Virtual Reality (VR) is not catching on quickly enough as a B2C product, as Facebook has realized since it bought Oculus. But it’s developing quite fast, together with Augmented Reality (AR), as a B2B application, with Microsoft pushing its HoloLens and Google preparing a Google Glass aimed at businesses (“Google Glass Enterprise Edition”).
What AR and VR bring to companies is a tool that can be placed anywhere in the operation of machines, enabling people to learn and experience them in any laboratory. In fact, Microsoft sells its HoloLens (prices starts at $3,000) exclusively to developers and business customers.
Current uses for AR/VR include:
– Architects can design as if they were in a house with projections of 3D images.
– ThyssenKrupp engineers inspect elevators remotely with the help of HoloLens, so that they can help local repair specialists from their head office.
– Airbus or GE are creating digital replicas of industrial facilities and machines that technicians can examine virtually.
– Lockheed Martin integrates radar systems for navy ships with the help of VR and AR, reducing the amount of errors committed.
– Boeing is training engineers in recognizing different pieces of equipment with Microsoft HoloLens.
– Renault uses VR and AR in a serious game for training its employees in how to repair batteries. Other auto manufacturers using VR are PSA, Ford and Volkswagen.
– Walmart uses VR for training its customer relations staff in making quicker decisions based on various real data.
– Nasa’s astronauts traveling to the international space station will be provided with HoloLens glasses to make small repairs in which they may need the help of more specialized technicians.
– Workers at AGCO, an agricultural machinery manufacturer in Jackson, Minnesota, are using Google Glass Enterprise Edition to assemble machines while viewing instructions manuals and sending photos. VR is also helping inspectors.
– Siemens is testing Daqri’s AR smart helmets for repair works at gaz plants.
– UPS is training its delivery men in secure driving with HTC VR headsets.