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Our Future Reality is Augmented or Virtual

As an independent management consultant, I've had a front-row seat observing how emerging technologies are transforming industries across the globe. One trend that can no longer be ignored is the rise of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).

According to the latest ABI Research forecast, the global AR and VR markets are poised for explosive growth over the next six years, projected to increase 60 percent and 44 percent respectively from 2024 to 2030.

AR and VR Apps Market Development

The implications of this forecast are significant. We are on the cusp of a new era where immersive digital experiences will revolutionize how we work, learn, receive healthcare, manufacture products, and entertain ourselves online. 

A potent fusion of AR/VR hardware and software innovations -- combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities -- is supercharging these emerging technology applications.

"Together with continual improvements in hardware, allowing for more user-friendly devices, these factors are the driving forces behind the market's rapid growth," said Matilda Beinat, research analyst at ABI Research.

Some of the biggest growth opportunities are in the Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Consumer markets, with ABI Research estimating revenues of $4 billion, $8 billion, and $6 billion respectively by 2030.

This growth will be fueled by AR and VR's proven ability to enhance training, visualization, simulations, and real-time learning experiences in highly scalable and cost-effective ways.  

In manufacturing, AR/VR vendors such as Aveva and Strivr are already demonstrating powerful use cases. Manufacturers leveraging their solutions have seen knowledge retention rates double compared to traditional training methods.

Similarly, Medivis is a pioneering vendor of AR/VR for educating healthcare professionals and assisting with surgical procedures. The life sciences arena is therefore a growth opportunity.

While enterprise adoption is accelerating, the consumer smart glasses segment is also gaining some new momentum. Pioneers like XREAL are expanding their stake as people embrace the convenience and capabilities of AR wearables for information access and spatial computing.

The evidence is clear, AR and VR are transformative technologies that enhance productivity, drive innovation, and unlock new opportunities across numerous industries.

Enterprise leaders who recognize this transformative shift and strategically invest in building AR/VR capabilities will be well-positioned to gain competitive advantages.

As a veteran consultant, I've learned to be cautious about technological over-exuberance. However, the projected growth trajectory, diverse industry use cases, and constant stream of AR/VR advancements leave me convinced we are at an inflection point.

Outlook for AR and VR Applications Growth

While some challenges around device ergonomics, costs, and implementation hurdles remain, the rapid advancement of these technologies gives me confidence we are finally entering the long-awaited era of immersive computing.

Savvy business leaders should start exploring AR/VR pilots, developing use case expertise, and empowering their workforce or customers with forward-looking digital business models.

That said, I believe the AR/VR revolution is coming -- and for forward-thinking organizations, the upside opportunities for those who augment their strategic vision will be virtually limitless.

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