Digital Reality Makes Leap Into the Enterprise
Deloitte posted an article discussing how advances in digital reality (Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, 360-degree, and immersive technologies) are enabling users to engage with information and technology in more intuitive, natural ways. Gestures, gazes, and emotions are said to become users’ means of interacting with digital info in future rather than screens and hardware.
Companies are increasingly shifting their focus to developing mission-critical AR and VR applications in the enterprise. Areas of opportunity for senior executives across different functions listed in the article are:
- Connecting – workers can engage, share info with, and support colleagues in other locations using digital reality, e.g. engineers in a regional office can view, therefore provide guidance to field workers repairing and maintaining remote equipment.
- Knowing – digital reality can provide knowledge workers required information exactly when they need it via enabled glasses, e.g. construction engineers can view a detailed description of electrical and plumbing parts and how they fit into a wall.
- Learning – certain pioneering companies are using digital reality to place trainees in lifelike scenarios that would be logistically impossible or too expensive to recreate in the real world, e.g. UPS provides VR tests allowing new drivers to prove themselves in a virtual environment before physically driving a 5 ton delivery van.
- Exploring – potential customers can be brought closer to services, products, and experiences using digital reality, e.g. Estée Lauder released an AR virtual makeup mirror on its website that enables users to virtually try on product shades.
- Playing – there is a wide range and number of use cases of digital reality tech in storytelling, gaming, and live events. Investments in AR / VR use in gaming are expected to significantly increase in the next few years.
Aspects of computing power required to support enterprise digital reality strategies listed in the article are:
- Storage – there is a huge amount of data required to render digital reality experiences and this will only increase as technologies evolve and new functionalities emerge. Digital reality can potentially encourage modernised approached to enterprise data management, architecture, and governance.
- Core integration – headset manufacturers are developing APIs that integrate business processes and core technologies into new experiences. In future, digital reality could initiate transactions to present product, facility, or customer content.
- Analytics – currently, it is possible to track an AR headset user’s gaze and analyse data generated by this. In future, tracking analysis could potentially be used to drive advertising, although gaze-tracking for excessive amounts of time would necessitate a large amount of storage as well as powerful immersive analytics capabilities.
- Bandwidth and networking – currently, there is a lack of network operators able to deliver bandwidth speeds that AR / VR streaming and 360-degree experiences require. Developments are underway for compression algorithms, intelligent traffic management solutions, and low-latency / high-throughput capabilities for AR / VR.
Basic steps for laying the foundation of AR / VR initiatives for senior executives provided in the article are:
- Learn more about the technology – official training or a few hours spent with one of a range of development kits on the market can aid skills and vocabulary required for understanding digital reality and its value.
- Speak a new language – in addition to embracing new perspectives, designing for digital reality also requires a different vocabulary. Emerging tools and services are also needed for bringing experiences to life.
- Look around – the business goals, readiness, and efforts of senior executives’ peers should be considered. Don’t hesitate to ask for perspectives on potential use cases and opportunities from vendors, business partners, and suppliers.
- Don’t hold out for perfection – lots of digital reality innovation is being driven by the consumer market, although enterprise use cases, production deployments, and proofs of concept are increasingly emerging.
The article concludes by stating that digital reality is ready to transform how we experience the real world and interact with data. The concept of immersive technologies becoming the next big platform is now becoming more realistic.