Whether you’re splitting data in a pie chart, comparing variables in a scatter graph or presenting changes in a bar chart, we’re entering an age where 2D representations simply don’t cut it. We need to embrace interactive and real time data visualization – a task that Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are perfect for.
The volume of usable data is increasing each year, as are the technologies and applications we need to help us understand and utilize it. Whilst VR and AR are primarily considered to be entertainment mediums, the ability to visualize data in an interactive environment can take users beyond the limitations of 2D and into a world fused with machine learning technologies and reality-driven reporting. Only a very small amount of recorded data is actually useful as many analytical technologies only focus on variables that change or meet specific criteria. For example: out of 100 metrics, you may only be interested in a handful, however rather than visualizing these metrics in real time, we’re restricted to monitoring 1 or 2 in a chart or graph.
With VR and AR, users can get a 360° view that can be observed and controlled much more intuitively. When equipped with specific tools, users can reach out and manipulate what they’re seeing, whether it’s creating a clearer workspace, aligning charts or highlighting datapoints. Using multiple headsets, the 3D environment can also accommodate more than one person. This can promote a more intimate, productive and collaborative platform by eliminating visual and aural distractions around the office.
Many applications already exist within the commercial space. From political journalism and tyre monitoring to environmental studies and building construction, VR and AR are beginning to play a significant role in enterprise transformations and growth.
Whilst many might consider these technologies to be nothing more than toys and entertainment, the real world applications extend beyond the living room. By granting users the ability to get hands-on within intuitive and collaborative environments, we could soon see big data become a day-to-day tool through VR and AR-powered solutions.