7 IT projects primed for augmented reality and virtual reality

From training to data visualization, AR and VR are proving to be bona fide business enabling technologies. Here are areas to consider putting augmented reality and virtual reality to work.

While virtual reality (VR) has obvious consumer appeal, augmented reality (AR) was invented for industrial manufacturing, and both are increasingly being seen as viable solutions for business needs.

This year, IDC estimates that more than 60 percent of the nearly $18 billion that being spent on AR and VR in 2018 will be commercial projects, rising to 85 percent of spending by 2021. Capgemini found that 82 percent of companies implementing AR or VR projects are happy with them and half of those who haven’t started on AR or VR yet plan to within the next three to five years.

Now that VR headsets, Microsoft HoloLens, smart glasses from vendors such as Vuzix, and AR support in phones and tablets are making AR/VR hardware more widely available, augmented and virtual reality are primed for enterprise projects aimed at improving productivity, collaboration and customer support.

AR and VR have different use cases and fit different roles and tasks, says J.P. Gownder, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. The main enterprise use for VR is training. “Secondary uses include product design and visualization for product designers and engineers, a small number of data visualization projects for data scientists, and a bit of collaboration.”

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