Top 8 Benefits Of Extended Reality Technology For Companies & Customers In 2023
Top 8 Benefits Of Extended Reality Technology For Companies & Customers In 2023
We are in a digital age where technology has the power to revolutionize how we function in the real world as the physical and virtual worlds are now merging. The COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to work-from-home have only accelerated this convergence since we spend most of our time in front of screens. XR technology is offering us fascinating ways to interact with products and services, boosting consumer engagement and satisfaction.
Let’s explore more!
Understanding XR Technology
Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term that encompasses various technologies and experiences that merge the real world with digital elements. It combines Virtual Reality XR (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) to create immersive, interactive, and enhanced environments and is now poised to revolutionize the way companies interact with their customers and vice versa. XR technology has the potential to transform various industries, creating new opportunities for businesses while enhancing the overall customer experience.
Extended reality technology has evolved significantly over the years, and this evolution can be traced back to the 1800s when Sir Charles Wheatstone introduced the concept of “stereopsis” or the perception of depth and dimensionality in two-dimensional images. In the 1960s, Charles Wyckoff filed a patent for his silver-halide “XR” film, which was designed for photographing extremely bright light events, such as nuclear explosions.
The COVID-19 pandemic also accelerated XR technology adoption in 2020, with the technology being used for remote collaboration, virtual events, and virtual training. The global extended reality market was valued at $38.3 million in 2022 and is predicted to reach $394.8 by 2030, advancing at a rate of 38.5% CAGR during 2022-2030 as innovative companies continue to uncover the benefits of unique, virtual landscapes. Overall, XR technology has come a long way from its origins in the 1800s, and its potential applications and impact on various industries are expected to continue to grow in the future.
XR technology combines Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) with the power and accessibility of the web. This allows users to experience and interact with three-dimensional environments through their compatible devices, such as augmented or virtual reality headsets or glasses, mobile devices, and computers. It provides access to sensors and device capabilities such as motion tracking, gesture detection, and object recognition, enabling a more immersive and realistic experience.
Another top XR trend of 2023 is the extended reality cloud. It refers to using Cloud Computing resources to support and enhance Extended Reality experiences. Cloud-based XR solutions can offer a range of benefits, including improved performance, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. One of the main advantages of using Cloud-based XR solutions is that it can improve performance by offloading resource-intensive tasks to the Cloud.
But, how does extended reality work? This is unveiled in the following section where we will take a closer look at each component of XR technology.
- Virtual Reality (VR): VR technology creates a computer-generated simulation that immerses users in a fully virtual environment. Users wear a VR headset that covers their eyes and often includes headphones for audio. The VR headset tracks the user’s head movements and adjusts the virtual perspective accordingly, making the user feel like they are physically present in the digital world.
- Augmented Reality (AR): AR overlays digital content onto the real world, enhancing the user’s perception of their surroundings. Unlike VR, AR does not create a fully immersive experience. Instead, users interact with the real world while digital elements are integrated into their view through a smartphone, tablet, smart glasses, or other AR devices. These digital elements can include 3D objects, information, or interactive elements that seem to coexist with the physical environment.
- Mixed Reality (MR): MR is a more advanced form of AR that seamlessly blends virtual objects with the real world, allowing users to interact with and manipulate both. MR devices use advanced sensors and cameras to map the physical environment and integrate virtual objects in a way that they appear anchored to real-world surfaces or objects. This enables more immersive and interactive experiences, as users can interact with the digital content as if it were a part of their reality.
Key Components Of Extended Reality Technology
In the aforesaid sections, we saw how extended reality is explained. Now, let’s dive deep into some of its key components.
The key components that enable extended reality technology to work effectively include:
- Tracking Technology: XR devices use various sensors, cameras, and markers to track the user’s movements and position in real time. This tracking information is used to adjust the virtual perspective and ensure that digital elements are appropriately placed in relation to the user’s surroundings.
- Rendering and Processing: Digitally extended realities XR experiences require significant computational power to render high-quality 3D graphics and process real-time data from the environment and user interactions. Modern XR technology-enabled electronic devices often leverage powerful processors and GPUs to achieve this.
- Interaction Methods: XR allows users to interact with the digital elements in different ways, depending on the device and technology being used. This can include hand gestures, voice commands, touch interfaces, handheld controllers, and more.
- Content Creation: Developing XR experiences requires expertise in 3D modeling, animation, and software development. Content creators build virtual objects, environments, and interactive elements to be seamlessly integrated into the real world.
Besides offering unique experiences, XR technology has both advantages and drawbacks.
What Are Extended Reality Advantages And Disadvantages?
Top advantages of XR technology
The key advantages of extended reality technology are as follows-
- Enhanced user experience: XR technology creates immersive and interactive environments that can engage users on a deeper level, making the experiences more memorable and enjoyable.
- Training and education: XR can simulate real-world scenarios, allowing users to practice and learn in a safe, controlled environment. This is particularly beneficial in fields like medicine, aviation, and military training.
- Visualization and design: XR enables architects, designers, and engineers to visualize and interact with their projects in 3D, helping them better understand spatial relationships and potential issues.
- Entertainment and gaming: XR offers new avenues for entertainment, gaming, and storytelling, providing users with unique and captivating experiences.
- Remote collaboration: Extended reality technology can facilitate remote collaboration by allowing individuals to meet and work together in virtual spaces, reducing the need for physical travel.
- Marketing and sales: XR can enhance marketing campaigns by offering interactive and immersive product experiences, leading to increased customer engagement and satisfaction.
Top disadvantages of XR technology
The key disadvantages of extended reality technology are as follows-
- Cost: High-quality XR technology-enabled devices and applications can be expensive, limiting accessibility for some users and organizations.
- Health concerns: Extended use of XR technologies can cause eye strain, headaches, motion sickness, and other health issues, especially in sensitive individuals.
- Social isolation: Prolonged use of XR can lead to social isolation as users immerse themselves in virtual worlds, neglecting real-world interactions.
- Technical limitations: Digitally extended realities are continually evolving, and some current limitations include limited field of view, tracking issues, and processing power requirements.
- Data privacy and security: An extended reality platform may collect and store user data, raising concerns about privacy and security, especially if the data is mishandled or misused.
- Content quality and safety: As the extended reality technology market expands, there may be an influx of low-quality or potentially harmful content that can negatively impact users.
Benefits of XR Technology For Companies and Customers
So, what are the benefits of XR technology? How can it be advantageous for companies and customers of today’s era?
1. Enhanced Customer Engagement
Extended reality technology provides companies with the ability to create immersive and interactive experiences for their customers. Whether it is showcasing products in AR before purchase or offering VR-based virtual tours, these captivating experiences enhance customer engagement. By providing a more engaging environment, companies can foster stronger connections with their target audience, leading to increased brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
Research conducted by Snap Inc. and Deloitte shows that 75% of the global population will be frequent AR users by the end of 2025, which signals the great demand and untapped potential for AR in customer engagement.
In today’s digital age, augmented reality technology under XR technology is completely redefining the mobile consumer experience by effectively incorporating various extended reality technologies as opposed to non-AR experiences, which do not incorporate the consumer or the consumer’s environment.
2. Personalized Shopping Experience
With AR, customers can try products virtually before making a purchase decision. This technology allows them to visualize products in their real environment, helping them to assess size, design, and fit. For example, AR-powered beauty apps enable customers to try on virtual makeup products or hairstyles, facilitating a more personalized shopping experience. This increased personalization enhances customer satisfaction and reduces the likelihood of returns.
In the fashion and retail industries, XR technology has revolutionized the way customers shop. Virtual try-on solutions enable customers to “try on” clothing and accessories virtually, making online shopping more interactive and satisfying. This feature not only reduces returns but also increases customer confidence in making online purchases.According to recent research, Overall, 65% of Americans say their expectations for shopping online are higher than they were three years ago, all thanks to the latest XR technologies. This percentage spikes to 77% for shoppers ages 35-44.
3. Remote Collaboration And Training
XR/AR technologies enable seamless remote collaboration, bridging the gap between geographically dispersed teams. Companies can conduct virtual meetings, training sessions, and workshops, saving time and resources. Moreover, XR training simulations enhance the learning experience by providing employees with hands-on training in a safe and controlled environment, reducing the risk associated with real-world practice.
XR technology has proven to be invaluable in training and upskilling employees across various industries. Companies can simulate complex scenarios, such as hazardous environments or critical decision-making situations, in a risk-free setting. This immersive learning approach helps employees retain information better and apply their knowledge more effectively on the job.
As found in a case study by ARuVR and Coca-Cola, there is a 75% increase in the efficiency of training via XR technology.
XR training helps efficient information uptake with active learning and unlimited repetition possibility within a safe environment. XR technology also facilitates tracking key performance indicators (eye tracking, action time, score, etc.) to improve training methods and results. The following graph shows that in today’s digital age, AI-XR combinations have been used for medical and surgical training, as well as autonomous cars, robotics and gaming applications.
4. Improved Product Development and Prototyping
XR technology aids companies in the product development phase by allowing designers and engineers to visualize 3D models in real-world contexts. This capability streamlines the design process, resulting in more efficient prototyping and better-informed decision-making. By eliminating the need for physical prototypes, companies can reduce costs and time-to-market significantly.
From startups to enterprises racing to get new products launched, AI and machine learning (ML) are making great contributions toward accelerating new product development.According to the latest research from PwC, 14% of most advanced enterprises who use AI and ML for new product development earn more than 30% of their revenues from fully digital products or services and lead their peers in successfully using nine key technologies and tools.
5. Augmented Customer Support
AR-based customer support offers real-time assistance, enabling customers to troubleshoot issues more effectively. With AR-powered guides, users can follow step-by-step instructions overlaid onto their physical products, reducing the need for phone calls or on-site support. Companies can also leverage XR technology to provide remote technical support, ensuring a faster resolution of customer queries.
In today’s time, most people have encountered a chatbot while availing of customer support service online. They provide 24/7 service, can free up human agents by answering frequently asked questions, and typically resolve fundamental issues quickly and efficiently.
Chatbots can also drive revenue by providing customers with a more personalized shopping experience that will keep them coming back. Using natural language processing, chatbots can accurately analyze customer inquiries, compare them to that customer’s profile and return a more accurate response in natural language. According to data released by The Times Of India, not just retailers, but Government departments and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in India seem to be betting big on Conversational AI solutions or in simple words chatbots to enhance/ease customers’ experience. They have served over 2.4 million unique users for its government sector clients in India during the last quarter.
6. Immersive Brand Storytelling
XR/AR technologies open up new avenues for creative and immersive brand storytelling. Companies can use AR apps or VR experiences to take customers on a virtual journey, showcasing their brand values and unique selling propositions. By engaging customers on a deeper emotional level, brands can leave a lasting impression and differentiate themselves from the competition.
XR technology provides companies with innovative marketing tools to captivate audiences and create memorable experiences. From AR-powered interactive ads to VR-based brand activations, companies can cut through the clutter and leave a lasting impression on customers. These novel marketing techniques boost brand awareness and lead to higher conversion rates.
The proliferation of metaverse technologies – spatial computing such as extended reality (XR), which includes augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and virtual reality (VR), along with artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Internet of Things (IoT), and many others – marks a distinct moment in history. We are entering into a new world where technology is no longer going to be a heads-down engagement; it’s going to head up, all around us – creating a truly immersive experience.
McKinsey is projecting that annual global spending – by businesses and consumers – related to the metaverse could reach $5 trillion by 2030. Of that total, they’re estimating e-commerce in the metaverse will make up approximately $2 trillion to $2.6 trillion, while virtual advertising will make up $144 billion to $206 billion.
7. Accessible And Inclusive Experiences
XR technology is continually advancing to become more accessible and inclusive for all users. Companies can leverage these technologies to cater to diverse audiences, including individuals with disabilities. By prioritizing accessibility, companies foster a positive brand image and ensure that no customer is left behind.
Say, for example, AR is frequently used by TV commentators when discussing live sports. AR brings a virtual layer to sports broadcasting, where visually engaging representations of the data can be better explained by the presenters, making complex data easier to understand for the viewers, while enhancing the overall storytelling.
8. Seamless Data Access
Seamless data access with Augmented Reality (AR) refers to the integration of data and information from various sources into an AR environment, making it easily accessible and interactable for users. AR combines computer-generated content with the user’s real-world environment, typically viewed through a smartphone, tablet, or AR glasses, to provide an enhanced and immersive experience.
The goal of seamless data access with AR is to allow users to access relevant information without disrupting their real-world interactions
XR is beneficial in showing relevant data on display while performing any task. Hence, XR technology is widely adopted in maintenance and repair. XR enables workers to
- Access remote assistance/documents/data seamlessly while working
- Operate with step-by-step visual procedures
- Track and analyze machinery metrics
It is noted that utilizing XR in data access improves repair and maintenance by increasing worker efficiency. While current data is mostly accessed through 2D applications such as screens or papers, XR enables immersion into data to redefine how we interact and operate with it.
Future of XR technology
What is the future scope of extended reality? At the recent World Conference of VR Industry in Nanchang, a discussion was held concerning the future of XR technology. It is noted that XR/VR is going to be the primary computing interface for the world and within five years, there will be hundreds of millions of XR/VR units globally.
The global XR market is estimated to hit $1.1 trillion by 2030, accelerating with the advancement of technology and wider consumer adoption.
- In the entertainment industry, the combination of AI and XR technology is already transforming the way viewers consume movies, television shows, and video games. AI-powered algorithms can analyze user preferences and generate personalized content, while XR technologies can transport users into virtual worlds that are indistinguishable from reality.
- In the field of education, AI-driven adaptive learning systems can analyze students’ performance and provide personalized feedback, while XR technology can create immersive learning environments that aid deeper understanding and overall engagement. Similarly, in the workplace, AI-powered tools can help streamline workflows and improve decision-making, while XR technologies can facilitate remote collaboration and training.
- Nowadays, doctors can use immersive XR technology and 3D models to pinpoint a patient’s health condition. XR applications can help detect complex issues such as arthritis, tissue degeneration, tumors, fractures, etc. Further, XR technology also offers pre-surgical data. Extended reality provides realistic 3D visualization, helping doctors analyze better before making incisions.
In 2023, extended reality technology is poised to drive significant benefits for both companies and customers alike. From enhanced customer engagement and personalized shopping experiences to improved training and marketing effectiveness, XR is transforming the way businesses operate and interact with their audience. As these technologies continue to evolve, companies must stay ahead of the curve to leverage the full potential of XR/AR in delivering exceptional experiences and staying competitive in the ever-changing market landscape.
While emerging XR trends can get quite exciting, it is sometimes difficult to obtain. As an end-to-end IT services company, Brainium Information Technologies introduces top-notch technology to serve businesses across several verticals. Our AR/VR App developers ensure a seamless experience for all devices and provide complete AR/VR app development services to clients.