What is Extended Reality?
Extended reality (XR) is the blend of real and virtual world, creating a completely immersive world. It is a broader term for all types of immersive technologies.
According to the recent market intelligence published by BIS Research, the extended reality market is expected to reach $333.16 billion by the end of 2025. The market is set to witness a growth of 50.9% during the forecast period, 2020-2025.
The market is set to grow tremendously and is witnessing several investments and funding. For instance, in March 2021, Orange invested in US-based venture capital fund focused on extended reality and tracking the upcoming technologies associated with 5G connectivity.
What are the different technology products available in the extended reality?
Considering that extended reality is an umbrella term there are several products that exist within this market. The different products available in the extended reality in terms of technology are virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality.
Virtual Reality (VR): It is the artificial environment created using computer simulations and experiences using specialized hardware. Virtual reality allows users to enter a virtual realm and that has no effect on the real world. This technology is comparatively a very old concept of virtual environment.
In reality, it is not possible for any viewer to make an impact on the real-world using VR technologies. That is the reason VR is suitable to applications such as entertainment and training. VR platforms are being developed for creating gaming experiences and developing training modules in various industries.
The VR technology has the potential to impact medical and healthcare industry. VR technology offers several ways of teaching different aspects of healthcare without using an actual body.
Augmented Reality (AR): It allows users to transfer digital information and virtual objects onto the real world. AR technologies enhance the real world across various senses, such as visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory. This allows users to impose virtual objects directly to the real world, without the need for completely immersing in the simulation.
The AR technologies are highly effective in handheld, and mobile applications as some of the applications do not even need any special hardware to visualize the experiences. Apps like Snapchat and Pokémon Go with a compatible smartphone enable users to directly experience AR.
Snapchat and Pokémon Go are one of the highly used AR applications in the market. Such applications are expected to have a significant impact on the extended reality market. Apart from the consumer segment, AR can also be used for enterprise applications. Microsoft HoloLens is one of the key AR hardware products that is offered in the enterprise segment.
Mixed Reality (MR): It allows users to merge both real and virtual realities together to form new experience. This technology allows users to induce virtual components directly to the real world. MR allows virtual components to make a change in actual reality.
The MR technology has three major components, namely computer processing, human input, and environmental input. Combining all three of these components results in MR experience.
Among the three products although the demand for all is steadily on the rise. However, the market is primarily driven by augmented reality technologies, as they are easiest to deploy. AR technologies do not require a dedicated a hardware as compared to VR and MR technologies.