AR, VR and New-Age Technologies Demand Escalates Amid COVID-19

by April 8, 2020


The outbreak of coronavirus pandemic is dragging the world economy towards a plummeting graph. However, where most of the businesses are suffering the consequences of nation-wide lockdown across different countries, new-age technologies including augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) are rising in demand. Owing to the social distance created by COVID-19, people are keenly moving towards adopting immersive and innovative technologies for their survival.

For now, people have the luxury of sitting in their room, wearing a virtual reality (VR) headset, and getting the feel of walking into a conference, a movie theatre or even watching a product demo. Reports have stated that with the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19, there has been an increasing demand in VR technology and new-age technology since business continuity has taken priority.

As per demands, companies into this form of business are speeding up, and even expanding their base. Consider companies like Hyderabad-based Imaginate and Gurugram-based Queppelin that are seeing an increased demand for VR, AR and MR technology from pan India and abroad.

Imaginate chief executive Hemanth Satyanarayana said demand for solutions like these has jumped more than two and a half times in the last month. He said the main demand comes from manufacturing companies – which need to constantly train their staff, but may not have the option to send physical trainers anymore. Along with this, remote troubleshooting for high-end machinery is also propping demand.

At temp staffing company Quess, many of the 380,000 grounded employees are now getting training sessions subjects like selling, on their phone. Face-reading artificial intelligence gives them feedback on how well they’re speaking, and where they can improve. Queppelin founder Prafulla Mathur said there was now increased demand for virtual meetings. His company is now expediting a VR solution for a bluechip company in India.

IBM is said to help out is clients with remote capability offerings, upgrading their networks, and also enabling collaborative technologies to ensure productivity. Hiver, email collaboration company also has reported an upsurge.

Moreover, advanced forms of older technologies like video-conferencing, webinars, email and remote access of devices are also gaining popularity now. Renowned companies are using Skype and Zoom to conduct meetings. LogMeIn, a company that enables remote working through online meetings and remote access of devices said that there has been an increase in demand for virtual events since the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the cancellation and postponing of events.

Furthermore, when several events have been canceled all over the globe to practice social distancing in an effort to contain the virus, VR headset maker HTC held its first virtual “VIVE Ecosystem Conference” completely in VR. The March 2020 event, which drew 2,000 registrants from more than 55 countries, marked the first physical industry event that was fully replaced by extended reality (XR), an umbrella term that encompasses VR, augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR).

“Prior to this virus pandemic, the mindset of many people is that XR is a nice-to-have technology,” the company said in a press release. “Post-outbreak, the benefits of XR to overcome the physical barriers between people could make it a must-have technology over time. … Working-from-home, distance learning, home-based fitness, immersive entertainment, and networked social interactivity will all be part of the new normal in our lives, and made more agreeable if more users could adopt XR technologies.”