The World of Extended Reality Technology in 2021

Mar 2




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You probably have heard of AR/VR/MR technologies in the past. They are collectively known as XR (extended reality). For most people, these terms are quite abstract and often perceived as science-fiction in Hollywood movies.


You probably have heard of AR/VR/MR technologies in the past. They are collectively known as XR (extended reality). For most people,The World of Extended Reality Technology in 2021 Articles these terms are quite abstract and often perceived as the science-fiction in Hollywood movies. But the infiltration of computer-generated objects already exists in our lives, we just don’t realise as a user.

You might have tried to catch Pokemon in recent times or using bitmoji with the Snapchat camera. That is actually AR (Augmented Reality). There are various other groundbreaking use cases of AR in several industries. Many tech companies and engineers around the globe are working to implement these technologies into business operations to bring efficiency.

What is the Extended Reality (XR)?

Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term for all the immersive technologies including Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR). All the technologies that extend reality by blending virtual worlds with the real or creating only virtual worlds are included in XR, including those technologies that are still to be developed. A recent surveyrevealed that more than 60% of respondents voted for XR being the mainstream in the upcoming five years. Following are the technologies included currently in the XR technologies:

AR – What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that provides a view of the real-world environment with superimposed computer-generated elements (graphics), which ultimately changes real-world perception. In other words, it is the technology that adds layers of digital information to the real environment.

Unlike Virtual Reality (VR), AR doesn’t create a whole artificial surroundings that replace the real world. AR modifies the existing real-world environment with elements like sounds, motions, and graphics.

The term Augmented Reality (AR) was coined back in 1990. The initial commercialisations of AR were in the television and military sector and the rise of smartphones and internet connectivity has introduced a second wave, introducing AR into the common man’s life.

The technology is massively improving the manufacturing sector where products are directly projected via 3D models and fused together in real-time. Also, there are many augmented reality apps that are helping individuals with their health and entertainment.

VR – What is Virtual Reality?

In almost opposition to AR, the virtual reality experience is a fully immersive simulated digital environment, which is experienced by the users through wearable gadgets i.e. VR headsets or head-mounted displays. These VR gadgets provide users with a 360-degree view into the completely artificial world that literally fools the brain into believing that it is the reality.

Many tech companies and VR developers have created artificial environments using VR technology, i.e. swimming underwater, walking on mars, battlefield, and many more. The gaming and entertainment industry are the early adopters of VR technology and many other industries including healthcare, military, education, engineering are pilot testing VR for several use cases.

MR – What is Mixed Reality?

Though this technology is still in its initial stage, Microsoft has tested it with their product HoloLens. It allows users to place a virtual digital object into the real environment (your room) and gives the users an ability to move, spin or interact with that digital object.

Also known as hybrid reality, the mixed reality is where the real and digital world objects co-exist and can interact with each other in real-time. MR technology requires very high processing power as compared to AR and VR. There are many tech companies that are exploring the possibilities where they can put MR to work.

Top 5 AR and VR trends in 2021

The year 2019 was a golden year for technological advancements, where we saw disrupting technologies such asAI & ML, AR & VR, and IoT flourishing. The XR (AR & VR) technologies have specifically shown their potential in the fields of gaming and entertainment. 

IDC forecasted that the worldwide spending on XR is expected to grow with 78.5% from 2019 to reach $18.8 billion by the end of this year. The industry experts believe that we’ll witness a whole new load of next-gen XR powered gadgets that will provide users with immersion and realism of a greater extent. However, the industrial usage of XR has outpaced gaming and entertainment.

Industrial Use of AR & VR technologies is outpacing the consumer-oriented implementations

The first interaction most people have with XR technologies is in gaming and entertainment. This may be the reality till now, but it won’t be in future as some research shows that the industry’s focus is shifting towards enterprise XR solution development.

The report by VR Intelligence states that 65% of AR development companies are working on building AR-powered industrial applications whereas only 37% are working on consumer applications and gadgets.

Although the recent popular implementation of XR in consumer applications such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Pokemon Go has made the headlines, this industrial trend of XR isn’t surprising as it’s potential to boost productivity and ensure safety was a lucrative proposition for the enterprises.

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