VR and AR offer much more than just great entertainment. From nursing to manufacturing, these technologies are about to change the future of work. We take a look at what they’ll mean to your business or industry.

Along with automation, augmented and virtual reality are hot topics for professionals all over the world.

How will these developing technologies affect the future of work? What jobs will undergo the most significant changes? And how will augmented and virtual reality lead to a better workplace?

Here are four sectors that AR and VR will transform in the future – and sooner than you might think.

1. Medicine

Changes that augmented and virtual reality will make to the medical sector could be revolutionary. And recent developments are already helping physicians and patients alike. Successes include researchers testing the efficacy of using AR to train medical students in anatomy.

Augmented reality is helping make the lives of medical professionals easier

Another way in which augmented reality is helping make the lives of medical professionals easier is its ability to help locate veins for intravenous injections. A company called AccuVein is leading the way in making injections more straightforward, particularly in the case of elderly and very young patients.

2. Education

AR and VR are ready to take the education sector by storm. They’re bringing lessons to life in previously unimaginable ways, with virtual trips into space or inside the human body just a couple of examples of what educators are achieving.

AR and VR can also play a massive role in workplace training

And these immersive technologies aren’t just for the classroom or university. AR and VR can play a massive role in workplace training. For example, BP has used VR simulation to prepare staff to work more safely in a drilling operation, allowing them to practice together in simulations of real scenarios.

3. Retail

Imagine being able to try out a product in real time while you’re deciding if you should buy it or not. Potential customers across the globe are already realizing this using AR and VR.

VR apps are already helping retailers reduce the number of product returns they receive

Companies like Home Depot and Lowe’s have made it possible for people to virtually try out paint colors before purchasing. Hotels are now able to give potential guests a 360 view of the venue before they book a room.

Apps are also now available that help shoppers see how clothes will look on them before ordering them online, reducing disappointment and returns.

4. Manufacturing

AR has many practical possible applications in the manufacturing industry, each opening new avenues for employees and helping create better workplaces.

Manufacturing is an area in which precision and efficiency are key. AR can help improve processes by providing simple visual aids and instructions to follow on the factory floor, as well as speeding up and streamlining design processes.

AR can provide simple visual aids and instructions to follow on the factory floor that raises productivity

Technicians can create parts and design larger structures without interruption, while training applications can help reduce accidents and raise productivity.

Advanced technology is also changing the way that organizations run workplaces. And meetings, in particular, are subject to some key technical improvements.

Using group video chat in Workplace, for example, remote workers can feel like they’re in the same room so nobody misses a thing. And machine learning in virtual project groups enables auto translate functions that bring teams closer together.

Together with VR and AR, these are technologies that are set to continue developing alongside automation in the future of work. It will be fascinating to see how augmented and virtual reality will continue to help people build a better workplace.

Watch how Mercado Libre is using project groups and Auto Translate to break down barriers. And try Workplace Premium free for 90 days.

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