In today’s globalized economy, business enterprises can only survive with a clear strategy and roadmap. In that case, it is essential to understand why companies consider adopting new technologies or digital transformations like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to meet customer needs. This technology has entered various fields of business like retail, manufacturing, entertainment, training, real estate, and healthcare, to name a few, and given a changing aspect. It has proven to be the perfect platform to taste success in today’s competitive market.
Diving into AR and VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality), Technology can be Driven by Various Factors and Opportunities:
- Enhanced user experience
- Business opportunities
- Competitive advantage
- Healthcare and therapy
- Marketing and advertising
- Entertainment and gaming
These are key grounds that individuals or businesses might consider investing in AR and VR.
While AR and VR offer many revolutionary experiences, XR is based on the same technologies. Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term that includes AR, VR, MR, and everything in between.
AR and VR have become incredibly advanced and sophisticated over the past few years. As technology continues to evolve, these immersive technologies are poised to reshape how we interact with digital content and the world around us.
In the United States, many leading tech and telecom companies use AR and VR in their business. As of 2023, there are 65.9 million VR users and 110.1 million AR users in the U.S. Users in the AR and VR market are expected to reach 282.40 million by 2027.
Increasing users in the AR/VR business market can positively impact the technology providers and businesses utilizing these technologies.
Here are some key impacts:
- Market growth
- Economies of scale
- Increased revenue opportunities
According to Statista, AR and VR’s market revenue will reach $8.57 billion by the end of 2023, and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.54 percent from 2023 to 2027, resulting in a projected market size of $14.24 billion by 2027.
AR and VR technology is now available to almost everyone and used in applications ranging from gaming and entertainment to industrial and medical uses.
Here are a few examples of how AR and VR applications have been successfully implemented in various industries:
- An international furniture store has developed The Place App, which enables shoppers to use augmented reality on a smartphone to place furniture in their home to visualize exactly how the thing will look in their setting.
- One of the world’s leading cosmetic brands now offers an expanded makeup experience in partnership with a leading social media platform. Customers can try the world’s leading beauty brands via AR.
- An American athletic footwear and apparel corporation utilizes augmented reality and virtual reality in its physical stores. Customers can scan items such as shoes or clothing to see information or enter a VR world to experience different stages of their supply chain to understand how and where products are made.
- A leading therapeutic VR provider focusing on therapeutic VR applications to solve pain through their product has launched the RelieVRx program that offers a non-pharmacologic form of chronic lower back pain relief. Chronic pain concerns over 100 million Americans with cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Surgery and prescription drugs used to treat chronic pain have their health risks, including harmful side effects and addiction.
Opioid abuse and addiction have created a national public health crisis with economic losses exceeding $1 trillion. That’s when companies offering therapeutic services based on VR applications came into the limelight. RelieVRx Virtual Reality-based treatments represent a comprehensive approach to chronic pain that empowers patients with accessible digital tools self-managed in their homes.
- A multinational manufacturer of luxury vehicles and motorcycles has deployed augmented reality experiences that enable car buyers to go into showrooms and personalize cars with different colors or styles on their tablets or phone. Or they can wear virtual reality goggles and experience what it’s like to drive the car to understand their options and make the perfect choice for their new vehicle.
- One of the world’s leading luxury brands offers its clients virtual reality home tours and videos. Potential buyers can see properties from the comfort of their homes using a web browser, smartphone, laptop, or portable headset.
- A company that designs and markets shoes and eyewear, coffee, apparel, and handbags business model is inclined to create a positive impact on the world. It donates a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair bought by the customer and has created the “Walk in their shoes’‘ campaign to realize this vision. Shoppers utilize a VR chair to experience the journey, while one California customer travels to Colombia to meet a child who will directly benefit from purchasing the shoes.
These are some of the most innovative and cutting-edge examples of augmented and virtual reality in retail.
The following are the benefits of augmented reality/ virtual reality:
- Drive user engagement
- Boost brand awareness and engagement
- Enhanced user experiences
- Stand out from competitors
- Increased engagement and interactivity
- Increase employee satisfaction index (ESI)
- Real-time feedback and data visualization
- Innovative advertising and branding strategies
- Skyrocket sales by times
- Training and educational opportunities
- Virtual product demonstrations and simulations
- Practical applications in various industries
- Seamless integration with the natural world
- Introduce established products to new audiences
- Revolutionize the “Try Before You Buy” concept
A recent study shows companies that use AR and VR technologies have significant benefits:
- Companies using AR technologies saw a 46% reduction in task completion time
- VR-based training can lessen training time by 40%
- VR-based training can improve employee performance by 70%
The AR and VR app development field is pushing the boundaries of how we interact with technology. However, along with the benefits of these new approaches come some disadvantages and risks that must be carefully considered.
Potential Drawbacks, Limitations, and Challenges of AR and VR Technology:
- One of the disadvantages of virtual reality is its high cost and resource needs. Due to the hardware, software, development, and maintenance expenses, augmented reality and virtual reality technologies currently require high costs and resource commitments from businesses.
- Despite the potential, augmented and virtual reality technologies still encounter several technical limitations and challenges that hinder widespread adoption. Issues like limited field of view, low resolution, latency or lag, and imperfect object recognition in the case of AR pose challenges to providing genuinely immersive experiences.
- AR and VR technologies raise concerns about the privacy of user data and the security of systems due to the massive amount of personal information they collect. Data like biometric signatures, physical movements, locations, and interactions are captured, which could potentially be misused.
- A comprehensive legal framework does not cover AR application testing.
- Testers need to verify that the application accurately depicts reality and ensures that the application runs smoothly without any bugs.
- The QA team can test the AR and VR applications only after the development completion and not in the initial stages. This leads to the discovery of bugs only late in the development cycle.
However, these challenges can be addressed through effective testing and quality assurance.
Best practices for QA & testing for AR, VR, and MR include:
- Testing for performance issues such as latency and frame rate issues
- Testing for usability issues such as user interface design and user experience design
- Testing for compatibility issues such as hardware and software compatibility issues
Types of AR and VR testing:
In AR and VR testing, we can run various tests to get better coverage; here is the list of tests run in these applications:
Immersive Testing: Immersive testing checks whether the application with the specific hardware device (VR) provides a successful simulation.
Functional Testing: Once the application under test (AUT) is fully integrated, depending on business necessities and practicality, test case design, implementation, functional testing, and exploratory testing are performed.
Usability testing: Usability tests are performed to detect flaws in AR and VR products’ interface design, logic, and architecture for aligning use cases with the preferences and wishes of the target market.
Hardware Testing: Testing AR and VR-specific hardware to support its features and the application can help us adapt to requirements.
Accessibility Testing: Accessibility testing ensures that AR and VR applications can be used without discomfort and provides fast and natural navigation regardless of age and physical condition.
Security Testing: Security Testing is practiced to ensure there is no risk of data loss or any privacy issues.
Compatibility Testing: Compatibility Testing ensures AR and VR applications work on different hardware, operating systems, applications, network environments, low to high-end configuration setups, and mobile devices with equal visual and sensory opportunities.
Overall, integrating AR/VR technology into business processes leads to increased efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, better decision-making, and a competitive advantage in the market. With AR and VR technology development, respective businesses should know what and how to test the application, which can benefit them in various ways. Testing AR and VR applications should be a collaboration between different teams, as it requires unique requirements for test strategy, test equipment, test scope, test automation, and test scenarios. But with proper design and planning, our QE team can handle them.
With extensive experience in innovative technologies, our AR and VR application testers know how to push the boundaries. Combining AR and VR with advanced AI and machine learning algorithms can help you deliver more accurate and realistic AR and VR experiences, improve applications and increase customer satisfaction. Trigent’s QE team can help you find the solutions you need to succeed in the market.