Author: Linda Hull, Director, Telecom Council
With thanks to Qualcomm for sponsoring and Plug and Play for hosting, our public meeting to discuss the latest developments in virtual and augmented reality proved to be popular with members and non-members alike. Headsets at the back of the room and compelling presentations at the front kept our delegates engaged from start to finish!
With commercial growth expected in healthcare by using headsets instead of displays, in construction by visualization prior to breaking ground, and retail with the ability to try something on without trying it on, our Analyst, Steve Max Patterson of IDG stated UIs need to improve, interaction needs to become more sophisticated and social factors need to be investigated. Foreseeing VR/AR as the new way humans will interface with computing from basic smart phone gaming applications through to more advanced, higher resolution and higher risk medical instances, Steve stated that before we can hit the 100 million devices shipped by the predicted year 2021, resolution with holography, eyetracking and handtracking will need to be solved and the network will need to grow to accommodate bandwidth and latency demands. VR /AR can offer everyday benefits by augmenting life with additional context, and what was once seen as elusive scifi is destined to become mainstream. Benefits are easy to imagine but until VR wearables become smaller and more accessible, consumer adoption will be slow, as seen by the perceived VR “flop” in 2017 sales. Steve posed that, when you can “see” a chair in your home, without having to make the purchase, or find what you are looking for through a virtual floor plan, or test drive a car without leaving the lot, VR/AR will progress beyond enterprise applications to everyday Joe looking to immerse himself in an isolated VR world.