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AR and VR Will Lead the Way in a Post-Pandemic World The question shouldn't be whether to adopt advanced technologies, but how. Here are three ways.

By Saagar Govil Edited by Jessica Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Of the many lessons learned this year, one of the biggest may be the importance of social cohesion. Staying connected with one another and the outside world through technology has been a lifesaver for many people, both personally and professionally. For many businesses, meanwhile, the biggest struggle has been figuring out ways to maintain the in-person strength of that connection with customers and team members.

The most exciting way people have accomplished this is by using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) systems to create physical experiences from the comfort of customers' homes. Whole Foods, for example, went virtual this year, letting customers browse markets on the Web to get that in-store feel. Other organizations have experimented with ways to hold virtual reality meetings to improve collaboration and team camaraderie.

While the need for social distancing spurred on many of these innovative ways to stay together, this connecting tech was already ready and waiting for companies that were willing to take advantage of them. Advanced technologies such as AR and VR are no longer the sci-fi pipe dreams they once seemed to be. They're accessible to pretty much anyone with a new smartphone, both on the consumer and developer side.

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