Augmented Reality: Investing, Property, & Industry – Augmented reality – which layers digital projections on to physical, real-world environments is just one technology that is transforming many industries, from construction and travel to healthcare. Whereas industries in the past have been disrupted by emerging technologies, many industries are set to be transformed. The innovative technology of augmented reality (AR) is getting the construction industry excited about the transformative possibilities it offers.
To give an idea of how much and how fast the AR revolution has grown in such a short time, in 2015, the global AR was worth around $3 billion. Now, in 2021, it is worth over $133 billion. “To those who can recognise the value this technology can add to their industry, AR is a gamechanger technology, and one viewed with optimism and excitement in the construction industry,” said Jamie Johnson, CEO of FJP Investment. “This technology has already made its impact on the consumer market with gaming and entertainment. Now it is transforming the business world, too, ” said Mr. Johnson.
AR affords great benefits to employees and customers, from such things as remote communication and collaboration, to showcasing new products, and even products that haven’t yet been made. For the business world, AR is a nascent technology but has already started to revolutionize three industries. It’s worth taking a brief look at these three industries to give some idea of how other industries may also be transformed.
It may be hard for some to visualize how a digital technology like AR can be transformative in an industry that is based on physical world reality, an industry that is literally built upon solid foundations of concrete and cement, but the benefits, and indeed potential benefits, of construction are quite considerable.
In terms of investors looking to invest in the property market, AR can be utilised to showcase property developments to interested buyers even prior to them being built. Furthermore, AR can create 3D visualizations based upon 2D blueprints so that potential investors can visualize what the development will look like when completed.
The benefits for property investors are clear, but the benefits of AR extend to architects and construction workers, too. For example, construction workers can better plan their projects and foresee any potential issues early on, saving precious resources, time, and money. This can be achieved by such techniques as overlaying complex or delicate features onto a physical space, so that workers can get a clear visualization of how things will turn out if they are done in a certain way.
There is already a headset available that can relay information about the environment directly to the user’s field of vision in real-time. This would allow instant availability of multiple layers of building information. Another headset can provide a 3D model for various situations, such as from a 2D set of plans, in front of an actual building site so potential buyers can visualize the completed work.
In one survey conducted, as much as 50% of travellers said that they would like to use interactive technologies like AR to view potential holidays before going ahead and booking. This reflects a growing trend of consumers wanting access to the latest technologies available to help with choices, including with travel destinations and hotels, etc.
Integrating technologies like AR into the business model is one-way companies can distinguish themselves in the competitive marketplace, offering a way to enhance customer experience. One way this can be done by the travel industry is through marketing. AR technology gives hotels and airlines the ability to showcase what they are offering -hotels, destinations, tourist attractions, etc.-to travellers before they choose what they want. Indeed, travellers may not know where they would like to go or in what hotel they would like to stay, relying solely on what the AR has to offer them.
AR apps can be downloaded onto smart phones, which provide the user with a digital research tool, experiencing interactive site tours or watching videos to help users make up their minds about selecting things like hotels.
These AR apps not only help consumers with pre-travel choices, but they can also enhance the holiday experience itself. This can be done, for example, by using smartphone cameras to overlay attractions on top of a real-world view, aiding travellers to explore local cultures. Airports like Heathrow in the UK, looking to enhance the travelling experience for customers, have developed AR apps to allow customers to travel through their terminals.
Like with the construction and other industries, the travel industry, which needs a desperate boost given the coronavirus pandemic, can leverage interactive technologies like AR to enhance customer experience and satisfaction.
The potential impact on the healthcare industry is immense. In terms of AR, the innovative solutions being developed will be very transformative for both caregivers and those receiving the care, such as doctors and their patients.
Examples of how AR is changing the healthcare industry include a handheld scanner that can project onto the patient’s skin so that it is easier for medical staff to find the patient’s veins. Another involves 3D reconstructions of tumours. Yet another innovation is holographic headsets for surgeons, which can be used by trainee surgeons for tutorials and to experience surgical procedures.
Technology that has been around for decades in sci-fi movies, gripping audiences with awe and wonder, is quickly becoming a reality – an augmented reality in some cases. Fortunately, many in the business world and investors are seeing and embracing the opportunities these technologies have to offer.
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