1. VR/AR UNLEASHED…LITERALLY
Researchers at SuperData, observe that a growing number of consumers have become aware of – and comfortable with – a wide array of head mounted displays. As a result, consumers are ready to take the training wheels off, and move from basic web-based immersive offerings to explore more sophisticated experiences—and specifically untethered experiences. This means that VR HMDs (head mounted displays) which currently tether the user to a powerful PC via cables may become a thing of the past, making room for smaller, lighter and more frictionless interaction between user and device. Companies poised to breakout wireless headsets include the folks at Oculus, Google, Sony, Apple, HTC and Microsoft.
2. THE INTERNET OF THINGS WILL GO VIRTUAL
The ever-growing Internet of Things (IOT) already allows millions of connected appliances to communicate wirelessly— Siri anyone?? This year we will see programmers finding new and exciting ways to leverage all the IOT connectivity via emerging technology. For example, Microsoft has partnered with a company called Energous to develop a wire-free charging ecosystem- that will deliver electronic charging to any electronic device within 15 feet of the charging station. The technology exists, and if Microsoft really does roll out what Energous has developed, imagine the experiences unleashed by an HMD that automatically connects to and communicates with every electronic appliance in the house.
3. AR WILL TAKE SMARTPHONES TO THE NEXT LEVEL
AR is going to be a big feature that sells smartphones in 2017. Companies are developing hardware-level augmented reality- such as depth-sensing cameras. Expect this hardware to be available in next generation high-end smartphones starting this year (IPhones, Samsung’s Galaxy line or the Google Pixel.)
4. BIG OPPORTUNITIES IN RETAIL AND ADVERTISING
In 2017, look to see well-known brands using VR/AR to further advance experiences within retail spaces. Or, to be more precise ‘outside’ retail spaces. No longer will brick and mortar showrooms be necessary—VR /AR will enable people to enjoy virtual shopping in ways that were previously impossible through highly customized and personalized customer experiences. Within the past year, Microsoft and Volvo have come together to work on virtual sales for Volvo. Expect to see most of your favorite brands exploring new ways to utilize emerging VR/AR technologies going forward.
5. TREMENDOUS ADDED VALUE FOR HEALTHCARE
The Healthcare industry is positioned to greatly benefit from the integration of VR and AR technologies. From diagnosis, planning, training and even –in some cases- treatment, the budding technologies in healthcare could have a profound impact on doctor –patient relationships and how primary and secondary care is delivered.
For example, a company called Immersive Touch has pioneered a surgical virtual reality platform that allows surgeons to see, feel and experience surgeries virtually before entering the operating room. The company adds haptic and tactile feedback to the VR reconstruction to replicate surgical touch and feel of the patient’s anatomy, giving surgeons the option to rehearse and experiment. Afterwards, every VR reconstructed case is stored in the Immersive Touch case library for further utilization, collaboration and data analysis.
The top 5 Immersive trends of 2017 are set to change many things that the world had taken for granted. As 2017 progresses…watch this space.
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