In today’s world of technological advancements, you have heard of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and even Mixed Reality. But to many of you, the term Extended Reality may seem to be new. This is because this platform is still in the phase of development and is yet to be experienced globally. But in this post, we will mainly discuss extended reality and will emphasize on its growth prospects and trends.
What is XR?
So before we go deep into the details, let us first understand what is extended reality. By XR or extended reality, we mean a superset of technologies where both real and virtual objects can be blended in varying degrees to provide distinctive and immersive user experiences. Thus you can say that XR not only helps in unifying the technologies but also creates opportunities where both individuals and businesses can communicate interactively.
As businesses are getting competitive day by day, you need to stay ahead by incorporating the trending techniques to attract and engage your customers. XR is one such prospect which if applied appropriately, can enable you to stand out in the market. To imbibe this emerging technology, you have to get in touch with the extended reality companies so that your business can be distinguished from the competitors.
Impact of XR in Today’s Business
XR implications have already influenced a couple of industries, and industry reports also suggested that the market size of this platform will fetch a revenue of 209 billion dollars in 2022 compared to 27 billion dollars in 2018. Considering the forecast period between 2020 to 2025, XR is assumed to reflect a decent CAGR of more than 65 percent. XR, if integrated suitably across the business ecosystem concerning different industries, a clear cut ROI can be defined along with improving operational inefficiencies. Also, aspects like sales cycle, organizational inertia, and enterprise risk aversion can be considered so that the desired business aims and objectives can be met with efficiency and convenience.
XR wearables are capable of converging AR glasses, mobile VR headsets, and smartphones so that smart TV and mobile screens can be replaced. Mobile XR, in fact, is considered to be one of the most disruptive platforms for computing.
Companies are trying to revolutionize the transformative XR experiences so that the human experience can be made highly interactive using the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence.
Business enterprises can experience the immersive technology of XR by connecting AI applications with the Internet of Things and then delivering it through cloud technology before finally integrating into the specific systems.
Scope of XR
With the advent of XR, the experience of the virtual and the physical environments have been transformed from mere observation to immersion. By combining the benefits of AR, VR, and MR, Extended Reality simplifies the business issues by devising innovative solutions that can enhance the productivity and efficiency of the business process. In this way, the critical scenarios can be effectively tackled, and tailor-made responses can be delivered to meet the desired aims and objectives.
For solutions, Extended Reality covers both customer and business engagement. By applications, it can provide advantages of Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality so that the users can showcase futuristic options as well as the current activities to ensure business growth and stability. Some of the major industries which can be benefitted by implementing XR are-Entertainment and Media, Retail, Education, Healthcare, Manufacturing, etc. North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe are the most lucrative domains where XR implementation can be made more pronounced.
Key Market Trends of XR
Immersive Interaction: The illusion created by the XR devices enable the users to feel as if they are standing in an entirely new and digitized environment. XR, with its ability to create virtual tours for destinations and stores, virtually inspecting the exterior and interior designs of a car, rehabilitating brain injury can be applied increasingly in a plethora of fields ranging from healthcare to manufacturing and gaming to education.
Customer and Business Engagement: Businesses nowadays always look for opportunities to attract and engage their customers by making them satisfied and loyal in the long term. For this, they look for digitizing their process by incorporating diverse technologies. XR is one of the emerging technologies which has taken the global business ecosystem by storm. XR helps in accessing vital information to analyze the situational context, thereby creating unlimited prospects in the process. Unlimited Virtual opportunities can be generated for business enterprises to service and product delivery and demonstrations. Under extended reality technology, human errors can be significantly reduced, time efficiencies can be drastically improved along with effective customer interaction.
Collaborative Experience: Because of the immersive capabilities, organizations using XR technology can work with expert resources across the globe. To bypass the distance challenges, XR applications can help companies in dealing with futuristic solutions for gaining a competitive advantage.
Impact of XR on Corporate Training
Corporate training is an integral part of each organization all over the world. Right from employee retention to targeting customers, from product and service improvisation to new launches, corporate training is necessary for all vital tasks. Technologies play an important role in making this training easy and efficient, considering the aspects of business growth and controlled expenses. XR is the latest, and the most trending nowadays is being thought of as an innovative step in making corporate training all the more effective.
Industries belonging to the construction, retail, automotive, energy, manufacturing sectors are quick adopters of this technique while the others are soon to follow. For example, XR is being extensively used to train firefighters and airplane traffic controllers. This technology is also being used by healthcare professionals like surgeons to deal with critical cases.
XR facilitated training is badly required for industries that deal with complex or high risk oriented products, machinery, or processes. XR based training is most suitable for people who need to have first-hand learning via experience.
Benefits of Extended Reality for Corporate Training
Listed below are some of the benefits of XR for corporate training compared to the online or traditional methods.
Increased Retention and Learning Effectiveness: XR based training tools due to their immersive impact can be used to provide and engage the trainees to gain a first-hand experience so that their skills or competencies can be enhanced by up to 75 percent concerning other techniques. As interactive learning can lead to better retention, the learners can have fun while undergoing their training sessions to take up more challenging roles and responsibilities.
Reduced Costs for Training: Corporate training costs can be reduced significantly by implementing XR based training modules. Here the trainers or even the trainees do not have to travel to distant areas to receive their training. XR technology is capable of including even remote location offices so that training for all concerned can be imparted at one go. Using XR from home also one can avail of the desired training. Huge costs can be curtailed for businesses that need to train people using expensive equipment or tools. XR can reduce the requirement of physical materials along with the risks involved with that equipment. Thus both costs and risks of physical injuries can be minimized for the enterprises aspiring to incorporate XR based training facilities.
Resolving Distance Problems: Remote collaboration is possible through XR, which enables companies to create guided tours so that both existing and prospective customers can experience their dream services or products from anywhere in the world. Through XR based training, companies can acquire both expertise and skills across the globe to enhance their brand value. Thus with XR, companies can accomplish their desired tasks irrespective of the distance.
Learn from Mistakes: Committing mistakes in real-time can result in a severe loss for any business. So learning from such mistakes can take a hell lot of time, and chances of rectifying such errors are also less in the actual scenario. But with XR learning from the mistakes is much easier as no real-time errors are conducted. You can enhance the goodwill of your company once you know what strategies are to be devised to make your business visible for the targeted audience.
Analytics and Tracking: After the training gets over, it is very important to evaluate and track the growth record. With XR, you can capture varied data and information about the responses and behavior of the learners so that reports on progress can be produced to measure the actual performance against the benchmark set. Also, timely feedback to the management can be provided to assess the impact of the training imparted. This added value towards the business process along with the effective utilization of the core competencies of the employees.
Competitive Landscape of XR
As XR is still in its development phase, its market is moderately competitive, and few players in the world are involved in this realm. With its unlimited prospects, companies that have already applied it in their processes are expanding their presence across the emerging markets.
Using this immersive technology across interactive digital platforms, enterprises can effectively streamline their business activities. Apart from this, they can also assess the tastes and preferences of their customers so that personalized solutions/services/products can be delivered to develop a sense of loyalty towards the brands.
North America is currently considered to be one of the prominent markets for XR. For all types of innovations, this market is regarded as a pioneer compared to the other regions. All educational institutes which fall under the control of the United States Department of Education are utilizing the virtual platform to facilitate students suffering from disabilities of learning and autism. The Office of Special Education and Programs in the year 2018 had announced an investment of 2.5 million dollars towards a new initiative where XR technology will be applied to nurture the social skills among students who are having disabilities.
To the defense sector, the US military is focusing on XR to impart interactive training. Making XR a primary focus for military innovation, the United States has planned to invest 11 billion dollars by 2022 into mixed, augmented, and virtual reality platforms.
Role of Extended Reality in the Future
The immersive XR technology, when connected with the IoT-a system of smart devices connected using the internet, can greatly lower the barriers between the physical and the digital environment. Combining the IoT designs with XR will enable the elements of the physical world to communicate with those of the digital ambiance. The electronic systems and components can largely influence the powerful and immersive cognitive and sensory experience.
Appropriate use of XR will facilitate engineers to work with human and machine insights, along with taking advantage of its human sensory model.
Helping in the Design Process: Extended Reality plays an integral part in creating designs that are time-consuming, expensive, dangerous, or even difficult to reproduce in real situations. In the zone of electronic engineering, the engineers can specify design boards and electronic components with the aid of the XR technique.
Provide Tremendous Growth in Human Collaboration: In this aspect, XR contributes to enabling a large network of people to learn and work together cooperatively. For the design engineers, XR can be a boon so that they can work in cooperation with both machine and human teams to bring in innovative and impeccable designs.
Diverse Applications of XR
Inventory and Warehousing Management: With XR, you can avail of new opportunities to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency in managing the inventories and warehouse. For example, using XR, the warehouse workers can pick and locate inventories with utmost accuracy, efficiency, and speed, along with sending instructions to the workers with the help of smart glasses and tablets. Also, the distributors can optimize the standard tasks by implementing XR capabilities into warehouse operations.
Medical and Healthcare: Surgeons can also use this immersive technology to obtain a better visual impression of the human body so that they can have a clear understanding of what they will be operating on. For doctors, this technology will facilitate them to identify the symptoms better, which can help them to diagnose more accurately.
Manufacturing and Industrial: Appropriate use of XR help the manufacturing companies to minimize downtimes and delays, speed the production rates, optimizing production schedules, etc. This will help in managing operations with intense safety and accuracy so that relevant information can be obtained before any major accidents take place. Moreover, it can also prevent situations from going beyond control. This can also bring in flexibility in the business process, and engineers can take advantage of this to make adjustments, control the automation process, and provide directions to co-workers.
Education: This is another vital segment where XR presence can be mainly created. Traditional or conventional methods of education can make learning boring for students. Using normal teaching methods, the teachers try to captivate the students within the four boundaries of the classrooms. With time passing by, this thought process is gradually changing. Now learning has become more interactive owing to visually impressive content. Also, the use of technologies like XR students can decide their own learning pace, time, and place so that studies do not appear as something very monotonous or uninteresting. Moreover, the use of XR by educational institutions also helps students to retain their knowledge better as they can conduct experimental learning, which reflects immediate results.
Marketing and Advertising: In today’s era of competitive business, companies look for innovative ways to strengthen their presence. Appropriate advertising and marketing techniques are necessary to serve the existing and prospective customers across the globe. But if we look at the traditional methods, we have seen that they consume huge time and money to reach the targeted audience. In today’s time, companies do not have much time to wait. So they largely depend on interactive technologies like Extended Reality. Using it, the internal processes can be improved, and the customers can be served with ease and efficiency irrespective of time and place.
Leisure and Entertainment: This is no less important as games are considered to be an important source of entertainment for people for ages. Now here also, the use of XR can enhance the look and feel of the games. Both avid and casual gamers can experience their dream games using XR as a diverse genre of games that can be deployed on this platform.
Although there are limited numbers of extended reality companies in the world now, still it can give a tough competition to the other established technologies like Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality. This post can give you a comprehensive idea about what is XR and what are its prospects that can influence the global business.
Conclusion: The term extended reality has been derived from some of the worldwide popular technologies like augmented, virtual, and mixed reality. The major advantage of this technique, which sets it apart from others, is the ability to offer interactive collaboration initiatives form enterprises big or small. Right from employee training to education, manufacturing to defense XR is well suited to offer tailor-made solutions for diverse businesses so that they can gain a competitive advantage.
Author Bio: Mr. Arup Roy is the founder of Red Apple Technologies, a company delivering solutions involving extended reality technology. Having experience of working with top brands like Accenture, he knows how interactive technologies can be a boon for both developed and developing companies. Being a tech enthusiast, he reads and writes blogs and articles to educate business houses on the latest technologies.