XR, or extended reality, is an umbrella term for VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality). It combines several acronyms to make the tech easier to understand.
XR headset technology is rapidly advancing and is changing the way businesses, universities and consumers interact with their devices. With new hardware solutions, it will become more comfortable and affordable for everyone to use.
What is XR?
XR is the umbrella term for Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR). They extend our experience of the real world by either merging virtual elements with the real world or creating an immersive, fully interactive environment.
Across all industries, XR is rapidly expanding into new sectors and applications. For example, automotive manufacturers are using VR to create 3D concepts of vehicle lines and then collaborate on them with their design teams.
The manufacturing sector is also leveraging XR for training. As a result of aging populations, manufacturing companies are looking for ways to train employees to maintain a healthy workforce.
XR provides realistic hard and soft skills practice by immersing learners in a simulated environment. It also helps organizations scale and reuse content across their organization. However, XR is still a relatively new technology in the training space. Its higher upfront development and equipment costs may limit its adoption in some industries.
What are the Benefits of XR?
XR, or extended reality, is a catchall term for augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). These technologies are used for entertainment, education and even healthcare.
Educators can use AR, VR and MR to create immersive learning environments that make classroom learning accessible to students with disabilities. XR also allows students with neurodivergence practice in a distraction-free environment to develop cognitive skills that can be difficult to achieve in the real world.
Companies can use XR to digitize product guides and user manuals, which reduces the amount of paper and plastic waste. They can also use XR to show customers how their products will look in the real world before they purchase them.
XR is a great way to improve employee training. Employees can learn in a risk-free environment and master their tasks more quickly, reducing performance time and minimizing the need for retraining.
What are the Challenges of XR?
Extended reality (XR) is a new wave of hardware, applications and immersive experiences that are set to revolutionize the way people communicate and interact. Its impact will be felt throughout a wide range of industries, including education and training, healthcare, manufacturing and retail.
Despite its many benefits, XR technology faces numerous challenges that need to be addressed. These include ensuring a user’s safety, preventing misuse and improving overall quality of experience.
Additionally, XR wearables require expensive hardware that may be hard to implement in low-cost environments. These devices also tend to be bulky and uncomfortable, which can make them unattractive or off-putting.
In order to drive widespread adoption of XR technologies, hardware innovations need to be developed that improve comfort and ease of use. Moreover, software must be built to meet industry standards and security requirements. This is especially important in the healthcare industry, where strict privacy and security regulations are in place.
What is the Future of XR?
XR technology is set to revolutionise a range of industries. It is already being used by a wide range of businesses, including furniture retailer IKEA, to improve customer experiences.
The use of XR technology in the healthcare sector has also grown significantly. It offers a more creative way to engage with patients, and can aid in training future doctors.
Another field with significant benefits from XR is entertainment. XR has the potential to be used to enhance virtual sets for movies and TV shows, making them more versatile and cheaper.
XR is being used in education as well, with apps like Google Expeditions enabling students to immerse themselves in foreign cultures and languages. It is also being used in training, particularly when working from home.