07/29/2021

There have been many ups and downs over the past year, but things are looking up, especially in the technology industry. 2021 has brought about various tech trends, many of which are taking part in healing the world in more ways than one. Our team at Involta has a passion for technology advancements – one emerging trend has caught our attention – augmented reality, AR for short.

So, what is augmented reality? “Augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology, defines Investopedia. . AR allows a virtual environment to coincide with the real world around you. For example, you may watch a shark swim down the sidewalk in front of you or catch a Charmeleon playing Pokemon Go.

 

Where do we see AR in the business world?

As augmented reality can create real-world scenarios, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are getting their hands on AR headsets or AR mobile/tablet applications. Here are a few industry examples of how AR enhances daily business life:

  1. Maintenance - repair technicians can wear a headset that walks them through a step-by-step process of maintaining or fixing a piece of equipment.
  2. Healthcare - doctors can use AR to practice a multitude of surgeries before they perform them.
  3. Retail - customers can test out placement of furniture, try on makeup, see how they look with tattoos, and much more.
  4. Marketing - have you seen the Pepsi Max bus shelter?
  5. Education - students from colleges around the world can collaborate on the same project using an AR environment.

Augmented reality is beneficial to businesses across all industries. It provides an immersive experience that calls for success on all levels.

 

Are there privacy concerns?

The correct answer is a resounding yes - there is a plethora of personal information that needs protection when using AR. EDUCAUSE explains, “headsets with live mics can record all conversations, while tracking systems/HMDs with always-on cameras can record video of private spaces. Further, eye-tracking technology can record what a person looks at.” This large amount of personal information attracts all kinds of attention from bad actors. Regularly purging data is a must to limit the impact of unauthorized access if bad actors decide to strike.

Not only is privacy disrupted by bad actors, it can be disrupted by privacy responsibilities and data retention as well. “If a campus records eye movements and what individuals look at during an AR/VR experience to see if students are paying attention in class, should the campus retain that information as a student record and/or store it in a student’s academic advising portfolio for evaluating student success?” (EDUCAUSE). Let’s be honest, we’ve all had that one class that drains the energy out of us, so is it fair to get docked for not paying attention every once in awhile? No.

We can clearly see that augmented reality is growing at a rapid pace from a statistic provided by simpl¡learn, “the global AR and VR market is expected to grow to $209.2 billion by 2022, only creating more opportunities in the trending technology, and welcoming more professionals ready for this game-changing field.” The ability AR has to improve businesses is great and will impact the world as we know it for the better.

Oftentimes AR is augmented with digital data, all of which require enormous amounts of data storage. With this need for large amounts of data storage, there is also a need for data security. Many times, AR systems use third-party apps that have questionable security or don’t implement encryption for network connections, but it’s an easy fix.

At Involta, it’s our job to help you “Get There.” Understanding trends and developing solutions to address evolutions in the marketplace like AR is part of our commitment to our customers. Whether your organization requires additional network bandwidth, storage or a security assessment to determine gaps, we’re here to help you focus on your core business.


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