Extended Reality – Is wide scale adoption coming?

XR or extended reality is anything that sits within the continuum between real world and virtual reality. Think Snapchat filter at one end, through to tethered immersive gaming at the other.

A range of factors have contributed to XR applications not making big waves in the mainstream, from a lack of mobile bandwidth to a scarcity of investment, a dearth of intuitive ideas through to a lack of understanding of the underlying technologies. But could that all change in 2020?

What industries will adopt XR?

Outside of Pokemon Go and Snapchat filters many consumers will not have interacted with this type of technology. The reason for this may be that many of the genuinely transformative use-cases sit more in healthcare, education, heavy industry and remote assistance rather than in e-commerce and consumer apps.

From resetting the pressure in your boiler to identifying the correct replacement valve, the most helpful examples may be somewhat more mundane than you would expect.

What kind of XR experiences will we see in 2020?

From rapid-upskilling and immersive training, patient symptom tracking through to experiential learning, the possibilities are endless.

At Waracle, we would expect to see examples being used to create virtual workspaces for collaboration in lockdown, experiential learning to deal with video conferencing/webinar fatigue, alongside a range of customer support offerings which ease the operational strain currently being felt.

What devices will we use for XR experiences?

From Oculus Go to Hololens, Pico G2 to HTC Vive, the spectrum of devices is growing. However for the individual consumer these devices are pretty expensive, and at scale would be expensive for organisations.

In a post lockdown era, the idea of sharing communal headsets is much less appealing than it was just a matter of months ago, so here at Waracle we see the mobile device as intermediary as being where most of these experiences will exist. At least until we see a consumer product that has the design aesthetic, elegance and integration capability that say a pair of Apple Glasses may provide.

How can businesses start on their XR journey?

It starts with de-coupling hype from reality. Taking businesses through real world use cases that prove the technology’s efficacy and showcaseing where it could impact operational efficiency by removing complexity and providing a tangible return on investment.

As with any digital solution, it is about finding the user stories within your potential customer base and iteratively developing a solution whilst continuously learning and improving to deliver the kind of experiences that will make these emerging technologies commonplace.

What’s next for XR?

XR applications which are underpinned by machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Imagine this situation… you are worried about a particular ailment, you use a mobile application to scan/photograph the affected area, the app’s algorithm proceeds to check your symptoms against a massive database of similar symptoms to safely (and remotely) pass back a confidence score against a particular diagnosis and a potential course of care.

It isn’t that far away and will likely lead to medical and healthcare innovations that couldn’t have even been imagined a decade ago, becoming reality in the months to come.

Interested in learning more about XR?

Get in touch with us, we have first hand experience in financial services, healthcare, consumer product and more, so whatever vertical you’re in, Waracle can help.


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