Immersive technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) are evolving fast, transforming the way consumers and businesses interface and engage with the digital world. Technology strategic planners are challenged to adapt their planning processes to keep up with and define emerging immersive technology markets.

Immersive tech and AI are mutually valued

Over the next few years, enterprises will move closer to adopting immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR). These technologies will in turn force vendors to figure out how to get more artificial intelligence (AI) functionality out of the cloud and into the edge.

Both immersive technologies and AI are a collection of subset technologies. Businesses need to consider both immersive technologies and AI to be mutually beneficial. As AI improves, so do immersive technologies, and vice versa.

Deep learning, the secret to immersive technologies

In the past couple of years, extraordinary progress has occurred with AI and machine learning technologies. The most important advances are in deep learning, which is a rapidly evolving variant of machine learning and the main driver of enterprise interest in AI today. Deep learning systems are trained using extremely large datasets; large-scale, interconnected computational layers; and compute- and data-intensive exploratory and numerical optimization techniques. The resulting deep neural network can, and has outperformed conventional approaches to natural-language processing, computer vision and speech recognition.

Deep learning can be used to deliver services such as interpreting, synthesizing, and imitating speech for real-time translation, interpreting context and sentiment in writing or conversation, and analyzing real-world images and videos to recognize objects, movements and emotions.

Interaction with immersive technologies is intended to be intuitive and natural. For instance, you could use a head-mounted display with an AI-powered assistant to help assemble furniture. As you’re busy working with your hands, texting, swiping and gesturing are out of the question. So you ask the assistant ’What part am I holding?,’ ’What step is next?’ or ’Where does this piece fit?’ The assistant understands your question, but also understands the context. The AI assistant can deliver the answer back to you via voice or text and images on your display.

Market scope of immersive technologies

It’s important to not exaggerate the potential of immersive technologies. While we’ll see improvement for both AI and immersive technologies in 2018, as the digital realm continue to grow, these technologies are the next logical step for the marketplace.

Additionally, enterprises are not widely adopting AI or immersive technologies. A recent Gartner survey found that 59% of organizations are still gathering information about AI, while 37% of the respondents to the 2018 Gartner CIO Agenda survey said that while AR/VR is on their radar, no action is planned.

According to MarketsandMarkets research, the virtual reality market is expected to grow from USD 1.37 Billion in 2015 to USD 33.90 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 57.8% between 2016 and 2022. The increasing use of head-mounted displays (HMDs) in the entertainment and gaming sector, declining prices of displays and other hardware components of HMDs, and use of VR for training and simulation in the defense sector are the major factors driving the virtual reality market.

Take it to the edge

Immersive technologies require processing power, yet organizations cannot rely solely on the cloud to drive it. Uploading and downloading from the cloud takes too much time. Imagine an autonomous car losing its wireless connection on a highway and the consequence of this event. Consequently, immersive technologies devices require local computing power.

Called edge computing, these systems perform data processing at the edge of their network, near the source of their data. In the future, edge computing will be a requisite to aggregate and interpret data for applications requiring high speed and bandwidth with low latency.

Although this may sound like a leap backward to the desktop PCs of the past, it isn’t. Edge devices are at optimum speed intended for portable data centers and built for AI. Enterprises are moving into the edge computing space, and this area could potentially become a multibillion dollar market.

Vendors (both hardware and software), service providers, and buyers must look for innovative ways to improve efficiency, productivity, and quality by creating/incorporating augmented reality and virtual reality products and solutions.

GAVS’ expert Cloud Edge computing team helps enterprises to helps align your cloud and business strategies, implement a practical cloud framework, and provide a detailed roadmap for implementation, optimizing the potential for transformation and help reduce the complexities and risks associated with immersive technologies.