Extended Reality Trends: What’s Ahead in the Future?

Adamo Software
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In such a fast-moving landscape, it’s hard to predict what future of Extended Reality may hold. But some key trends are starting to emerge in the industry.

Multiple businesses in a variety of industries are providing enhanced customer experiences that increase sales and customer retention. All of this is a result of their investments in software development companies and technology that optimize service delivery. Extended reality is currently one of the most utilized innovations in business.

In this article, we will learn how extended reality is presently being applied, as well as what to expect from this innovative new technology in the future.

I. What Is Extended Reality?

Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term that covers all of the digitally immersive technologies (including virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, as well as technologies not yet developed). You can think of XR as a literal extension of the physical world into the digital. Using a processor, display, and sensors, the user can interact with digital recreations in a physical or virtual setting, or a mix of the two.

Given how rapidly XR is making its way into the world, it’s important to understand the extent to which we use and are influenced by XR. So, here are the XR statistics, facts, and trends you need to know.

II. The Growth Trends of XR

Recent data from Grand View Research indicates that the XR market will reach US$ 463.7 billion by 2026, expanding at a CAGR of 45.0% from 2021. In a sense, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this development, as businesses increasingly seek digital and immersive solutions to maintain connectivity and deliver services. The expansion of the XR market is being fueled by a number of factors, including the increasing availability of affordable hardware, the rising prevalence of mobile gaming, and the rising demand for immersive experiences across a variety of industries.

XR is a swiftly developing technology with the potential to revolutionize how we interact with the world around us. XR incorporates virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), and it is used in a variety of applications, including gaming, entertainment, training, and education.

III. Real-World Applications of XR Technology

1. Entertainment

The gaming industry has benefited greatly from XR technology for quite some time. Meta Quest 2, formerly known as Oculus Quest, is an example of virtual reality in gaming that is currently in use. This VR headset allows players to explore fantasy worlds and complete missions without ever leaving the comfort of their homes.

The user experiences of games have also begun to integrate augmented reality capabilities. One application of augmented reality is the popular mobile game Pokemon Go!, in which users capture digital Pokemon using the camera on their mobile devices. Instead of appearing in his own virtual universe, Pikachu appears on your couch, in your yard, or in a nearby real-world location.

Beyond gaming, XR is pervasive in the media and entertainment industries, including film production, broadcast news, and social media. On the social media front, Snapchat and other photo and video sharing applications have integrated augmented reality filters. Users can add virtual elements to real-world images and videos with a single swipe, including exotic backgrounds and face morphing that makes you appear like a cat, a dog, or a younger version of yourself.

2. Education and Training

Educational experiences are no longer restricted to the confines of a school facility. Through the use of extended reality, students can become more immersed than ever before in their respective subjects. According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, “immersive technologies allow students to passively participate in remote learning experiences and engage in real-time with instructors and peers using shared virtual elements.”

In addition, XR technology has the potential to provide students with cognitive disabilities with educational alternatives that go beyond physical tools such as textbooks and flash cards.

Extended reality is a significant emerging instrument in K–12 education, but its educational capabilities extend beyond the traditional classroom. Numerous organizations are investigating the viability of virtual reality training environments for new employees. Moreover, as working from home becomes more prevalent, there is a growing demand for virtual workplaces that keep remote employees engaged and included.

3. Healthcare

Extended reality technologies offer various opportunities and implications for the future of medicine and medical education in the healthcare industry. Since beginning its partnership with Microsoft in 2015, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland has been at the forefront of developing educational applications for the HoloLens using the HoloAnatomy app. The school’s students use this mixed reality application to “study human anatomy using a life-sized, standing 3D image, which they can walk around and manipulate, dissect with hand gestures, and examine from obstructed points of view.”

In addition, hospital systems such as Stanford Medicine are using extended reality software to combine images from MRIs, CT scans, and angiograms to “create a three-dimensional model that physicians and patients can see and manipulate – just like a virtual reality game.”

4. Retail

Imagine being able to test drive a car, try on clothes, or set up and explore your ideal home from the comfort of your own home. Not only are these experiences possible with extended reality, but in some cases, they already exist.

IKEA is presently utilizing XR technology to enhance their customers’ shopping experiences. Customers can examine more than 50 furnished or unfurnished spaces in the industry leader’s virtual showroom.

IKEA also employs mixed reality capabilities that allows customers to visualize how products will appear in their particular real-world setting. In this scenario, shoppers first scan their own living spaces and then add 3D products to create the ideal configuration. When the consumer is satisfied with their design, they simply add the items to their cart and check out without ever having to visit the store.

5. Manufacturing

In the manufacturing industry, XR technology is already prevalent, with many companies utilizing VR capabilities to reduce costs and enhance processes. Boeing and Airbus are currently using digital simulations to design and evaluate new aircraft features and models.

By eliminating the need for full-scale prototypes, virtual reality enables businesses to investigate early concepts in a safer and more cost-effective manner.

IV. XR Trends Analysis in the Future

The XR market is anticipated to grow at a compound annual rate of 57.91% between 2022 and 2027.

In the gaming, education, and healthcare industries, virtual reality has already carved out a niche. Nonetheless, as new technologies continue to emerge, augmented reality and mixed reality applications will likely become more prevalent.

1. The Metaverse

The Metaverse is a shared virtual space, which Vice characterizes as “a parallel, all-encompassing digital universe.” The Metaverse, also known as Web 3.0, is composed of three essential elements: 3D environments, avatars, and gamification.

In the Metaverse, users can interact with places, objects, and other people in a completely virtual world, where they can “attend” live concerts, earn virtual currency, and perform many of the same daily tasks as in the real world. By 2024, it is anticipated that the market valuation of the XR universe will reach $800 billion.

2. Advances in Hardware

Hardware solutions are one method to address some of the challenges of XR technology integration. As technology advances, hardware will become more compact and potent, a beneficial adaptation for XR wearables.

According to Forbes, hardware advancements will enable smaller and lighter headgear, enhanced digital displays and illumination, as well as key features such as eye-tracking, motion detection, and haptic feedback.

3. Remote Collaboration

In the past few years, as working from home has become more prevalent, the need for productivity and engagement solutions has become more apparent. By allowing remote workers to communicate virtually with coworkers in a manner that makes them feel as if they are in the same office space, XR can improve remote collaboration and help solve problems related to worker disengagement.

Applications of XR in remote work environments have the potential to generate a substantial return on investment and increase employee satisfaction over time, despite requiring an initial investment from businesses.

4. 5G Connectivity

Effective operation of XR technologies requires the rapid transmission of large data volumes. This enables wireless and cloud-based VR and AR.

According to XR Today, 5G is “particularly crucial to the future of XR, ensuring that users can access wireless content wherever they are for the ultimate immersive experience.” In addition, 5G will help expand access to XR technologies by eliminating the need for costly processors and allowing businesses to integrate XR capabilities without making costly infrastructure investments.

5. Virtual Production

In the entertainment and media industries, virtual production is gathering momentum due to its seamless integration of real-world and virtual environments. It combines physical and digital elements with XR technologies and software development services to create cost-effective and engaging virtual environments.

Virtual backgrounds and augmented reality (AR) elements superimposed on physical sets can transport broadcasters or actors to any location on earth. Virtual production enables performers to see the computer-generated world on the screen in real time, as opposed to green screens where the environment must be imagined and disguised.

In addition, XR technology enables the content on the screen to be rendered dynamically from the camera’s point of view, so that both the content and the camera move simultaneously. Image-based monitoring of live sporting events is a common instance of virtual production.

V. Final Thoughts

The convergence of XR, AI, and IoT, according to Forbes, will pave the way for genuinely immersive, interactive, and intelligent environments in the future. These integrated technologies will individualize user experiences to an unprecedented degree, thereby transforming the ways in which we work, learn, and enjoy.