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Modern companies dealing with AR, VR and similar tech reports rise in demand as COVID-19 hampers workforce

Imagine you’re sitting inside your house with a virtual reality (VR) headset wrapped around your head, virtually walking into a meeting, watching a demo, or touring an expo. It isn’t anything extraordinary in this new age. As the COVID-19 outbreak puts millions of people all around the world into house arrest, VR and other similar modern-day tech are growing in terms of demand as continuing business becomes a high priority.

The companies offering these are increasing the speed of roll-outs and also adding to their line of products. Companies like Queppelin in Gurgaon and Imaginate in Hyderabad are now witnessing an unparalleled demand for mixed reality (MR), augmented reality (AR) and VR from organizations in India and other countries.

According to Hemanth Satyanarayana, chief executive of Imaginate, demand for such solutions has risen more than twice in the past months. He said the primary demand arises from manufacturing companies; those which have the requirement to continuously train their staff, but may not have the opening to deploy physical trainers now. With this, the demand for troubleshooting high-end machinery is also increasing.

Quess, the temporary staffing agency is providing a lot of its 380,000 grounded employees with training sessions on subjects such as selling over their phones. With the help of face-reading artificial intelligence (AI), they are receiving feedback on how well they speak and which areas they need to work on for improvement. Prafulla Mathur, the founder of Queppelin, said that there has been a quick growth in the demand for virtual meetings. His company is accelerating a VR solution for a bluechip agency in the country.

What is the difference between VR and video-conferencing? The difference is quite obvious. Virtual reality can assist in scenarios where there is a need for precision. In meetings and lectures, it also lets people pay better attention. Satyanarayana said that an established Indian educational institution wanted a VR demo for holding lectures. The companies said that VR is also capable of creating a real-world feeling of being in a conference or expo.

Meanwhile, formerly advanced technologies such as email, webinars and video-conferencing are also taking off. Deloitte India chief talent officer SV Nathan said that in such times it is necessary to conduct visual communication instead of limiting it to only over the phone. The organisation is using tools like Skype for the same. TN Hari, head of Bigbasket’s human resources, too mentioned that the company is now increasingly using Skype and Google Hangouts.

The growing demand is boosting companies to work faster to expand their line of products. While Imaginate is setting up demos for virtual expos, Enablex is starting a video-enabled hiring platform. There are also some companies which are offering their solutions for free. The tech company, LogMein said that it is providing free “Emergency Remote Work Kits” to the governments, non-profits, healthcare organisations, and educational institutions for three months.

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