“Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the Internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones.”Mark Zuckerberg

The worlds of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) may be in their infancy, but as their momentum builds, the massive impact they’ll have on fields ranging from healthcare to education to the enterprise is already indisputable.

And that impact is already projected to exceed $100 billion by 2020, opening up unprecedented application possibilities for businesses in many fields. Take manufacturing for instance: thanks to the advent of VR and AR, activities like the testing of materials, products and processes can be performed with no actual physical production. The time, resource, and cost savings that paves way for is huge, and particularly so at this nascent stage when not every manufacturing company is taking advantage and it can offer a real competitive edge.

And let’s not forget the hardware, too: the global market for smart augmented reality glasses is expected to be 3.5 million + units by 2020, driven by workflow transforming applications in the enterprise and industrial sectors and the expected launch of less expensive and feature-rich models. In the enterprise sector, smart glasses along with smartphones and tablet PCs will evolve into the modern worker’s second brain, and help enterprise AR to bring in rapid improvements to employee productivity by enabling enhanced data visualization and augmented cross-referencing of information.

While the United States represents the largest market worldwide driven by huge investments in R&D, the Asia-Pacific region ranks as the fastest growing regional market driven by increased adoption of smartphone based VR/AR games. This is supported by trends such as digitalizing lifestyles, the availability of low cost smartphones, the commercialization of VR/AR head mounted displays, and an expanding base of an affluent middle class population demanding a more engaging virtual experience of the digital world.

So whether you’re attending TiE Inflect to support your business in fields ranging anywhere from healthcare to gaming, there’s never been a better time to learn how advances in VR and AR can give you a real edge.