Virtual reality was once thought to be a major aspect of our future. Films depicted futuristic worlds where humans could plug themselves into complex machines or use virtual reality (VR) headset technology to transport them into an entirely new virtual world. The applications for these technologies are great and still developing, and each year the experiences become more immersive and real, but new developments have shown that the application of this technology may be even greater than originally thought. The new term extended reality (XR) is being used to describe technology that incorporates elements of the virtual world into our physical everyday world.
The XR market is currently made up of three major forms of technology, each with separate applications and uses. The first of these technologies, VR, was already discussed and can take the user into a fully realized 360-degree computer-simulated virtual reality environment. This experience is delivered most often through headsets but can be combined with handheld controllers and other devices to increase the overall immersion. Although this is the most well-known form of XR technology, VR only takes up 38% of the current XR marketplace.
The other 62% of the XR market is made up of technology that finds a way to mesh the real world with the virtual world. The first of these technologies is Augmented Reality (AR) which can overlay computer-generated graphics over the real world. This type of technology is used most often on mobile phones and tablet devices by using their built-in camera. The final type of XR technology is Mixed Reality (MR), which can merge the real world and the virtual world in real-time. This allows both environments to co-exist and interact in real-time.
Together these technologies are expected to help the XR market reach $209 billion by 2022, more than eight time the current size of the market. Given this massive potential growth, it’s clear that there are many applications for this technology beyond video games. Some of the most interesting applications currently being explored for XR technologies are for job training purposes for industries where the skills training can be dangerous, such as for pilots or soldiers.
Other everyday applications for XR technology are also being explored for the retail and real estate industries. XR technology would give consumers the ability to view the home of their dream from across the country at their own convenience instead of setting up a visit. In retail, customers could view how pieces of furniture will look in their homes before purchasing.
As XR technology continues to evolve and become more prevalent, the market will continue to grow. We recommend original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) prepare for the potential design and manufacturing growth of this industry by contacting the knowledgeable professionals at EPTAC to make sure your staff receives the necessary IPC certifications and training to succeed in this new space.
In order to use current AR technology, the user needs access to a smartphone or tablet, and VR and MR both require specialty headsets. MR technology requires a significantly larger amount of processing power because of the real-time interaction that needs to occur. With the proper preparation, your business will be able to take full advantage of the upcoming growth expected within the XR market over the coming years.
For over 30 years, EPTAC has been a leading provider of solder training and IPC certification. We provide professionals with the tools and training they need to advance their careers and improve their businesses. With 15 locations across North America, our solutions and instructional staff provide easy access to knowledge that will enhance your business model and help you meet and exceed industry demands. For more information call 800.643.7822 or contact us.