapping of the surroundings with more precision and efficiency. 

Given that AR/VR is computationally intensive, the evolution of hardware has an important role to play too.

The final trend I would like to talk of is the potential nebulous nature of the impact on humans. There is no clear agreement yet on the possible impact of alternate & multiple “realities” on human brain and behavior Could widespread adoption modify human morality and behavior? Our brains continue to evolve withchanging technology, and we must be mindful of how these advances will impact us. We need to have an early discussion on it and where we should draw the line.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt of the AR/VR potential and excitement it sparks, but we must remember the challenges and complex conversations that must happen.

“With great power comes great responsibility."

About Encora

At Encora, we’re interested in learning more about your software testing projects. Encora offers fast-growing tech companies tangible business value by setting you up for growth with experienced software testing processes, tools, metrics, talent, and communication. 

Contact us to learn more about our software engineering capabilities.

 

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