Just before AI Tools grabbed popular attention, the tech industry was abuzz with metaverse and its related technologies like AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), etc. These technologies are quickly finding new applications in diverse domains.
Many assumed metaverse technologies only refer to a digital universe where digital personas of people participate in various collaborative activities like attending virtual meetings, training sessions, etc. However, these technologies can drive innovations in domains like healthcare, insurance, aviation, etc.
The Metaverse is a composite. From a software perspective, the term Metaverse is not a singular concept, but instead represents an evolution of multiple existing and innovative technologies that need to interconnect seamlessly to enable ubiquitous experiences for the end user.
The Metaverse has four pillars, namely, virtual spaces, virtual assets, virtual interactions, and digital payments. ISVs can build their solutions on any one or more of these pillars.
The vast potential and huge growth scope is good news for ISVs building innovative products or adding customized add-ons to existing platforms. They can answer the technological needs of companies in the below mentioned domains. As much as AR, VR, and other allied metaverse technologies excite us with their sci-fi abilities, they also very much impact other domains in smaller or larger but meaningful ways.
Here are some of the novel applications of AR and VR.
- Training and Education – VR is currently being used in video games and online games to provide the player a highly immersive experience. Similar gaming scenarios can be created to provide information and train players virtually for real conditions. For example, VR games can be used to train drivers, sportspersons, pilots, and surgeons. VR can be used to teach students subjects such as history, science, and geography with interactive learning and simulations. The simulations are very much needed in the training of personnel in hazardous environments such as firefighters, soldiers, sanitation workers, etc.
- Insurance – The insurance sector could use metaverse technologies for virtual claims handling, risk assessment, etc. 3D digital models of insured spaces can be used to assess damage and process claims accordingly. Virtual risk assessments can also be created to analyze potential risks in a simulated environment. As the usage of VR tech increases, it gets more affordable and reliable too.
- Healthcare – Currently some advanced hospitals and medical colleges do use VR for therapy, rehabilitation, and medical training. It can also be used in counseling to help patients overcome phobias, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. AR is also helpful in medical imaging and surgical planning. It can be used to guide patients and provide real-time information during emergencies.
- Proptech – Proptech is a wide sector, and AR and VR tech can be used in almost all the wings of the industry such as architecture and design, construction, maintenance, etc. Drones with VR and data analyzing abilities are widely being used to survey properties and plan construction. AR and VR make architectural and interior design and planning more immersive and easier.
- Automobiles and Aviation – With advances in computer vision, AR and VR are used in automobiles, aircraft, and drones for optimizing mobility. Recently, some e-commerce and food delivery platforms have successfully tested drones for delivering goods. The AR and VR technologies enable driving automobiles, flying aircraft and drones in auto-pilot modes atleast when the paths are known and standardized. When artificial intelligence joins the AR and VR technologies, it further extends these abilities by identifying patterns and anomalies, and making real-time decisions.
- Marketing, Advertising, and Customer Engagement: AR and VR applications provide more immersive experiences for customers. They’re being used for product promotions, interactive advertisements, and brand experiences. Through virtual product demonstrations and try-ons companies can help customers make informed choices. Companies across industries can use metaverse technologies to host virtual events and trade shows, providing a more interactive and engaging experience for the attendees. AR can be used for visualizing objects from customer’s wish lists in their homes.
- Art and Design – There are a few art galleries already providing immersive experiences like sleeping under a virtual sky on the starry night as painted by the famous artist VanGogh. Along with virtual adaptations of masterpieces, virtual art shows also showcase original immersive artworks. Virtual architectural spaces and designs let viewers navigate the digital spaces virtually.
The list doesn’t end here. It’s expanding faster..
Metaverse is much beyond immersive virtual meetings. There is no domain that cannot benefit from applications built on metaverse technologies like AR and VR. Advancements in 5G, IoT, Blockchain, chipsets, and Edge computing are also accelerating the adoption rate.
ISVs keen on adapting products to various domains and adding innovations like products or add-ons to the existing platform ecosystem can benefit from Metaverse growth. The tech space is still nascent and hence provides great room for experimentation and invention. The aforementioned examples are only the tip of the iceberg. With technologies advancing at great speeds, what seems to be sci-fi now, will become a norm soon.
Can you think of any new applications of AR / VR in your domain?
Let’s chat over an email or a cup of coffee.