What is XR?
Extended reality or XR is an emerging umbrella term given to all computer generated environments that either merge the physical and virtual worlds or create an entirely immersive experience for the user.
What is XR?
It’s the year 2030, and you have a busy day scheduled. You need to check on your production lines in China, visit Mars during your lunch break and attend a business meeting in Brazil – all from the comfort of your office in Auckland.
While it might sound far-fetched now, this future might be within our grasp thanks to advancements in extended reality.
- Virtual Reality – Applications use headsets to fully immerse users in a computer-simulated reality. These headsets generate realistic sounds and images, engaging all five senses to create an interactive virtual world.
- Augmented Reality – Is not a new reality, but a layer on top of your existing one. Rather then immersing users, AR relies on a device – usually the camera in your phone or tablet – to overlay digital graphics and sounds into a real-world environment. Pokemon Go and Snapchat filters are commonplace examples of this kind of technology
- Mixed Reality – Lies somewhere between VR & AR. It blends real and virtual worlds to create complex environments where physical and digital elements can interact in real time. Like AR, it overlays synthetic content in a real-world environment. And, like VR, this content is interactive, and users can manipulate the digital objects in their physical space
Extended reality is changing the landscape in a number of industries. It’s expected to grow eightfold, reaching an estimated market size of more then $209 billion by 2022
- Entertainment – virtually experience live music & sporting events from comfort of VR headset
- Marketing – virtual realities have opened up new ways for brands to engage with consumers, offering immersive ways to interact with new products
- Training – extended reality opens new avenues for training and education. Medical students can get hands-on practice with virtual patients. Pilots can train in safety from a classroom setting
- Real Estate – ability to view properties virtually to buy or rent. Architects and interior designers can leverage XR to bring their designs to life
- Remote Work – XR removes distance barriers, allowing remote employees to seamlessly access data from anywhere in the world
Extended reality is not without it’s challenges. The spread of data presents a new layer of vulnerability from cyber attacks, while the high cost of implementation is a barrier for entry for many companies.
But even these challenges can’t slow the progress of XR, and the question remains: how will businesses define reality five years from now?
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