2022 is a year of growth for virtual and augmented reality (VR / AR), collectively known as Extended Reality (XR). The availability of these modern technologies has been felt far beyond the gaming and entertainment areas where they first became popular.
Virtual reality, where users wear headsets and fully immerse themselves in computer-generated environments, is designed to meet the needs of design, marketing, education, training and retail.
Augmented Reality, where computer images are superimposed on the user’s view of the real world through a screen or headset, is a more complex challenge because software is forced to “see” what is in front of it. But we’re used to doing more than just adding cartoon features to selfie photos or exploring Pokémon in the wild.
With global spending on XR technology set to increase 78.5% next year from this year, both technologies will be the top trends in 2023. We are likely to see many new and exciting materials adding of immersion and more realistic and innovative use cases while the industry is familiar with its possibilities.
Industrial use exceeds games and entertainment
Most of people’s first experiences in virtual reality and augmented reality today are probably in games and hobbies. This is likely to change as research shows that XR business solutions are evolving rather than efficient consumer solutions.
The 2023 XR Industry Insight Report produced by VR Intelligence shows that 65% of AR companies surveyed said they work in industrial applications, while only 37% work in consumer products and software.
This should come as no surprise, though, games have become headlines over the years thanks to Facebook’s Pokemon Go and Oculus Rift. The potential to increase productivity and safety in XR makes it an attractive proposition for the industry.
Virtual reality can be used to simulate working in hazardous environments or with expensive tools and equipment that can be easily damaged without risk.
AR, on the other hand, can be used to convey important information directly to the user about everything in front of them, reducing the time required by engineers, technicians, or maintenance personnel to search through manual and research. Information online while they are at work.
XR takes on health care
The potential applications of these healthcare technologies are obvious, and by 2023 we can expect many of these use cases to be experimental, pilot and gradual launch. Virtual reality has been adopted in therapy, where it is used to treat patients with phobias and anxiety disorders.
Along with biosensors that monitor physiological responses such as heart rate and sweating, therapists better understand how patients react to stressful situations in a safe virtual environment.
Virtual reality is also used to help people with autism develop social and communication skills, as well as diagnose patients with visual or cognitive impairment by monitoring their movements eyes.
The adoption of AR in health care is expected to expand faster. Market value will increase by 38% per year by 2025. Surgeons can use AR both in the operating room and in training to alert them to risks or dangers. while they work. An application developed uses AR to guide users to defibrillators in case they need them in public.
Another is to help nurses find patient veins and prevent accidental pinching of needles where they do not want to. Because these and similar innovations result in better patient outcomes and lower treatment costs, they are expected to be key by 2023.
One of the main limiting factors in XR technology today is the need to interfere with headphones and display units. This is more of a virtual reality problem where the powerful processing hardware needed to produce graphics is usually placed on the headset. However, hardware devices tend to “disconnect”.
For example, Facebook’s Oculus headset was originally intended to be plugged into a powerful PC, but this year it will be available as a standalone version of Oculus Quest.
Headsets are not only more mobile, but can also produce more and more realistic “worlds” that virtual reality users can explore, as devices are equipped with more powerful processors. While the earliest VR worlds were clearly computer-generated low-resolution polygons, the insights we offer in 2023 will be closer to reality and enable more immersive experiences.
Perhaps the most awaited promotion is the upcoming Apple / VR / AR 8K combo headset that is not plugged into a computer or phone. This mainstream tech giant expects to bring the XR to the core using a high-quality, yet affordable device, just as it did with the iPhone.
5G opens up new possibilities for virtual reality and expanded reality
The Ultrafast cellular network will increase XR’s potential to strengthen its presence in the entertainment industry and make further industry advances by 2023.
The potential for data transfer speeds of up to 3 gigabits per second (in comparison, average home broadband offers less than 100 megabits per second) means 5G should be fast enough to move virtual reality data to increase reality from the cloud.
Instead of connecting to powerful PCs or carrying built-in hardware with them, show devices that upload tracking data to data centres where intensive processing takes place. Rendered images can be returned to the user in real time thanks to the speed of 5G and other advanced networks.
VR streaming has limited capabilities for a few years – Facebook allows you to do it on your phone, but the experience is limited due to the data transfer speed and low processing power of the device.
Its integration with cloud and 5G technology, virtual reality and augmented reality tool developers will not be affected by the need to deliver their experience in a low bandwidth, low power environment. The result is cheaper headsets and screens, as well as more realistic virtual reality simulations.
Many of us can learn through virtual reality and augmented reality
VR and AR educational experiences will be more common in the course of 2023. The immersive nature of VR means learners can learn new pleasures, and AR brings a new level of flexibility in job training.
Students can now travel in time to visit the ancient Romans or in space to discover conditions on other planets.
But as technology moves away from the niche and becomes part of everyday educational fabric, we are likely to see growth in solving problems in educational systems other than simply providing “experimentation”.
Nowadays, distance students can be taught in virtual reality classrooms so the benefits of learning in a collaborative environment are not lost, while AR training aids ensure access to learning. The information needed to complete a job is always available.