VR and AR gaining ground in the enterprise

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The augmented and virtual reality market is forecasted to be worth a combined $120 billion by 2020, with augmented reality taking the lion’s share of $90 billion according to revised forecast figures by Digi-Capital. This forecast seems to be playing out in enterprise in 2016.

Tech Pro Research recently conducted a survey about the adoption of AR and VR in businesses. Though similar, the two technologies have distinct operational differences. Where AR overlays the worker environment with digital information, VR immerses workers completely in a digital environment. The research results of Tech Pro Research confirm that AR is being adopted in enterprise faster.

Data based on a survey of 205 IT professionals, executives and managers from organizations around the world revealed that quite a few companies are implementing VR and AR at the moment, with 37% of the respondents indicating that they are using VR compared to 39% using AR. More companies are considering future use of AR compared to VR. Of those not using the technologies currently, 48% are considering adopting VR with 67% considering adopting AR. Among those not already using AR, 20% plan to use it within the next 12 months and among those not using VR, 13 % plan to use it in the next 12 months. Both groups indicated cost considerations an important factor in their decision to adopt the two technologies.

Some of the survey respondents were from companies that make VR technology (14%) and AR (19%), which may have skewed the results somewhat. Simulation exercises, employee testing and training, and computer modelling are some of the applications being considered.

Enabling VR in the enterprise Working inside a 3D environment is seen by some as a means to isolate workers from distractions, making them more productive. A growing number of companies are already doing product design and development in VR, and this number is expected to rise in the future. However, rendering virtual environments to work in requires high-performance computers.

Nvidia, the leading manufacturer of graphics-processor technologies for workstations, desktop computers, and mobile devices, is working with companies like Dell, HP and Lenovo to deliver computers that meet the minimum requirements for the highest performing VR experience.

Dell has developed three VR-ready workstation tower computers with the required minimum CPU, memory and graphics purpose-built for commercial environments. The range is called Dell Precision.

Lenovo revealed their line of VR-ready computers at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference. Called ThinkStation, the line is focused on enterprise VR. NVIDIA VR-ready systems are powered by Quadro professional CPUs.