How VR and AR will impact businesses in the next 5 years

  • Forbes Technology Council

Although not yet in the hands of everyday consumers, virtual and augmented reality are gaining traction.

From the Oculus Rift becoming a well-known name to other products showcasing at major conferences, VR and AR are finding their place in the market. And from virtual meetings to robust new ways of prototyping, both have the potential to impact the business world in the near future.

To learn what we can expect, 13 technology executives from Forbes Technology Council offer their insights into the next five years of VR and AR technology.

1. We'll Experience Our Reality Through Virtual Reality
Companies are realizing that VR/AR are viable options for capturing knowledge. PowerPoints are now embedded in VR. VR offers a practical way to convey knowledge and its immersive nature caters to the workforce. AR takes the manuals to the field and aids installation. These technology-driven tools are getting better, more realistic, and are already accepted by those entering the workforce. – Joseph D'Angelo, D'Angelo Technologies, LLC

2. Prototyping Will Go to the Next Level
Companies will use virtual reality and augmented reality to visualize what they're building in a way that's never been possible before. This level of prototyping will give unprecedented insight into a product at the beginning of the process. Decision makers and end-users will be able to provide better and more valuable feedback early in the game. Businesses will end up wasting less time and money. – Ashley Saddul,
Recommended by Forbes

3. Certain Niche Markets Will Be Impacted
I love the idea of virtual/augmented reality taking off. Already, I can see nursing home patients pretending they're at the beach, not to mention practical applications like telemedicine. Unfortunately, the price tags and social stigma will limit the customer base for the next decade or two. – Alan Romans, Ashland Health Center

4. Advanced VR Will Become the Social Laboratory of the Elite
The company Improbable enables realistic virtual worlds and complex "life." So, their stakeholders don't geek over "immersive experiences" like a dad at RadioShack. They're simulating business strategy, government policy, etc -- choices with billions in capital, human and otherwise, on the line. Sure, a Home Depot AR app will let you visualize a kitchen remodel; but for major players, they're not gaming. – Gurpreet Singh, TalkLocal (source)