How Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Impact Work


TechCrunch recently ran an article that announced by 2020 augmented and virtual reality will reach $150 billion disrupting mobile.

Between Facebook’s $2 billion for Oculus, Google’s $542 million for Magic Leap, Microsoft’s HoloLens, and Epson the augmented and virtual reality markets are poised for huge expansion as these giants discover ways to make these technologies work for B2B & B2C. Augmented reality will comprise an estimated $120 billion of the market, and virtual reality will make up an estimated $30 billion of the market by 2020.

The simplest way to explain the differences between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR):

– Augmented reality is open and partially immersive or puts things into users world.

– Virtual reality creates a fully immersive experience in an alternate reality.

What is clear about the advent of both technologies is they will not only impact the type of jobs available but also how we work. As a result of the implementation and streamlining of augmented and virtual reality technologies into our lives, we will experience substantial work life improvements that will also hugely benefit the public at large.

Augmented Reality in the Workplace

Augmented reality will empower the location worker the same way computers and mobile devices have the office worker. Workers can connect and access the information they need in their environment. As Gartner suggests, “Augmented reality is the real time use of information in the form of text, graphics, audio and other virtual enhancements integrated with real-world objects.” As a device, wearables are a significant part of this puzzle. Regardless of location, a worker can access information in real time saving both time and money. AR will become a significant workplace tool.

The three uses for augmented reality:

1. Tablets:

Tablets standardize complex and repetitive tasks by displaying instructions as a layer over a piece of equipment.

2. Projector type:

Project instructions and images over a work area.

3. Glasses:

Glasses provide all the advantages of the tablet with the added benefit of being handsfree and mobile. It is an immersive form of augmented reality.

Virtual Reality in the Workplace

Virtual reality brings a whole other dimension of possibility into the workplace. It will make it possible to even further shrink the distance among workers in different parts of the world. The end result significantly increases the efficiency of a global workforce. In just a few years, it’s expected that we will be able to join colleagues in a virtual 3D workspace and interact with them in real time independent of location. Such technology has incredible potential to increase our level of global cooperation, organization and efficiency working with the best talent in the world.

As a recent article in Harvard Business Review suggests, games and simulations support companies in creating better user experiences and products. VR enables designers and others to put on a headset, enter a different world and try on various perspectives. The maker or developer can directly test market the experience of various users and product scenarios, which not only increases the product quality but also the efficiency of bringing products to market.

Huge Opportunity for Talent

Augmented and virtual realities create tremendous opportunities for talent through the new companies that will be created to develop these technologies, as well as existing giants such as Microsoft, Facebook and Google developing them in-house. There are many opportunities to be a part of creating these revolutionary technologies.

Digital entertainment and technology professionals who get in at the ground floor of developing these technologies will likely position themselves for rapid career advancement. Augmented and virtual reality represent an opportunity to be part of the next “big idea.” Those individuals that properly position themselves can make advancements on their career paths similar to the gaming professionals who were in on the cutting edge of that technology ten years ago.

The next five years will see exponential growth in augmented and virtual reality, as they grow into major industries that will substantially impact not only digital and technology workers but entire industries. As a result, there will be an emergence of new skills and aptitudes that talent will need to develop to succeed in these new workplaces, and of course there are many unicorns already qualified to deliver in this space already.

The Takeaway

Work Environment:

It will make it much easier to function and work in a global context minimizing error margins to unprecedented levels, as well as increasing workplace efficiency and safety.

Learning and Developing:

It will be easier to visualise and learn in the work environment through the use of AR and VR technologies improving the efficiency and quality of product development.


This soon to be established growth market where creative, production and technology innovators come together to develop experiences for enterprise or consumer use creates new opportunities for professionals in these fields.