Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are “finally coming of age and have the potential to provide a significant boost to the UK economy”.
According to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) AR and VR will add £62.5 billion to the UK economy by 2030.
This will represent a 2.4 per cent boost to GDP and have also have a significant impact on employment, with 1.19 per cent of jobs utilising the technologies in the next decade.
Retail will be a key area of adoption, PwC added, with AR and VR in the retail sector alone providing a £183 billion boost to global GDP.
Though many retailers are already utilising the technologies to provide new customer experiences such as virtual fitting rooms, PwC suggests that it could also be vital in improving design development and staff training, a move Walmart is already experimenting with.
Its applications in development and training are expected to provide a further £265.2 billion to global GDP.
“Organisations need to look beyond the software development stage and focus on designing the solution to solve a specific business issue – VR and AR can be used to speed up processes, improve safety, reduce costs or open up new revenue streams,” head of AR and VR at PwC UK Jeremy Dalton said.
“The uptake and positive feedback of a VR or AR solution will be largely dependent on how comfortable and intuitive it is to use, so creating a seamless experience is crucial. Start small with a pilot programme to see the technology in action.
“Research groups will need to provide the advancements that drive the technology forwards. And businesses will need to build a better understanding of the technology by getting started and using VR and AR to help solve business problems their organisations face.”