India has been witnessing large scale deployments of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) across business verticals in the recent past, especially after the pandemic, said Tata Elxsi, a Tata Group design and technology services firm that focuses on automotive, media, communications, healthcare, and transportation domains.
Actually, AR & VR as basic technology has been in existence since the early 1990s but was limited only to the defence and heavy-spending sectors due to the high cost of software and hardware tools associated with it. Then, the gaming sector started using some bit of AR & VR in the last over a decade.
Aditya S. Chikodi, GM and Head, Innovation Design and Visualisation Group, Tata Elxsi told The Hindu: “We are now seeing increased deployments of this technology by EdTech, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Retail, Media & Entertainment sectors and other verticals. Pandemic has only accelerated its adoption. E-learning, Travel and Hospitality include other sectors joining the AR&VR bandwagon soon.’‘
According to Mr. Chikodi, the benefits that these technologies bring are multifold. In the Manufacturing sector, more greenfield plants are being set up which require a large workforce to operate connected and advanced machinery. AR/VR based training and simulation solutions are thus being explored to bridge the skill gap of the available semi-skilled workforce. In addition to training, these technologies are also being deployed for maintenance, repair and operations, worker safety and training, engineering and design modelling.
Also, immersive technologies were helping EdTech sector improve learning outcomes, increase overall engagement and interactivity.
“It provides personalised learning experiences for new-age learners by making learning both fun as well as inclusive. These technologies improve knowledge retention through experimentation and learning,” he pointed out.
With help of AR/VR deployment, the Media & Entertainment sector was able to provide real-time information from sporting arenas to interactive ads to immersive music shows, thereby immensely enhancing the viewing experience in the country, he added.
“Eventually, the AR & VR outcomes are about remote collaborations, to improve productivity, enhance customer experiences and get products faster to the market,’‘ he explained.
Tata Elxsi has deployed AR/VR technologies across industries including Manufacturing, Automotive, Healthcare, EdTech to support their product development lifecycle, training activities or marketing functions.
For instance, in Healthcare the firm recently applied VR technology in the field of cognitive behaviour therapy to overcome the fear of heights. It also deployed large-scale innovation for medical device development in the field of neo-natal care and renal care.
In the field of Transportation, Tata Elxsi applied these technologies in designing efficient operability of the cabins using human factors engineering. It also defined the Colour, Material and Finish in the early stages of design that would otherwise require a full-scale 1:1 mock-up to be developed, thereby saving time and cost substantially.
Similarly, for a textile company, Tata Elxsi developed the world’s first interactive augmented reality-based smart textile solution to engage kids in immersive storytelling using AR. By scanning specified markers on the rug or duvet using a tablet/smartphone, kids can view characters coming to life in AR, claimed Mr. Chikodi.
The global Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality market is expected to reach $571.42 billion by 2025, from $11.35 billion in 2017. The sector has been growing at a CAGR of 63.3% from 2018 to 2025. India is expected to play a very significant role in immersive technologies including metaverse, as per market information.