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According to the Munich study , VR/AR technologies are having disruptive effects in seven of the 41 industries investigated and are displacing many products, business models and production processes. The processing industry is also affected, and according to the forecast it will undergo radical changes between 2020 and 2040. Working with virtual models will have a significant effect on product development. Production itself will change as a result of the opportunity to display instructions and other information to employees in their field of vision. Teams from various sites will also be able to collaborate in virtual environments. The displacement process will be in full swing in just a few years, according to Professor Thomas Hutzschenreuter from the Technical University of Munich. Companies that will be affected should be developing new strategies now to prepare themselves for the future. “Most of them will have to find partners, as they do not have sufficient competence in virtual and augmented reality themselves.”

The message seems to have gotten through to some sections of industry. In the VDI Knowledge Forum , Dirk Schart from Re’flekt GmbH , a company specializing in AR/VR, writes that three areas of application have now emerged in which the technology will be particularly useful for industry: maintenance, operations and training.