Extended Reality (XR) is an all-encompassing term for any kind of method that merges the physical world with the virtual. Essentially, by simulating the real world to immerse the user, reality is extended. The most mainstream of XR methods are Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality. However, the term XR also includes any immersive technology that hasn’t yet been invented that further blends the real and virtual worlds.
Many industries are already finding much use out of experiences XR can provide. For example, retail can help customers see products in their living room without having to buy them first and place them physically. People can use Augmented Reality to try on clothes or make-up virtually without the need to visit the brick and mortar store. Utilizing Web-based Mixed Reality, or WebXR, these experiences can be deployed on the web without the need for a purpose built app to be downloaded to the consumers phone.
Marketing also uses XR to help promote brands and their products. By adding virtual elements to product packaging, brands can make their packaging more memorable and stand out among their competition. In a busy real estate market, realtors can show a house virtually. This can give buyers the confidence to place a bid even without seeing the house in person.
In addition, XR can provide a new in-depth method of training workers, soldiers, health professionals and astronauts. By adding accessible virtual information alongside the real equipment, this education tool makes learning complex training easier. XR technology is one of the components of the Metaverse, but what is the Metaverse?
As technology improves and becomes cheaper to implement, XR will only continue to grow, already a robust market today.