Virtual reality and augmented reality are the best-known forms of extended reality. According to research by IDTechEx Research, the combined market for both VR and AR technology and its applications will be worth $30 billion over the next decade. Gaming applications will be an important component of that growth.

Extended reality is term used to refer to virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR); technologically-enhanced experiences that alter or immerse users into new digital realities. Extended reality (XR) is currently at the frontiers of technological transformation. They are billed as the next big technological revolution alongside other tech such as Artificial Intelligence, 5G connectivity among others.

OpenXR Cross Platform Play

Currently, the growth is mostly driven by gaming. Part of the growth is also coming from the injection of investments especially in augmented reality by OEMs like HTC, Sony and OPPO as well as chipset manufacturers such as Qualcomm. Additionally, software companies like Facebook have also added to the industry through hardware investments via their Oculus arm.

The industry is expanding with various kinds of XR products on the market that satisfy diverse use-case needs. It is therefore imperative that we make sense on how these disparate technologies are being used as well as the players in the industry that are creating them.

The report IDTechEx Research titled Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality 2020-2030 offers a deep insight into the XR market and has market research insights into virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. The research has been compiled from historical data derived from close to 100 companies as well as more than 170 distinct products as well as forecasts from 2020 to 2030.

Gaming

Gaming has been the most prominent for XR technologies, particularly virtual reality. Industry players such as Samsung, Sony, Oculus and HTC have developed wide-ranging immersive products for both the consumer and the enterprise market. Consumers can use these to immerse themselves into the virtual gaming experience. Beyond gaming, virtual reality has also been applied in areas such as training and remote assistance. The IDTechEX Research report carries analysis on these applications and maps out the leaders in the VR, AR and MR fields.

Big investments in Augmented Reality

Augmented reality startups and companies have been heavily funded over the past decade. Magic Leap alone has been funded to the tune of $2.6 billion over 8 rounds although its first products only rolled out the production lines in 2019. So far, the turnaround for AR investments appears to be much longer than that for virtual reality. But the investments are a signal that there is still a massive interest in augmented reality in spite of the disappointing performance so far.

There is a wide variety of products along with varied use-cases

The IDTechEX report shows that there is a big spectrum of technologies currently in use in the immersive fields. There have been great advancements in resolutions over the past decade that now enable users to have more immersive experiences. The experience is not perfect but motion sickness has reduced significantly. But with the constant innovations and improvements in hardware specifications, the future can only be a bright one.

Skills Gap and Knowledge Transfer Challenges

The report discusses addressing the skills gap in various industries as one of the key use-cases for augmented reality technologies. Skills gap is happening as older and more skilled workers are retiring from the workforce without adequately transferring their knowledge and skills to a new generation of workers. The IDTechEx report discusses how AR devices could enable older workers to capture or simulate their processes which can subsequently be transformed into workflows thereby increasing the efficiency of the new talent that is joining the workforce.

IDTechEx has a large wearables portfolio which currently includes research on various wearable technologies. Check out the website www.IDTechEx.com for more information.

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