E-Commerce & WebAR

Why Facebook believes that AR and VR have reached a tipping point

May 14, 2022

Facebook has recently released a widely anticipated report on Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). We will summarise the key takeaways and share our point of view in this article. You can also download Facebook’s report in full here.

Why Facebook thinks AR and VR are about to take off

According to Facebook, AR and VR now meet four important criteria that will fuel their wider adoption:

- Utility: AR and VR are expanding beyond niche activities that adopted these technologies early on (such as gaming).

- Agility: The development cycle for AR and VR experiences has shortened significantly. AR- and VR-based solutions can now be deployed fast, often at relatively low cost. In Hong Kong for instance, the Museum of Art has made virtual art experiences available all across the city.

- Access: With more powerful smartphones, AR and VR are now essentially built into our handheld devices. This reduces barriers to entry as consumers no longer need to invest in pricey devices specifically designed for AR and VR experiences.

- People: Facebook cites a survey in which 74% of all respondents stated that “they see technology like AR as a way to bridge the online and offline worlds”.

At Impala Services we second the points made by Facebook. As a matter of fact, we believe that consumer brands that act fast can benefit from a first-mover advantage and engage their customers in truly unique ways. As many countries are emerging from the pandemic, it will be important to engage consumers who have become much more accustomed to using digital technology to experience products and to inform purchase decisions.

AR and VR solutions are likely to grow at unprecedented speed

In its report, Facebook predicts a “6x increase in global spending on AR and VR” between 2020 and 2024. Furthermore, according to Facebook, “75% of business leaders anticipate using AR or VR by 2023”. Likewise, 78% of all users agree that “AR is a fun way to interact with brands”.

We have made similar observations at Impala Services, particularly in the North American market and also in larger European countries. We have witnessed how leading retail brands have made the investments required to unlock 3D experiences. We even believe that AR and VR have the potential to kick-off a new era, akin to the emergence of online shopping.

AR and VR enhance experiences across a spectrum of activities

One of the main reasons why Facebook believes that AR and VR will impact our lives more and more is that both technologies can be applied to a wide range of activities. Besides shopping and virtual art experiences, AR and VR can essentially help us engage in a more meaningful way. Instead of having a video call with friends or relatives, we will soon be able to connect in a virtual world. This breaks down barriers and enables an entirely new way of sharing and experiencing activities. As a social network, Facebook is constantly searching for new ways to connect people. The social media giant believes that AR and VR will help “bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds” and to enable its user base to pursue their passions, to enhance productivity, and to propel inclusivity.

Read Facebook’s full report to learn more about content creators and brands that have already started embracing AR and VR. Reach out to us to discuss how you could integrate AR and VR into your supply chain operations using virtual showrooms or embedding 3D experiences in your website.