CES day one. It’s been a crazy day of taking in the latest and greatest gadgets and technology in Las Vegas. As usual, I’ve geeked out as much as possible. I was expecting that VR would be big this year and I wasn’t disappointed. My favorite takeaway of the day is the remarkable leap virtual and augmented reality is taking—from the lab to the mainstream. CES organizers say AR/VR exhibitors are up 48 percent from last year.

With AR/VR, the user experience can be entertaining, informative, instructional and affordable. Most of the industry is looking at games as enabling apps (i.e. Samsung, Google, HTC, Sony, Qualcomm, and Intel). It is going to happen, no question. Even though current products can be considered primitive.

Today, the AR/VR application that is available and making money is in the industrial sector. And there are some companies demonstrating it. Itron is one of them. Itron Idea Labs is demonstrating augmented reality applications, along with Itron Riva platform and energy and water applications, at the Venetian in suite 30-320 as part of CES this year.

We’re showing AR for training water pipe field techs. The idea is that field techs can use encoded instructions to help them troubleshoot issues on site. Water trainees often forget which way to turn a valve, or which valve is the one to be turned. An AR prompt can help avoid any errors in the field.

Oh and check me out in my VR glasses. Pretty cool, huh?