Offshore QA Testing – Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Applications

August 17, 2016 6:04 pm | Updated 2 months ago.

Offshore QA and Testing

While the current market space for QA/Testing is predominantly focused on Mobile applications, Analytics, Internet of Things and other areas of digital transformation, it is D2E’ opinion that going forward the offshore outsourcing vendors should position themselves for QA/Testing of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications.

In 2016, we have seen the consumers getting access to a number of AR/VR hardware and also some exciting software that is providing an exciting experience to the customers. It is estimated that between now and 2022; the AR/VR market will grow from $ 1.5 Billion to over $35 Billion, averaging a CAGR of close to 60%. A lot of this growth will clearly come from content, because without content, even the most sophisticated headset is not of much value. Testing of these AR/VR contents is where the future growth will come from and the offshore vendors need to position themselves to participate in this growth.

VR applications are fully immersive, putting users in the virtual world while the AR applications are partly immersive putting virtual things in users’ real world, augmenting them. For VR applications, the hardware is more like a console, restricting the movements of the user, while with AR, the user can wear the device anywhere, doing anything.

AR, therefore, has the potential to play a role similar to mobile across all sectors. The applications that may come up in AR space are

  1. commerce,
  2. enterprise apps,
  3. consumer apps,
  4. advertising,
  5. games,
  6. theme park rides,
  7. web browsing,
  8. voice calls,
  9. film/TV streaming (both 2d and 3D) etc. The offshore vendors need to capture the market for QA/Testing of contents and applications being developed in these areas over the next 3 to 5 years.

Design, development, sensors, imaging, processing and a lot of related things go into the development of AR/VR applications. Each of these disciplines, require specific expertise and therefore contributes to cost escalations. This is where the offshore outsourcing can play a critical role in QA and Testing of AR and VR applications, by providing right expertise at a lower cost.

If the number of AR (and also VR) applications is going to grow exponentially and the Indian Offshore outsourcing vendors want to position themselves to be key players in this space for QA/Testing and enhancements to these applications, then what skills do they need to acquire and institutionalize, in addition to the standard QA and Testing processes that they have already put in place? QA and Testing of AR/VR applications will not only require an understanding of the low-level requirements of the applications but also the management of human and computer interface requirements.  The expertises required, therefore, are:

  1. Gaming expertise (including expertise on cross-platform gaming platforms like Unity, Unreal etc.; and cloud gaming services like OnLive and Gaikai )
  2. Art designs expertise
  3. Gyro and accelerometer sensor expertise
  4. Speech recognition and
  5. Image processing

In D2E’ opinion, at least to start with, the Indian offshore outsourcing vendors can use their existing Test Automation processes for the internal application components and manual tests for the user interface. In an AR/VR application, the user can interact with every object in the virtual environment and this level of interactivity makes the development of automated test suites difficult for testing the various combinations of possible user interactions. In addition, collaborative VR applications present a different set of challenges altogether. A lot of work is currently in progress in automating QA/Testing processes for these AR/VR and Collaborative applications, which the Indian offshore vendors need to follow and adopt if they wish to be serious players in this fast-growing space.

D2E already has a number of companies in its partner network that specialize in AR/VR applications. D2E is also in the process of on-boarding several companies that are focused purely on QA and Testing and would like to be key players in the AR/VR application space going forward.