Virtual Reality (VR) was one of 2018’s biggest digital technology buzzwords. Now everyone is looking for the virtual reality trends 2019. The combination of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (AR) feeds into one of 2019’s biggest technology trends: immersive technology. As the name suggests, immersive technologies allow users to truly experience technologies in varying degrees of ‘realness’. This is a significant step forward from the traditional 2D digital data experience. Immersive technologies are primarily used in the entertainment sector, but there is a lot more to them. And as the AR/ VR segment grows, users can now experience digital data beyond the conventional audiovisual output on screens. In light of the global interest in AR/ VR technology, the tech is going to be center stage at the India Mobile Congress 2019.

IMC 2019 will explore next-gen digital technology products and services. This year’s India Mobile Congress theme is ‘IMAGINE: a new CONNECTED world Intelligent. Immersive. Inventive’. The India Mobile Congress 2019 theme includes 9 sub-themes that focus on niche areas:

  • Augmented Analytics
  • Autonomous Things
  • Future Logistics
  • Immersive World
  • Intelligent Edge
  • Inventive Unicorns
  • mHealth
  • Privacy and Ethics
  • Smart Spaces

The IMC 2019 ‘Immersive World’ sub-theme will focus on Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Experts will discuss these technologies and their use-cases and potential, upcoming products and services and what’s next for AR/ VR in India.

What Is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality is a digital technology that allows users to create and experience a synthetic environment. This digitally rendered reality ‘replaces’ the actual reality by engaging with the user on a multitude of levels and sensory functions. VR moves beyond the traditional digital experience on 2D and 3D screens and instead creates a simulated reality the user can fully immerse themselves in. Traditionally, digital technology caters to audiovisual experiences; VR adds to the audiovisual with olfactory and tactile stimuli. In this light, VR is ‘almost reality’. At present, the technology is yet to make its way into the mainstream fully. Markets are currently constrained by limitations in infrastructure, network capacity and affordability. There is a push to develop next-gen digital infrastructure quickly in India and AR/VR tech will undoubtedly transform the Indian market. That’s why Virtual Reality Trends 2019 are so important.

How Is Virtual Reality Different From Augmented Reality?

The primary difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality is in terms of how immersive each technology is. Augmented Reality involves adding digital elements to one’s actual surroundings, which means that the base reality very much remains a part of the equation. On the other hand, Virtual Reality involves constructing a full digital environment, which the user enters (through VR goggles, headsets etc.) and becomes a part of. Both AR and VR are variants of immersive technology and there’s an overlap in terms of concept, application, use-cases and markets. AR technology builds digital elements using algorithms and sensors. Cameras that compliment the user’s view then process and place these graphics onto the environment. In doing so, the digital reality elements are superimposed onto the base reality. For VR tech, the digital environment is created in much the same manner as AR. The difference is in terms of how the rendered reality is delivered. In AR, the digital elements are superimposed onto the user’s reality. In VR, the user has to ‘enter’ the digital reality. VR gear like headsets and goggles ‘transfer’ the user into the synthetic world.

Virtual Reality Trends 2019

The first and most potent VR application will undeniably be in the mainstream entertainment industry. Immersive entertainment is still picking up pace but the mainstream market is really opening up to advanced gaming, virtual attendance and augmented entertainment options in 2019. For instance, Oculus is teaming up with the NBA to work on headsets that will allow users to ‘attend’ games and ‘sit courtside’ without even leaving their homes. VR will help cut costs in education, skilling and training. This is especially significant for niches and industries where training is expensive and/or dangerous. For instance, VR training programs for medicine and the military can help trainees get real-time, hands-on experience and develop their skills without actually participating in ‘active’ situations where the stakes are much higher. The biggest changes for VR and AR will be in the enterprise segment. It stands to reason that businesses and industries are the heaviest investors in the AR/ VR space because they will also be the biggest market. Immersive technology and intelligent technology are quickly transforming commerce and industry. VR in medicine is expected to take off in a big way this year. The combination of VR and Artificial Intelligence will significantly transform the healthcare industry. AR/ VR coupled with AI is one of 2019’s biggest breakthroughs in the digital technology sector. Google’s R&D into the machine learning microscope is one such example. The microscope will identify possibly malignant tissue to assist ongoing real-time examinations by pathologists.

Virtual Reality At India Mobile Congress 2019

The India Mobile Congress is South Asia’s biggest technology and telecommunications event. The three-day gala event invites national and global technology brands, industrialists, CXOs, political leaders and delegates, exhibitors, startups, media persons and guests. Experts will discuss the ins and outs of AR/ VR technology and its scope in India compared to trends globally. Panelists will examine AR/ VR applications, challenges, readiness and upcoming trends in detail.

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