The four Ds: PwC’s guide to implementing AR and VR

Your organisation has identified business problems that AR and VR can solve and/or use cases that the technologies can impact. How do you go about implementing AR and VR?

The four Ds

1. Discovering the tech

The first stage of deciding whether or not to intergate AR and/or VR into your business is making sure that you understand the full potential of the technology — this needs to be verified before any money is spent and potentially wasted, if it isn’t the right solution.

At the same time, it also requires an understanding of what other adjacent technologies — around virtual reality and augmented reality — could be useful or even more applicable to solve the problem that the business is trying to solve.

“We prefer not to operate on a solution-centric basis,” explained Jeremy Dalton, head of AR/VR at PwC. “We don’t walk around with the idea that VR and/or AR is the solution to everything — that’s why it requires this initial filtering stage to make sure that we understand what the problem is, so that we can advise whether VR or AR is the right solution or not, because it may not be.”

So, the first stage is understanding the problem and understanding what the potential solutions are. If VR and AR are identified as the best solution to adopt then it’s a matter of understanding how the technologies will impact the business environment.

2. Devising a strategy

With all that information, the next phase involves research and putting a strategy together which takes into account the expected timelines, competitor analyses and what sort of return on investments a business could expect from the implementation of such a project.

At this point, “you’ll come into analyses of time and financial costs involving different hardware procurement and software development models, as well as options with regards to the how the technology will be deployed,” continued Dalton. “How much is it going to cost to train people to be able to use the equipment effectively,” he asked? “Or if it’s not an operational tool, and you’re using it as part of an exercise — perhaps as part of a change management process — hat will affect the cost during deployment which should be taken into account.”

3. Developing the software

Following this, the third phase concerns software development, “which is pretty self explanatory”. This is about building the software that makes up the actual experience.

Contrary to popular opinion, this is sometimes the shortest phase of work.

4. Deploying AR and VR

Once the software has been developed and tested, it’s about introducing the AR and VR solution in your organisation per the plan developed previously.

VR is ahead for now, but AR will be a larger market in the long run

PwC’s head of AR and VR, Jeremy Dalton, says that the augmented reality market will be larger in the long run than virtual reality. Read here

Implementing AR and VR

From beginning to end, the first stage is an initial filtering process: understanding the problem and understanding the technology. The second stage is around devising a strategy. The third focuses on software development. And, the fourth and final stage, is deploying the solution and, hopefully, reaping the rewards.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...