In the previous technology trend report, we reviewed AR/VR technology and early application cases from the perspective of the future, and believed that AR/VR technology will not be widely popularized and commercialized overnight. Now, the future of that time has arrived. The focus of the digital reality trend shifts from technology itself to technology development and technology deployment.

Five Digital Real Opportunities

When exploring the potential of digital reality in your business, consider the following opportunities:

1. Connection:

“Remote cooperation”. Digital display can realize remote communication, sharing and support. Some people may think that this refers to the much-touted video call, but in reality it is much more than that.

For example, when field staff repair and maintain remote equipment, engineers in the regional office can see the images in the staff’s eyes and guide the maintenance staff in their work.

Scientists from both sides of the ocean can gather in a “virtual sandbox” for collaborative research. Video conferences and online chats-often due to interrupted network connections and poor camera angles.

This bring users a bad experience-will be able to present accurate expressions, postures and holographic images in real time, providing an immersive interactive experience. The team will share digital assets, such as collaboration through virtual whiteboards or digital models that can be manipulated in real time.

2. Knowing:

Using digital reality technology, knowledge workers—a broad term that basically applies to any employee who uses computers—can obtain specific information when needed. It is not only an efficient document sharing tool, but also accurate presentation of information in a visual context.

Take for example, after wearing the DR glasses, the construction engineer can see the specific conditions of the engineering electrical parts and plumbing parts, and how individual parts are embedded in the wall.

This kind of technology can also be used in the initial conceptual stages of architecture and interior design, consumer product development, or supply chain and logistics mapping. Immersive analysis technology can assist users in exploring data from multiple dimensions, further enhancing virtual collaboration.

For example, when engineers use this technology to historical data about the layout of cell phone towers in cities, they can enter a virtual environment, move cell phone towers on the map at will, and evaluate the potential impact of the location of each cell tower on the lives of surrounding residents.

3. Learning:

Some companies are the first to use digital reality technology for training. Because the live reproduction of certain training scenarios is too expensive or logically impossible, these companies have created realistic virtual situations to immerse students in it. UPS is an example.

Before the novice drivers actually drive a five-ton van on the road, UPS arranged for the drivers to undergo a VR driving test to prove their driving ability in a virtual environment.

In the simulation training of KFC, employees are locked in a virtual “secret room”. Employees must successfully complete the five steps of chicken preparation before they can escape from the secret room.

4. Exploration:

Suppliers use digital reality technology to narrow the distance between potential customers and products, services and experiences, and promote the rapid growth of customer-centric application cases in the retail industry, tourism, hotel and leisure industry, and real estate industry.

For example, Estée Lauder has launched an AR virtual makeup mirror on its webpage and mobile client. The makeup mirror can be adjusted according to light, skin quality and gloss. Users can use their photos or live videos for virtual makeup trials.

At the same time, virtual visit guidance will also change the daily work of the real estate industry and real estate brokers: they no longer need to lead customers to see houses on the spot, and customers can obtain intuitive information through virtual technology.

5. Games:

DR technology has different application cases and comprehensive deployments in games, storytelling, and live events, and the number is huge. In the next few years, this situation may be even worse. IDC predicts that by 2021, the investment in AR/VR game application cases will reach as high as US$9.5 billion.

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What does it mean for IT?

Regarding the impact of digital reality technology on the IT ecosystem, many questions still have no definite answers. But we are convinced that CIOs should now start to consider the company’s DR strategy and the computing power required to fully support the DR strategy.

1. Store.

Providing a DR experience requires huge amounts of data, and with the continuous advancement of technology and the emergence of new features, the data required will continue to increase.

Imagine: using VR to provide 360° panoramic images, you need to store the viewpoint of each video to ensure that users can turn their heads to watch the video at will.

Converted, the storage capacity required by the designer is 10 to 20 times the storage capacity required to play standard high-definition video files. 11 The cloud can meet growing storage demands cost-effectively, but it is not the only option. Perhaps digital reality can also promote modern changes in data management, governance, and architecture.

2. Core integration.

Head-mounted device manufacturers are designing application programming interfaces (APIs) that embed core technologies and business processes into the DR experience.

It is conceivable that in the future, customer information, device information, and product content can be displayed in a virtual environment, and this type of content can also be used for transactions in digital reality. In the near future, in-depth integration of ERP/CRM/CMS systems will become a key element of DR system design.

3. Analytical skills.

What is the intention behind the gaze? When the user wears an AR headset, the AR device can track the user’s gaze, then recognize the user’s intention, and analyze the data generated during the tracking process.

Finally, it may be possible to promote advertising through tracking analysis. For example, when the user is staring at the refrigerator, AR will push the discount information of nearby restaurants to the user.

But what if you can track customers’ sight activities for 12 hours? First, tracking at this scale requires huge storage capacity; secondly, real-time analysis of such a huge amount of data requires immersive analysis capabilities far more than many companies currently Technical capabilities.

4. Broadband and Internet.

Currently, almost no network operator can provide the broadband speed required for AR/VR streaming and 360° panoramic experience. Many low-resolution experiences provided during VR presentations require a streaming speed of at least 25 Mbit/s, while high-resolution experiences require about 80 Mbit/s.

Recent research has found that only 7.1% of connections worldwide have a speed exceeding 25 Mbit/s. Although preliminary attempts have been made to develop intelligent traffic management solutions, compression algorithms, and low-latency/high-throughput capabilities required for AR/VR, in the short term, broadband and networks can only develop slowly in terms of digital reality initiatives.