Hype in two: why don't VR and AR take off, and who really needs them?

In recent years, analysts rank virtual and augmented reality technologies as

should be about to take off. Developers talk about their amazing features. Experts cite as an example the permanent (and failing) Google Glass and cases of several automotive manufacturers, which in small salons show colors in a virtual reality helmet. Apple from the stage impresses with AR gaming capabilities. But technology is still trampling on the threshold without penetrating the masses. Editors gg spoke with experts in the field of VR / AR, as well as marketing and retail, about where virtual and augmented reality really became (will) be useful, and how the market will develop.

Low start

The main difference between virtual and augmentedthe reality is that for the former you need a separate device, while for AR a smartphone is enough. And according to experts, it is this property that will lead augmented reality to dominate the market. Anyway, bye.

The helmet of virtual reality is not onlyuncomfortable (and many sickness), but also expensive. For a while, Samsung presented Gear VR to buyers of its flagship smartphones, but by the standards of the market and mass technology, the current penetration of Samsung devices, and indeed VR helmets in general, is tears. Sales of virtual reality headsets are small, the segment of connected devices is falling, only independent VR headsets that appeared as a class last year are growing (3 million in 2018 compared to 8 million in 2017).


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According to IDC forecast, in 2019 it is expected to be8.9 million VR / AR headsets were shipped, 54.1% more than a year earlier. For comparison, in 2018 IDC counted 172 million units of smart watches shipped (and these numbers still do not give the name mass technology), smartphones - almost 10 times more. In a last year’s report, IDC analysts suggested that in 2022, the number of shipped VR helmets would be 68.9 million, and as of March 2019 (2018 results), it would be about half as much by 2023.

The market for AR and VR services and services is growing smallthe pace. In 2018, its volume amounted to $ 27 billion, which is 92% more than a year earlier. According to IDC, there will be more further, according to forecasts of different years, by 2022 the average annual growth will be two-thirds.

From year to year, the forecast for whichspheres will drive development more than others - either consumer, or some of the areas of business (industry, retail, etc.), which in turn indirectly indicates that the market is unpredictable and does not develop according to their scenario of analysts .

Today, the main market for virtual andAsia became augmented reality, followed by North America and Europe. Such data, citing a study by Digi Capital, was announced by OCHI startup CEO Nikita Khudyakov at the Digital Human conference organized by MasterCard this summer as part of Leopolis Jazz. If at the moment the market volumes of virtual and augmented reality are comparable, then next year augmented reality will overtake virtual by three times, analysts say.


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Based on the experience of the co-founder of Immersense Studios(engaged in the development of solutions for VR and AR) Yaroslav Kaplan, to still capture the market, applications must do one of two things - either entertain the client or benefit him. An example of the first is the Pokemon Go game. The second is the upcoming announcement of Google Maps, which will learn to recognize objects around and show the route in augmented reality.

During a performance at Innomarketing Day, heshared predictions for the future of technology: VR will focus on gaming and entertainment, and AR - on business. The main scope is e-commerce.

Digital fitting room

Despite the youth of technology, they are alreadyare undergoing a transformation. Augmented reality began with marker decisions - a smartphone to start playing content had to be pointed at a certain point. Examples of such cases are Monatic dancing on a bottle with Coca-Cola, the augmented reality game Alice in Wonderland.

But this method is inferior to the leadership of the markerlesstechnologies where the camera can recognize horizontal and vertical surfaces or our bodies and launch content. Sephora has developed an application where women can test cosmetics on their face in real time. Instagram is testing a similar feature for beauty bloggers. Samsung was one of the first to launch such an opportunity in the Asian market in its flagship smartphone Galaxy S9 last year.

According to the expert, markerless AR will findapplication not only in the beauty industry, but also in fashion, for example, for example. Brands have already noticed this niche for themselves. At the end of June, Gucci fashion house added a virtual fitting shoe of the brand to iOS. Belarusian startup Wannaby, the solution developer, also launched an application for virtual fitting of manicure and jewelry, Wanna Nails and Wanna Rings.

However, virtual reality also turned out to beuseful in the field of fashion. Khudyakov cites the example of the successful Topshop case, when a clothing manufacturer demonstrated a fashion show in a virtual environment, and things could be immediately purchased in a store. It was necessary to watch the show in the VR helmet in the window, and this attracted additional attention to the store from the street. And emotions from virtual experience helped to sell.

The Balenciaga brand, by the way, also used virtual reality, though only during the show of the new collection in 2016.

In 2017, Mastercard and Swarovski introducedVR application that immerses the user in the interior with Swarovski objects. They could be bought directly through the application using the MasterCard digital wallet.

Canadian company Shopify is trying to give access toA virtual version of the products being sold to all of its customers. If you are a seller, you can shoot your bike, and the Shopify contractor will make a 3D model out of it, which customers can view from all sides in virtual or augmented reality.

Saturn TV brand through VR app givesthe ability for users to evaluate the difference between different screen diagonals and try them on in a home interior. “Technology works great where you need three-dimensional space,” says Khudyakov.

Full immersion

According to Khudyakov, VR is relevant where it is valuablefull immersion, maximum experience. For example, Björk recently released a full-fledged VR album. This is not only music, it is also a visual series with a 360-degree view, a different level of contact, where the user as an avatar is present in the virtual world next to the author.

VR helps developers increase efficiencysales for still unfinished real estate by 10%. “Everything that has a wow factor - jewelry, yachts, etc., has the potential to increase sales efficiency with VR,” says Khudyakov.

Virtual reality and augmented prophesyfuture in education and training. For example, for repairing complex or expensive facilities where it is impossible to prepare in advance, for performing surgical operations or training in dealing with terrorists in an emergency.

About a year ago, Ukrainians Yaroslav Ploshko andAlexander Smirnov (co-founders of CMS Ventures, Tabasco and CMS Group agencies) presented a VR-app to combat stress - VoxBox. Screaming allows you to reduce stress by 10-15%, and since in real life it is not so easy for many to force themselves to shout, the application in a playful way allows you to do this in a virtual environment. Potentially, the application has several areas of application, according to its creators. This is work with the military and children, as well as helping doctors to work with patients.

Underdog The Unlawyers Team This Yearintroduced a VR simulator of searches. The target audience of the project is businessmen. As Alexey Kuprienko told the project CEO at Innomarketing Day, through virtual experience they will be able to familiarize themselves with what the business will expect during the search, and feel calmer in real life if something like this happens.

Still expensive and complicated

While developers talk about the great opportunities of technologies that have already become a reality and will be able to interest the client, the business recalls the practical side of the issue.

The cost of cases is still very limitedthe spread of technology, says Nikolai Chumak, CEO of idnt, which develops formats for retail, banks, etc. According to him, e-commerce companies barely manage to create product cards in their online stores with ordinary photos and text, where can we talk about how to adapt content for AR / VR. AR navigation solutions in supermarkets or malls also require serious development. The situation is aggravated by frequent changes in the product lineup or rearrangement in stores. In his opinion, in retail solutions with AR / VR are relevant only in niches with products in which there is a very high added value (cars, real estate, furniture) or to optimize retail space when a virtual display replaces the physical one. “So far, these decisions cannot be called massive. More often AR / VR - as additional entertainment, storytelling, demonstrations in museums. Think of 3D TVs. They remained niche, ”says the expert.

The second barrier to the penetration of these technologiesthe expert calls the consumer’s affection for his habits and behavior scenarios in retail outlets and ... the hygiene factor when you need to put on some kind of device in a public place. “But the biggest barrier is laziness. People do not want to delve into, wasting their time. The retailer should offer something completely special, some value, ”says Chumak. Before investing in the development of such a solution, you need to ask yourself - what could it be, he advises.

It is also important to consider the inconvenience.consumer will face on the way to technology. For example, when ZARA used AR for a promo new collection last year, it was necessary to download and install an application of 53 MB in size in front of an empty storefront in order to see images of controversial quality on the phone instead of doing it on the trading floor in five meters. Such experiments rather scare away the user.

In the dry residue

Despite real use casesaugmented and virtual reality and optimistic forecasts of analysts that appeared a few years ago, the benefits of technology are still minimal, and therefore - interest in them. So we still have to wait for a great virtual future for years.