Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Virtual and augmented reality are being used in contexts as diverse as firefighting, dental care, transportation, sports and wine.

Technology is only becoming a larger part of our lives with each passing decade, and virtual reality is no exception. Unlike many technologies that are only relevant to a narrow niche, virtual and augmented reality is relevant to a wide variety of industries and sectors.

In firefighting, for example, the use of virtual and augmented reality for training has resulted in reduced pollution and more efficient water usage.

A Perth-based virtual reality software company has signed a $337,000 USD ($500,000 AUD) contract to create modules for training students and dentists in dental procedures.

The wine industry is bringing augmented reality to wine bottles—helping more than 2,000 Australian wine brands build consumer awareness and recognition by displaying each brand’s story when the label is scanned with a smartphone.

Recently, Optus (one of Australia’s leading telecom players) partnered with Unbnd (a virtual/augmented reality company) to showcase their 5G technology by streaming sports in mixed reality, demonstrating the capability of a futuristic technology and allowing Australia to have a taste of the future of streaming.

Governments are also funding, testing and utilizing virtual reality technology for city planning projects. Examples include Virtual Brisbane and the My Virtual Moreland—one of the first of its kind in Australia, leveraging 3D mapping, 3D modelling and the emerging technologies of virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D GIS mapping. These new technologies enable more informed planning and design decisions and make it easier for the community to get involved.

Other sectors using technology for training include rail and construction, as evidenced by the Metro Trains Australia VR project for driver training and virtual reality simulation showing the construction of the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project.

These examples show that the applications for virtual and augmented reality are wide, and as the industry is still relatively young, Wisconsin companies with established and tested technology and solutions can find opportunities in the market. Major trade shows in Australia in this space include:

Techspo, ANZ Stadium Sydney, June 24-25, 2020
Melbourne International Games Week, Oct. 3-11, 2020
Technology in Government, National Convention Centre Canberra, Aug. 4-5, 2020