Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are finding accelerated adoption in this new normal. AR/VR will be a key part of how people access the metaverse – the next iteration of the internet. A few breakthrough use cases have entered early consumer adoption, such as gaming, fitness and social, as hardware devices have become more affordable. The use of AR/VR in business continues to expand in terms of maintenance, design and training. These immersive technologies are also being used to drive positive societal impact in healthcare, education and arts.

More than ever, technologies like AR/VR are critical as societies seek ways to advance during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as with every breakthrough technology, AR/VR has both great advantages and risks (i.e. safety risks, complex data protection questions, risks of virtual harassment, etc.). The Global Future Council on Augmented and Virtual Reality will raise awareness of the promise and perils related to the widespread adoption of these technologies, focusing on the fast-changing path of their application worldwide.