Immersive experience: The present and future of it!
Technology exists and evolves, through ages, to create an enabling environment which facilitates human interaction, the key to all changes that drive civilizations to pinnacle of human endeavour and realize the unthinkable. Spurred by artificial intelligence, fueled by high speed data, cutting edge innovation, new frontiers in digital world is carved each day, with galloping speed. This has opened up new vistas of possibilities, touching and transforming human life in every way conceivable. The era of immersive technology, made possible by VR, extended reality (XR) and their likes have lifted us from our banal office room discussions and transported us into a surreal world of endless choices, to visualize ideas in their inception! The sheer ability of immersive technologies to provide a meeting ground between dreams and reality has impacted society, economies, businesses, developmental works and projects of future.
The changing landscape
Already touted as the big thing “VR” technology has shown the capacity to influence various aspects and made unprecedented inroads into our lives. XR, an amalgamation of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and a host of other immersive tools has blurred the lines between virtual and real world. It’s immense potential is being exploited by tech giants, entertainment industries and businesses across the board. The hype is obvious! While Apple is rooting for AR, social media giant Facebook, for example is putting it’s money on VR. By the end of this decade, data volumes will soar to approximately 45 zettabytes! With data at the core, rapid advances made in natural language processing, automation, neural networks will impart heightened sensibilities to machine like never before. VR is being embedded in our experiences from home to office to execute data driven work in the swiftest and easiest way possible.
These immersive experiences have come to influence businesses with customer bases and thriving on customer engagement, drastically. Customers are hungry for customization of both utility and experiences accruing from it. Coupled with AI, IoT and smart technologies customers need a satiation in terms of their home experiences. From car brands, recruitment agencies to entertainment industry exciting our senses immersive technologies have ushered in a revolutionary change. With impetus of governments on smart urban development to counter climate change issues, the discourse has shifted towards making citizens a part of the change process. It is here that such cutting edge technologies are integrating citizen concerns by fashioning infrastructure and envisioning how it would affect them when materialized. Fields like architecture, engineering and construction are riding high on the immersive experience wave. With the VR headset anyone can get a real feel of what a certain design can offer
The road ahead
From the likes of it, immersive offerings are here for the long haul. Spending by industries is already surpassing consumer spending, as per reports. Hitherto untouched sections of economy are embracing these technologies to bring turnaround and seek solution to a range of issues. Statistics suggest, an exponential rise in startups and burgeoning patents give valuable insight in it’s potential to offer more. The connect with technology has become more personalized and necessary. The physical world we dwell is seamlessly merging with the virtual. The penetration of VR and XR with its varying strengths into social sphere like education, healthcare, will see an increase, with it’s capacity to alter human lives. To hone new skills, immersive technologies will continue to play a pivotal role at various stages of life cycle. Some estimates suggest that, by the fag end of 2021, the market for such technology will swell to $160 billion! The head mounted displays (HMDs) will continue to be the window to such experiences. Though challenges remain with regard to cumbersome design of HMDs, battery issues, tethering industries are investing heavily in R & D to overcome pain points. Google’s VR platform “Daydream” shows the way ahead. Of course, with diligent, unrelenting thrust being made in the area, peak shall be attained anywhere in the time frame of coming 5-6 years. “Rome’s invisible city VR” an immersive experience into the lost treasures of time, captures the fascinating enigma of immersive experience. Created by BBC for its audience it’s spellbinding experience sheds light on the potential of storytelling and a glimpse into what immersive experience feels like. From history to world of future, immersive experience is redefining our lives.