Augmented and virtual reality to take GCC by storm

Augmented and virtual reality technology will redefine the GCC business and consumer experience by 2025, new research conducted by Frost & Sullivan has revealed.

GCC organisations are leveraging the new technology to enhance end-user experiences, the report, conducted in collaboration with GITEX Technology Week 2016, states.

From AR-enabled surgery to VR-powered education, experts from across industries will take the stage at GITEX Technology Week this year to share their innovative use cases of AR/VR technologies and provide a glimpse into the future of this game-changing technology.

Public agencies have been quick on the uptake of AR and VR technology in the GCC, according to Frost & Sullivan says, highlighting a number of cutting-edge initiatives in the region.

The Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) for example, has launched Wojhati, a trip planning mobile app with GPS to help users plan, track, and share their mass transit routes.

The RTA is also partnering with the Dubai Future Foundation for 25% of Dubai’s road trips by driverless vehicles by 2030.

The travel and hospitality industry has also been quick to adopt this technology, with VR goggles used at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) exhibition at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) by exhibitors including Emirates and attraction providers Dubai Parks & Resorts and IMG Worlds of Adventures.

Hotel groups such as Marriott and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts are using VR tech to help market properties while futurist Faith Popcorn, in a report for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), has predicted that VR and AR will be used to provide guests and travellers with “fully immersive experiences”.

Augmented Reality – contextual information on mobile devices, projections, or wearables – and Virtual Reality, which provides a fully-immersive digital environment, will be adopted across industries by 2025, the new report from Frost & Sullivan predicts.

In response to the interest in AR and VR technology in the region, GITEX Technology Week 2016 will showcase the largest area in show history for AR and VR technologies with 560 square metres of the show committed to AR and VR exhibitors.

Research reports corroborate predictions that the AR and VR market is booming, with IDC reporting that AR and VR hardware revenue is topping US$2 billion globally for the first time this year. The firm further predicts that device shipments are set to grow 11-fold to 110 million by 2020.

“GITEX Technology Week 2016’s focus on AR and VR demonstrates the Middle East’s strong potential for transformation. Driving the market, GITEX will be the region’s most prominent platform for taking AR and VR out of the lab and into the mainstream. Attendees can experience innovations, hear industry insights from experts, and network with key players,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice-President, Exhibitions and Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre.

GITEX Technology Week 2016 will run from 16-20 October 2016 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

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