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Doing business in a new digital world

Immersive technology is transforming the way we do business and disrupting industries, but there will be challenges ahead, warns Rich McEachran.

When you hear the term virtual reality (VR), the first thing you might think of is 360-degree immersive game-playing, where users put on cumbersome headsets with high-resolution displays and vibrating controllers for feedback. Yet, while VR is certainly taking gaming to another level, the technology is capable of delivering benefits to all kinds of professionals – from the boardroom to the factory floor.

Along with augmented reality (AR), VR is part of a market that is growing exponentially. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), VR will be worth $20.4bn in 2019, nearly a 70% increase on the $12.1bn that was believed to have been spent during 2018.

One of the main commercial use cases is industrial maintenance. By the end of the year, $413m will have been spent on AR and VR products and services for maintenance purposes. By 2022, industrial maintenance spending will have even overtaken gaming, predicts IDC.

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 277, September 2019.

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