AR/VR

Why Extended Reality Is the Best Investment for Future-Ready Businesses

November 7, 2023

Investing in extended reality app development solutions like virtual, augmented, and mixed reality provides businesses with a competitive advantage. This blog covers XR benefits, use cases, and future impact across industries including AR VR app development.

Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term referring to virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies that blend digital and physical worlds. As these immersive technologies evolve, investing in extended reality app development today provides businesses with a competitive advantage and future-proofs their operations for the emerging digital-first world.

This comprehensive blog explores the tremendous potential of extended reality apps and how it is becoming essential for forward-thinking companies across industries.

Introduction to Extended Reality

Extended reality encompasses all environments and interactions that combine real and virtual elements via computer technology, wearables, and other devices. 

It includes:

  • Virtual reality (VR)– Fully immersive and interactive 3D digital environments users experience through headsets and other equipment.
  • Augmented reality (AR) – Digital enhancements layered over the real-world environment via smartphones, glasses, tablets, and more.
  • Mixed reality (MR)– Integrates and bridges real and virtual worlds where both can influence and interact with each other.

Current State of the XR Market

The global extended reality app development market has experienced massive growth over the last few years. 

According to reports, worldwide spending on AR/VR app development solutions was $12 billion in 2020 but is forecast to reach $72.8 billion by 2024. The disruptive potential of extended reality apps is real and happening now.

Some examples of leading XR companies to watch include HTC, Microsoft, Google, Sony, Samsung, and Meta (formerly Facebook). Well-known brands like Adobe, Autodesk, and Unity are providing key XR software development tools. Major tech players are investing billions into advancing extended reality apps given its clear future importance.

Major Industries Adopting Extended Reality

Leading companies across major industries have already incorporated extended reality app development solutions to enhance operations, training, services, and products:

  • Manufacturing

- Boeing uses AR for efficient immersive design of wiring harnesses and factory layout planning. ThisVisual instructions guide technicians on the shop floor.

- Ford utilized VR simulations of its manufacturing plant to optimize workflows. This helped them identify bottlenecks in the production process and areas for improvement. 

  • Healthcare

- VR medical visualization provides doctors with interactive 3D models of anatomy for education and pre-operative planning.

- AR VR app development solutions allow remote collaboration during complex procedures and surgeries. Specialists can virtually monitor and assist from afar.

- VR pain reduction solutions immerse patients in relaxing environments to minimize discomfort. Extended reality apps aid in rehabilitation and mental health treatment as well.

  • Retail

- PepsiCo’s VR tasting experiences gathered customer feedback on new product prototypes before launch.

- Makeup brands like Sephora and L’Oreal enable virtual try-on of cosmetics using AR and smartphone cameras. 

- Furniture brands offer AR shopping apps to visualize products in your home. Wayfair’s mobile app racked up 3 million users.

  • Education

- VR enables students to safely visit immersive recreations of historical or scientific sites first-hand for enriched learning. Google Expeditions popularized this approach in schools.

- AR VR app development overlays on top of textbooks or flashcards boost information retention. Students can interact with 3D visuals and animations.

- Immersive VR training scenarios help educators and administrators experience simulated classroom situations to improve skills.

  • Marketing

- PepsiCo’s Uncle Drew campaign playfully used AR selfie filters to transform fans into elderly basketball players, going viral.

- Activations at trade shows, concerts, and events incorporate XR to bring brands to life in new ways. Attendees remember immersive experiences.

- Travel and hospitality companies offer virtual previews of resorts, hotels, and tourist sites to get potential guests excited about vacations.

And many more examples across aviation, architecture, real estate, defense, and other sectors. It is clear that extended reality app development represents the next frontier of digital experiences across industries.

The Multifaceted Business Benefits of Extended Reality

Implementing extended reality app development solutions can deliver impressive returns tied to key business metrics; 

 In terms of reducing costs, virtual prototyping and simulations are significantly cheaper than physical mockups and training exercises. Travel expenses can also be minimized by having remote experts inspect equipment virtually through AR VR app development overlays rather than on-site visits. This ability to perform tasks remotely is a recurring benefit of XR across applications. Development cycles accelerate as virtual iterations happen more rapidly than physical builds.

On the revenue side, interactive previews via AR/VR give customers realistic views of products before purchase, reducing returns. Memorable brand activations using immersive technology captivate consumers better than static ads, driving sales. During the buying journey, customers feel more engaged when exploring lifelike VR showrooms compared to brochures or even company websites. Extended reality apps help businesses differentiate themselves and foster customer loyalty in competitive markets.

For employee productivity, extended reality app development solutions interface streamline workflows by surfacing critical real-time data in context. Hands-free AR headsets with voice control avoid distractions that break focus. Easy remote collaboration in virtual workspaces enhances team productivity when face-to-face meetings are not feasible. Training is also more efficient using VR simulations that avoid risk and equipment costs. Across applications, properly implemented XR makes employees better at their jobs.

Strategically, rapid prototyping with virtual models gives businesses more agility to test concepts and refine designs iteratively at low cost. New use cases can be validated with modest XR pilots to build internal buy-in before company-wide adoption. Both development cycles and return on investment accelerate compared to physical approaches that dominated the past.

Case Study: Volkswagen's VR Showroom for Enhanced Car Sales

Volkswagen created a novel VR experience allowing customers to digitally explore a virtual auto showroom using Oculus Quest headsets. The interactive AR VR app development environment displayed full-scale 3D models of VW's latest vehicle models.

Customers could approach cars closely, open doors, adjust seating configurations, change paint colors, explore engine components, and take virtual test drives. Product experts could guide users through the experience remotely.

Results:

- 15x increase in prospect engagement vs dealership visits

- 33% of users felt VR improved brand perception

- 90% want VR to be part of the car buying process

Volkswagen's use of virtual reality for immersive auto showrooms provides a glimpse of the creative sales and marketing potential with extended reality apps.

Overcoming Adoption Hurdles

While extended reality technologies hold tremendous promise, there are still challenges to mainstream adoption that should be acknowledged:

  • Hardware costs - 

Quality AR/VR headsets and gear remain expensive for average consumers. As technology matures over time, costs are projected to decrease.

  • User comfort - 

Motion sickness from VR and concerns about prolonged headset use are still issues, especially for older users. Design improvements around field of view, frame rates, and ergonomics continue to enhance comfort.

  • The digital divide - 

Less tech-savvy demographics may struggle with learning new XR interfaces. Ease of use and intuitive designs must be prioritized.

  • Content availability - 

There is still a need for more diverse, high-quality XR apps and experiences across use cases. Content catalogues will expand as developer tools progress.

Despite these current adoption hurdles, the XR industry is actively working to refine hardware, software, and educational efforts to overcome these challenges. With smart strategies, businesses can still capitalize on extended reality's strengths in the present while positioning themselves to harness its full potential in the future.

Preparing Your Business for an XR-Enabled Future

For companies just starting to explore implementing extended reality app development solutions, here are some recommendations:

  • Identify Target Use Cases

Examine your business' needs and identify where XR could add the most value. Training? Design reviews? Marketing? Envision the possibilities.

  • Evaluate XR Options

Balance capabilities, ease of integration, and costs. Start-ups offer enterprise packages tailored for business. Consumer devices can work for prototyping. Develop in-house using game engines like Unity orUnreal.

  • Start Small, Then Scale

Kick off modest pilot XR projects focusing on high-impact applications that can demonstrate benefits and build internal buy-in with modest investment.

  • Iterate and Expand

Be prepared to incrementally improve and expand XR capabilities over time as technology matures. Map out a phased XR adoption strategy.

With the right strategic approach, any business can progress at their own pace in harnessing extended reality apps  to drive success today and into the future.

The Future is Multidimensional and Immersive

Extended reality app development solutions represent the next major computing paradigm shift, poised to influence almost all industries and aspects of life. 

Organizations must embrace change. As technology visionary Alan Kay said, 

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

The future is immersive.

The possibilities are endless as extended reality app development capabilities evolve. Leading companies embracing XR will define tomorrow's standards. 

Conclusion 

While extended reality currently shows immense promise, there is still the possibility that unforeseen technological advancements could disrupt XR's trajectory. Businesses should adopt a balanced approach - take advantage of XR capabilities today but also remain flexible and open to shifting to other innovations that may emerge. 

With smart strategies, companies can harness extended reality to gain a competitive edge while hedging their bets against potential future disruptors. The future remains multidimensional and immersive. Organizations that move boldly yet strategically will be best positioned to capitalize on XR and whatever innovative experiences are next.

XR solutions will soon be a requirement for meeting rising customer expectations. For future-ready enterprises seeking an edge, extended reality app development is the best investment.

Now is the time for forward-thinking enterprises to invest in extended reality. Partnering with leading AR VR app development leaders like Consagous Technologies can help chart your organization’s course into the emerging world of multidimensional digital experiences.

Get in touch with us today!