Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are emerging technologies that are becoming increasingly pertinent not only in the gaming industry but also in other sectors such as entertainment, education and training, real estate, architecture, construction, retail, automobile, aeronautical, defense, mining, travel and tourism and health. However, a majority of the people do not understand the difference between AR and VR, says Pradeep Khanna, Executive Director, Asia Pacific, VR/AR Association.
“I strongly believe that we have to look at the business side and the consumer side for any emerging technology rather than from the technology itself,” said Khanna. “As far as AR and VR technology landscape is concerned, the emerging technologies that have been there for 25 years are now headed towards a tipping point in the next 2 to 3 years.”
“In the present scenario, although all major global companies are investing billions into the technologies when it comes to content, it is all startups with one to 25 people. I have come across companies with 100 to 300 headcount but they tend to be outliers. There is an imperfect market at play today wherein there is information asymmetry between demand and supply,” he stated.
“I find that 70 percent of people do not even understand the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality. So, what is being witnessed today is the demand side struggling to understand what is the use case for these technologies and how they can be used,” added Khanna.
Nevertheless, Khanna observed, that this scenario is bound to change with the advent of 5G and there is a clear seven-year roadmap that is emerging. “In the next two to three years as the awareness about this technology from the demand see increases, we will see telecom companies making an entry into VR and AR through mergers and acquisitions or having in-house development of immersive technologies,” he commented while giving an example for Reliance Jio recently introducing Jio Glass.
He also said that 5G being the game-changer has the potential to take away the latency aspect as well as to get people to collaborate and to move a lot of functionality of the head-mounted device to the cloud.