_Optimizing Isolation Through Virtual and Augmented Reality

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new reality. One which forces businesses to shift their operations online and consumers to stay at home. Nonetheless, going to cinemas, touring museums, and working out in gyms has paused. Fortunately, many industries have utilized coronavirus as a business opportunity. They have introduced virtual and augmented reality as a one-of-a-kind consumer experience. Now, pick your industry and immerse in its virtual wonders. We have plenty of stay at home activities to choose from.

Retail

As stores close their doors, e-commerce sites are dropping prices. As a consumer, you might be tempted to take advantage of the running sales. But you also might be hesitant to buy goods without physically holding them in your hands. Thanks to augmented reality, it is possible to see how specific items look in real-time. Companies are using AR-powered smartphone cameras to create a 3D model of a product. This 3D product virtually inserts itself into a real environment.

IKEA augmented reality
Example of 3D Product from IKEA augmented reality app

Lacoste set a virtual trend years ago by making it possible to try on shoes through their mobile app. IKEA, on the other hand, enables virtual furniture placement in your home without the need to purchase it first. 

Tourism

With closed borders and non-operational airlines, virtual reality is your only way out. Want to spend an afternoon at The Art Institute of Chicago or maybe stroll through the Louvre? Google Arts and Culture is here to satisfy your creative craving without sacrificing the comfort of leaving your couch. It offers high definition images and virtual tours of museums in which you could get lost in it for hours. Besides Google, most of the museums have created their own VR experience on their websites. And if you are more of a nature person, check out Google’s free, virtual set of tours “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks.” 

Google National Parks Virtual Tour
Google National Parks Virtual Tour

Conferences

Remote work is a hot topic right now, and you’ve probably found yourself used to Zoom meeting by now. To compensate for the lack of in-person team meetings, businesses are utilizing VR so employees can feel as though they’re interacting in the same virtual space. A PC application called SPACES bridges the VR world and Zoom by presenting a user in a VR environment with a virtual whiteboard and markers, along with an adjustable virtual camera. Not only does this sound cool, but it might be the answer to a number of employment issues. 

Fitness

It’s not surprising that AR found its place in the fitness world. You might be familiar with Peloton, a fitness company that capitalized on selling bikes with virtual training capabilities – a 22-inch tablet mounted on the bike’s handlebars. And if you are looking for more fun ways to beat your quarantine blues and stay fit, then VR games are definitely for you. If you browse through the online magazine VR Fitness Insider, you will find a number of VR games built around working out and forgetting how active you actually are.  

Peloton model
22-inch tablet mounted on the Peloton bike’s handlebars

These are unprecedented times where a vital boost of energy, productivity, and connection is nearly as hard to finding toilet paper. However, businesses have understood the need to feel physically present, which is why they provide these creative digital solutions. AR and VR technologies can truly find application in each industry, as well as stimulate our wellbeing and improve the quality of our current life. So, where are you escaping to first?  

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