Staying connected in a post-COVID-19 world is a challenge we are all facing together. But never has it been easier to use technology such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to help keep us connected and to temporarily fill some of the void. Although AR and VR are not new, changes to our daily lifestyle have caused us to rethink ways we use technology to communicate and ways to take advantage of the technology we might already have at our fingertips. With the rise of apps, devices, and faster internet speeds, the possibilities and applications are almost endless.
Let’s chat about some of the most popular uses of the technology and how it fits into a future where being far away doesn’t have to feel so much like a physical disconnection from humanity.
Many miss the physical interactions with colleagues and reporting to the office when they want to take a break from home. Video conferencing is all the rage and very effective but not the only solution for bringing a meeting to life. VR technology is gaining popularity and adding new options for those that seek a more connected lifelike experience.
You can gather with your colleagues sans commuting and masks for a realistic hands-on virtual meeting or training session in a 3D virtual space by using one of many software solutions. While some software is built specifically for VR users, others offer the ability to join VR and Zoom participants in a collaborative environment using different tools.
As more and more businesses adapt to working from home long-term, the options continue to grow rapidly.
AR/VR is also opening academic doors with the opportunity to further education in the virtual world by offering students an opportunity to engage with teachers and classmates. Students can interact with classmates, seek homework help from teachers, and learn in an interactive environment watching their studies literally come to life in front of them.
Field trips might be out of the question for a while, but students can travel around the world and visit some of the best museums on the planet, all from home.
If you’ve been missing the gym but are not ready to join your fellow fitness enthusiasts in person just yet, VR fitness is a great way to work up a sweat and to stay motivated enough to keep those pesky quarantine snacks in the cabinet where they belong. World-class instructors can deliver on-demand workouts and personal trainers can offer you virtual one-on-one sessions to help you reach your goals.
You might enjoy a yoga session in a headset, use a smart mirror with AR to track and correct your movements, or box with a virtual partner. With limitless possibilities, you should be able to find plenty of ways to switch up your daily workout routine.
Events & Conferences
If you are missing the energy of a live event or conference, the next best thing may be streaming on a headset near you.
So many in-person events had to be canceled or modified to protect public safety in a time of social distancing, but the events industry is learning how to pivot. You can watch your favorite motivational speaker take the stage virtually while interacting with other attendees.
While you might be able to watch on your computer or cellphone, why not enjoy the view while immersing yourself in the full experience? The full VR experience helps you avoid other distractions around you, including that long to-do list, emails, or instant messages popping up .
There will always be a need for real estate. Whether you are buying or renting, sometimes you have to move. But in a time where there is added risk in meeting face to face, VR is offering a way to explore your future dwelling, room by room before ever actually setting foot inside.
Opening the cabinets, stepping into the closet, and seeing if the layout is to your liking are all possibilities when viewing a new property without leaving the comfort of your current one.
Your virtual walkthrough is a great way to start your search and to narrow down the possibilities.
Shopping & Retail
With so many stores still closed and the explosive growth of online shopping, it’s easy to push a button and wait for a magical package to arrive at your doorstep almost as fast as you can blink. But when purchases such as clothing, furniture, and makeup require visualization, Augmented Reality can play a large role in helping the decision process.
You can virtually try on makeup, shoes, and clothing while decorating your home with a simple AR filter on your phone.
Entertainment and Attractions
It is amazing to live in a time when we can stream anything we want in a matter of milliseconds with incredible quality to any device of our choosing. Gone are the days of slow dial speed and pixelated resolution many of us suffered through in the 90s. Be thankful if you never had to watch an orange man slowly load across your screen while your modem was screaming strange sounds at you.
But even with so many options, many of us are still missing the experience of climbing into a roller coaster, standing in a crowd at a concert, and sitting in the audience of our favorite play on Broadway.
It might not be exactly the same experience as the real thing, but it sure offers an alternative to sitting on the couch letting Netflix mock you by asking if you are still there.
Yes, Netflix. We are all still there…