3 million deaths worldwide, the year of permanent lockdowns, the collapse of the tourism and airline industries ‒ COVID-19 has a massive impact on the global economy and our everyday lives. Bad news aside, the pandemic has boosted a number of sectors and business services ‒ from tools for remote work to the development of VR.
Tools and platforms for communication
A very sudden transition to remote work with the introduction of strict quarantine measures in most countries meant everyone had to adapt quickly and set up new processes within companies.
The number of users of the Microsoft Teams service increased by 44 million; Zoom became massively popular practically overnight ‒ the company’s revenue in the first quarter of 2020 increased by 169%, and in the fourth quarter ‒ by 369%. The video communication platform ended the year 2020 with $670 million in revenue. In comparison, the company’s revenue at the end of 2019 was only $22 million. According to the forecasts, the online communications market will continue to grow in the upcoming years.
Most university students, as well as school students, have been forced to study online because of the quarantine. Schools and universities had to look for a way out of the situation and adapt quickly to the big change. The pandemic equated online learning with, for example, university classes that have been also transferred online.
Coursera, one of the best-known online learning resources, saw a 60% increase in students in 2020. The Linkedin Learning platform also saw rapid growth in March 2020. The number of users of the platform increased by 46% compared to February 2020.
Not only education and work went online, but also shopping, sports, entertainment, and even socialization. Augmented and virtual reality technologies can especially benefit during this time due to the bigger number of people allowed in the virtual world. AR/VR aims to make this world more interactive and interesting.
The Louvre, the world’s most visited museum, known for crowds of visitors, can now be visited virtually within its VR exhibition. The Vatican offers a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel, and the American Yosemite National Park ‒ virtual tours of the picturesque places.