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With different areas of modernity showing incredible promise, one of these is slowly improving and being implemented across an impressive range of industries. Extended Reality, or XR, encompasses a blend of technologies built to immerse users within their blended digital and physical worlds. These technologies include Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality. While Extended Reality is relatively new, there are plenty of uses for it that range from simple entertainment to complex tasks like professional training within healthcare and visualization and manipulation of 3D models for architects. As a result, XR can address a multitude of issues and be beneficial to not just the industries mentioned above but the real estate and gaming industries could also see improvements.
A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine showed that using 3D systems like XRs leads to improved efficacy in learning skills and retaining information. This, alongside the fact that medical school overall has become far more demanding, the future generation of healthcare professionals can benefit significantly from a safer, hands-on approach. A concept like this is bolstered by this sector's overall acceptance of new technologies. In fact, within education as a whole, the same benefits can be applied holistically to schools of any kind. Even in the manufacturing and design sector, a lot of time and money can be saved through XR to streamline development. All of this to say, things are good, but they can be better!
XR, as a whole, exists to address many interesting and innovative use cases. Aside from the to-be-expected immersive capabilities, Extended Reality can be an invaluable training and simulation tool. XR allows for users to learn and develop skills in a controllable and secure environment. As a result, the risks associated with the real-world equivalent of these training scenarios. On top of this, implementing XR for communication allows people to collaborate on projects no matter where they're physically located. Industries such as healthcare and manufacturing could see these features and capabilities in play sooner than other industries; however, the future potential of XR technology can be seen within entertainment and may even create entirely new industries altogether.
The technologies that make XR possible are a blend of simple and complex modern equipment. Engineers leverage sensors and tracking technology like cameras, depth, and motion sensors to capture real-world user movements and their environments. They can also measure the distance between objects within that environment and match all these attributes in the digital space. Furthermore, computer processing components like GPUs and CPUs handle the running and maintenance of XR apps. Plus, with AI and Machine Learning enabling gesture tracking, Natural Language Processing, and object recognition, interactions are more intuitive on a fundamental level thanks to them working in unison with input technologies like hand controllers.
The content or applications needed to showcase these benefits are often made in game engines like Unity and Unreal, as they're the appropriate tools to develop and handle complex applications and the subsequent physics, graphic rendering, and interactions. Moreover, an AR Cloud can also be leveraged to help AR and MR-based applications stay anchored accurately to the real-world environment.
While we've seen the steady incorporation of the building blocks of XR, that being virtual or augmented reality for video games like Pokémon Go! and various other titles like Superhot VR and Beatsaber, we haven't seen XR make its way to the mainstream. However, according to a recent economic impact assessment from a set of PwC economists, Extended Reality "could deliver an estimated $1.5 trillion boost to the global economy by 2030." This impressive influx of money is certainly possible to see, considering that various industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and education tend to be open to technological changes and advancements.
In general, the outcomes of using Extended Reality depend on why and where it's being implemented. Still, it can lead to improved efficiency across the board in different sectors, allow for the creation of new, impactful forms of entertainment, enhance training and education, and even improve patient care and outcomes alongside saving costs in the long run.
On a more specific level, when looking at healthcare, education, and manufacturing as our areas of focus, XR implementation represents an innovative tool for significant impact. XR can be leveraged to develop realistic medical simulations for healthcare training. Surgeons can practice otherwise complex procedures within a safe, virtual environment before performing them on their patients. Additionally, XR apps can aid patients' cognitive and physical rehabilitation through effective therapies and engaging exercises - achieving a new level of personalized treatments. Telemedicine can also be enhanced through XR as it allows remote doctor and patient consultations to go smoother, with doctors being able to give accurate diagnoses and guidance when not physically present.
Within education, XR is capable of transforming the learning experience to be more interactive and engaging through the use of VR. Students could conduct virtual science experiments, explore historical sites, and interact with 3D models of complex topics. Furthermore, with the needs of students being incredibly diverse, XR can be leveraged to cater to all students regardless of disabilities. On top of this, professional development and vocational training for sectors like aviation and engineering can be improved with XR software providing real-world simulations.
Extended Reality can streamline the product design and development process within the manufacturing sector. This is possible by the technology allowing designers and engineers to not only visualize but test prototypes within a virtual environment rather than in a physical one - saving costs as a result. In addition to this, XR can deliver augmented reality instructions for technicians to help with the diagnosis and repair of complex machinery.
While the full realization of XR technology isn't exactly at our fingertips, what's clear is that enterprise adoption of this solution and its potential shows great promise. Many areas of our modern lives are good, but they can be better. Whether that's training of any kind, architectural development, or content creation and engagement, the pieces that make up Extended Reality are already in use to varying degrees. With Extended Reality representing a significant leap forward in innovation, this complex tech requires the attentive hand of a talented software developer and the imagination of an industrial leader to see it to fruition.
Chetu does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of a specific software, company or individual does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.
Founded in 2000, Chetu is a global provider of offshore software development services, solutions and support services. Chetu's specialized technology and industry experts serve startups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies with an unparalleled software delivery model suited to the needs of the client. Chetu's one-stop-shop model spans the entire software technology spectrum. Headquartered in Plantation, Florida, Chetu has fourteen locations throughout the U.S. and abroad.