Lockdown Frustration Leads To Adoption Of Alternative Reality Technology
Umer Jamshaid 9 months ago Wed 22nd July 2020 | 10:57 AM
I still remember when people started talking about computers as the next technological revolution
Muhammad Humair Khan: I still remember when people started talking about computers as the next technological revolution. Television shows in the 80s and 90s demonstrated their ever-increasing capabilities, leading to years of debates on the threats posed by computers and when machines will ultimately replace humans in the workplace.
During the transition to a digital society over the last 20 years, we witnessed the unparalleled growth of the mobile industry, culminating in the ubiquitous use of smartphone. We largely accepted this change and its impact on our existence without objection, and now demand continuous innovation to streamline our lives.
When I reflect on the key factors that drove those initial fears of computers, the only word that comes to mind is the digitalization.
The generation before millennials experienced the information technology transformation whereas millennials witnessed mobile innovation. Both these industries have dramatically changed our way of living.
Consider the banking system; the evolution from cash to plastic (debit and credit cards) to internet banking and now mobile banking means that we’ve reached the stage where physical branches have almost become redundant.
Over the last few years, we experienced what seemed to be incremental levels of innovation, slowly trickling across society.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic situation changed everything, exponentially launching us into the future. The pandemic highlighted an unrecognized demand of alternative reality, which previously has mostly existed in the world of gaming.
There are various types of alternative reality such as virtual, augmented, integral, and mixed reality. You may have seen one of those in video games where users leave the real world behind to enter the digital world.
You may remember the Pokémon Go game, where users had to physically move in order to play. Similarly, apps like snapchat allow users to apply filters on their faces.
During the pandemic, working from home, connecting with video conference and online schooling became common and essential practice.
Industries including healthcare, finance, and even driving tests still need to focus on virtual connectivity. But there are key-areas we need to focus like online shopping experiences can be enhanced by combining the real world and the digital environment, with consumers virtually trying on the latest fashion in their own homes or attending virtual fashion shows with a front-row seat.
We can improve architectural design or introduce new ways of education, with learning becoming engaging by moving beyond theory to (virtual) practice. Virtual technology is far from mature but industry players have already recognized the potential.
The technology and market will eventually adjust automatically – it’s just a matter of time. A brilliant example the IKEA app, letting consumers virtualize their homes with their desired furniture, giving users’ confidence to complete transactions with no concerns on whether items fit.
Similarly, the L’Oreal makeup app allows buyers to try virtual lipstick or eyeliner before placing the order.
Let’s not restrict the prediction based on available features and limitations, the alternative reality could replace the existing mobile industry.
Goldman Sachs also called it “The next generation computing platform” and expected to grow up to $95 billon market by 2025. Google, Sony and Facebook have already invested billions of dollars in this industry.
It could literally reduce the production cost for fashion or interior designing, by demonstrate it virtually before you even start or small medium businesses to produce virtual construction site at lower cost.
Also, it will bring the ultimate personalized advertising. The pandemic has accelerated the demand however we could expect slow growth due to the delays on 5G deployment. Eventually there will be regulatory frameworks and we will witness it in various industries largely in video games, live events, entertainment and retail industry etc.