Posted by: Katherine Raleigh
Programme Manager on Thu 22 Jun

At this month’s Innovation Day, we welcomed Prof Mark Anderson, Edge Hill University, to share his expertise on the opportunities augmented reality can bring across all industries.

So, what is VR and AR?

Virtual reality (VR) is a fully computer-generated environment that you enter. It can be used to place people in a new situation, or an environment they can’t otherwise access. This could be going on a virtual field trip, training in dangerous environments, or visualising new buildings. Augmented reality (AR), on the other hand, is the projection of a computer-generated artefact onto a real-world view. This means you are looking at the real world with something/someone projected onto it. This does not only involve objects, it can also include sounds and smells.

AR and VR are set to dominate the technological landscape. In various formative studies and reports, the markets are forecast to show a huge growth in the coming years1. Over time, it is promised to transform every aspect of life and there is a chance that, in a few decades from now, we’ll look back and wonder how we ever lived without technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality2.

Engage better with customers and employees

So far, VR and AR have predominantly blossomed in the entertainment and gaming industries. The time has come for all business to start exploring the many new opportunities that will naturally follow. The technology offers the opportunity to do something unique and even more engaging for your B2B and B2C relations, placing additional value on content, services, training, etc.

For example, AR makes it possible to train someone just by using an app. If someone needs instructions on where and how to change the oil in a car engine, AR can project visual aides to make this possible. On a bigger perspective, immediate training using an app can become easy accessible in the workplace and a source to potentially reduce waste and/or increase accuracy. Companies can start thinking big and explore whole new training opportunities.

Be open to new ideas

Bringing on new ideas is a key driver of competitive advantage. However, finding creative ways to exploit new concepts and technologies and get them accepted in the boardroom can be problematic. Even the best, most cutting-edge idea or process is of little use unless it can be incorporated into internal development. The key is not to be afraid of change, and instead embrace that today fast technological change is the norm.

These are just some key highlights taken from June’s Innovation Day. Each month, clients of the Innovation Programme receive a full ACT report, capturing the guest expert’s research, the implications, and next steps for leaders to apply back in their team and organisation. For more information, please get in touch.

Next, Innovation Programme clients – including Airbus, Combat Stress and Virgin Media – will explore how to turn big data into true business benefit. For more information, please view the Innovation Day page.

Sources: 1S. Irshad and D. Awang, DRB. (2016) User Perception on Mobile Augmented Reality as a marketing tool, Computer and Information Sciences (ICCOINS), 2016 3rd International Conference on, IEEE, Aug 15; 2Forbes (2016) Five Ways Virtual Reality Will Change The World. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 June 2017]; M. Anderson (2017) Transform Customer Experience with AR, KnowledgeBrief Innovation Day Presentation, 12 June 2017.

Think outside of the box about how to present and promote your products and services in favour of your end-user.

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