Finances Online’s 7 Top VR Trends & Predictions for 2021 placed VR-based education in the #2 spot as more and more VR tech programs are making their rounds in the education sector. More and more U.S. military training institutions are safely training young soldiers and pilots using VR simulations to help them prepare for unexpected situations in the field. What’s even better is that VR can help the military train with worldwide allies without having to deploy entire units thus saving money while keeping soldiers safe during the pandemic. Just last month, the U.S. and Australia partnered in the first ever virtual cyber training range exercise which will include simulated training developed as a platform for real-world defensive missions across boundaries and networks. Other branches of the armed forces like U.S. Marines and the National Guard are using virtual battlespace technology to remain combat ready during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. This type of training makes it faster and easier for soldiers to train together while altering the training scenario as needed. “Covid restrictions are motivating military organizations to look more to distributed training and simulation as an option. We expect this trend will continue throughout early 2021,” says Pete Morrison, BISim Chief Commercial Officer.
COVID-19 has especially forced medical professionals to look for alternative ways to train and educate personnel so it’s no wonder HealthTech puts AR/VR integration at #4 in its list of 2021 predictions. Lifelike surgical training programs, supplemental clinical experiences for nurses, pain management distractions, and even analyzing lung scans of COVID-19 patients are just some ways VR has already touched the medical world. VR is poised to make a splash in senior care communities next as a therapeutic tool to provide memory care support to older adults. It seems 9 out 10 elderly adults reported feeling more relaxed and rated their well-being higher after engaging in VR sessions. This is definitely a great tool for them to rekindle old memories and interact with each other while quarantined.
“Consumers’ expectations have gone digital, and there’s no turning back. Businesses need to adopt digital solutions to keep customers satisfied and continue growing their businesses," this according to Co-Founder of WebEx Subrah Iyar. At the top of CMO’s Marketing Predictions for 2021 is AR, VR, and XR which they say will play a bigger role in marketing next year as brands look to move into new realms of connections with customers. IDTechEx predicts VR and AR&MR markets will grow to $30 billion in 2030 and will be a key technology of the next decade! “Being able to use a third dimension to engage your audience through showing how a product may look in their physical location, helping visualize complex data or getting them up close to a beloved character, will allow businesses to easily connect to their audiences in a whole new way,” according to Julia Edwards, Verizon Media Head of Strategic Solutions.
There’s no doubt retail will continue to be greatly impacted by the pandemic for months to come. The National Retail Federation’s “Retail in 2021” predicts touch-free technology will become even more mainstream as shoppers continue to embrace contactless payments, digital shopping, and AR/VR technology in their fitting rooms and counters. Virtual try-ons are already reducing return rates and retailers are looking to connect mirrors to social media for a more interactive personalized experience. Shiseido already uses hands-free technology (along with AI) to remotely analyze skin and offer personalized suggestions. The future is certainly looking bright for early adopters in retail.
These trends are examples of how certain industries are using VR during the pandemic as more and more people realize the need to adopt new technologies to help them move forward while staying safe. Which industries do you think will be the next to adopt VR technologies?
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