AR and VR bring a new twist to collaboration

From consulting with remote experts to meeting in virtual spaces, augmented reality and virtual reality apps are changing the way people work together.

Businesses are finding a wide variety of applications for augmented reality and virtual reality tools, from training to rapid prototyping to enhancing marketing materials. Add that demand to consumer interest in the technologies for entertainment, gaming, retail showcasing, and more, and it’s not surprising that IDC has predicted that the overall AR and VR headset market is set to grow from 8.9 million units in 2018 to 65.9 million units by 2022.

According to Tom Mainelli, vice president of devices and AR/VR at IDC, “A recent IDC survey of U.S. IT decision markers showed a huge percentage of companies testing both technologies, and we expect that appetite will only grow.”

Among the uses whetting companies’ appetites are collaboration and communication. VR gives groups the ability to go beyond video conferencing and place participants together in a virtual space, from a shared office to a popular travel destination. Blending the physical world with the virtual, AR’s “see-what-I-see” capability lets teammates in different parts of the world — or just in different buildings in the same complex — look at the same equipment and annotate or draw on what they see to share their knowledge.

Here are three examples of the kinds of collaborative activities AR and VR are bringing to the enterprise.

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