Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality Are Spicing Up Public Sector Procurement

It’s time to check in on Public Spend Forum, our sister site, to  see what’s happening in public procurement. And what we see isn’t real. Instead it’s augmented reality and virtual reality technology taking hold.

AR and VR don’t seem like the best fit for public procurement, but PSF writes that the innovative technologies can play a key role in a number of areas.

The article begins with an overview of the technology, also known as extended reality (xR). It gives these definitions for AR, MR and VR:

  • Augmented Reality. This is a type of software which can be run on a device (smartphone, tablet) that uses our reality and incorporates images into it.
  • Mixed Reality. This is a combination of AR and VR and utilizes a handset and a real environment for a more immersive feeling than augmented reality alone.
  • Virtual Reality. Instead of projecting an image into our environment, VR instead creates a whole new environment. The user wears a headset as well for a completely immersive experience and a 360-degree vision field.

PSF says that xR has many uses, from offering hospital patients a sense of being outside the facility to education to workplace training.

But how does this help with government work or public sector procurement?

The article delves into the details for several areas, including:

  • Simulations
  • Immersive experiences: “Similar to simulations, immersive experiences can be helpful at national monuments, parks and museums,” PSF states. “By offering an interactive AR service, you can enhance the experience of visitors and tourists. Historical and cultural events can be re-created to assist with learning, and additional information can be presented in a more interactive way.”
  • Interact with data: “By being able to pull up information in real time and not have to search for it, will save governments — and their contractors — a lot of time.”
  • Maintenance
  • Education
  • Public health and safety: “By having access to the data of previous inspections, government workers can see where failures occurred in the past and offer better, customized solutions. Having access to data in real time will eliminate wasted hours and help to streamline inspection and safety processes.”
  • Investigations

PSF then explores a few of the barriers to adopting the new technologies, but they’re the same problems faced by any new technology.

But the article ends strong with a section on what AR and VR can mean for contractors, including cost savings, efficiency and innovation.

“Digital technology is becoming more widespread and available — and because of that, the cost will continue to decrease,” PSF said. “AR/VR systems can be extremely beneficial to the government — it can enable an agency to do so much more, with fewer resources.”

Read the full story here, and check out Govshop to find government suppliers and information on them.

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