New kids on the block: AR-VR, wearables and 3D printing

SMAC architecture is passé, and every sector is now headed to a time of augmented reality-virtual reality, wearables, and 3D printing


As the enterprise navigates through the conundrums of cloud, the menaces of mobility and the storms of security, technology is fast moving beyond these must-haves. IT leaders are now expected to have mastered these, solved issues of Internet of Things (IoT), and be working on artificial intelligence (AI) projects.

Among these, we now have to look forward to the rapid implementation of augmented reality-virtual reality (AR-VR), wearables, and 3D printing. While some players of the retail industry have managed to implement AR-VR, these technologies remain largely untapped as of now.

However, reports indicate that these technologies will soon take the market by storm and IT leaders will need to get their action plans in place.

New Realities

According to research firm IDC, global spending on AR-VR will be over US$ 17 billion in 2018, growing by nearly 95% from 2017’s mere US$ 9.1 billion. It further predicts that global spending on AR-VR products and services will grow at a CAGR of 98.8% between 2017 and 2021.

The consumer sector – especially the gaming industry – will be spending a bulk of this amount, at a CAGR of 45%, amounting to at least US$ 20 billion by 2021. At the same time, the enterprise usage of AR-VR is predicted to be dominated by retail and manufacturing – two industries that can really improve its processes if they can effectively leverage this technology.

While the retail industry can use it for showcasing its products, industrial maintenance is a good way to leverage AR-VR by the manufacturing industry. By 2019, at least 20% of large-enterprise businesses will be able to effectively adopt AR-VR solutions, says IDC.

Time to set a real plan for this virtual tech, right?

Smart Watch

Perhaps the most rampant implementation of IoT is the countless wearables available in today’s market. From smart watches, fitness bands, and headwear to smart gaming gear, this upcoming technology has already created a splash in the consumer sector.

According to MarketsandMarkets Research, “The future growth of the wearable technology market is expected to be driven by consumer preference for sophisticated gadgets, increasing growth prospects of next-generation displays in wearable devices, and growing popularity of IoT and connected devices.”

Research further indicates that the global wearable technology market will be worth a whopping US$ 51.60 billion by the year 2022, the enterprise having a large share in the volume. The entertainment, healthcare and retail industries are currently leading in the global race to adopt this lucrative technology into opportunities of significant business value.

Smart watches will continue to dominate the market, holding more than 67% of the market share by 2021, smart clothing is projected to grow the fastest at a CAGR of 76% between 2017 and 2021, says IDC. It will be worth watching to see how fast the Indian enterprise catches up to the currently leading US market.

Printing The Future

By the year 2023, the 3D printing market will be worth more than US$ 32 billion globally, says MarketsandMarkets Research. Also known as additive manufacturing, this technology has the unique ability and potential to change several key traditional industries such as healthcare, manufacturing and automotive.

The ease of developing customized products, reduction in costs of raw material and greater product innovation are some of the key drivers predicted to help in the growth of this technology through the enterprise market. While plastic inevitably occupies the largest market share for printing material, bio-material demand is also on the rise due to the entry of 3D printing in healthcare.

The aerospace industry has managed to successfully adopt this technology to manufacture parts of aircraft at a lower cost, without compromising on quality and durability. Soon we will be able to print our own gadgets, futures, and hopefully realities as well.