Everything you need to know about Extended Reality (XR)

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Everything you need to know about Extended Reality (XR)

Fri, 3 Nov 2023

Extended Reality (XR) brings together the real and virtual worlds in an exciting and dynamic way. It’s not a single technology but is made up of a collection of different technologies, including Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality. It is already beginning to change the way that we live, work and play and offers a wealth of opportunities across every sector, from gaming to virtual production and product design.

What makes up Extended Reality (XR) technology?

XR technology is not new – it has been in the public consciousness since around 2010 and has continued to evolve and expand since then. It is made up of a range of technologies including:

  • Augmented Reality. This allows virtual objects and images to be projected into reality. So, rather than using immersive computer generated environments, a sense of illusion in digital devices is being created via Augmented Reality. Pokemon-GO is a very popular example of Augmented Reality where users were able to move around in the real world and interact with the virtual world at the same time via their devices.
  • Virtual Reality. This type of technology is different in that when you are using it you are completely immersed in the virtual world and there is no element of reality that remains. Images are computer generated and any items are artificial but made to be hyper realistic. Entering Virtual Reality requires special equipment and gadgets like headsets offer an increasingly convincing view of an illusion that feels incredibly real.
  • Mixed Reality. This technology brings together both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. It is the next evolution of being able to interact with both the real and virtual worlds at the same time. This is a developing area where a lot of investment is currently being made in creating increasingly more effective Mixed Reality technology. It requires gadgets in order for users to be able to interact with digital environments, such as a headset. A Mixed Reality headset will allow the user to do anything in the digital environment while the real world stays the same.

Where is Extended Reality (XR) technology being used?

  • In the entertainment sector. There are multiple ways for this kind of technology to be used to enhance experiences.
  • For sales and marketing. XR provides the opportunity for convincing hands-on experiences, whether that’s for property viewing or products.
  • Education and training. This technology could, in theory, allow students to decide to study anywhere in the world without actually having to physically go there.
  • Remote working. Staff members who are employed on a remote working basis can have a more connected and engaged experience thanks to XR technology. That might be due to how they experience their office virtually, attend meetings or train others.
  • Manufacturing, healthcare and architecture. XR technology is already being employed here to improve workflows and create personalised, interactive experiences.

XR technology has a lot of promise and is going to have an impact across all sectors, from property through to entertainment.

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