The Future of Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
a free webinar by Harbor Research
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This Harbor Research webinar will focus on the evolving technologies and business models driving the Extended Reality market, which encompasses Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Digital Twins.
What you will learn:
- An overview of the device landscape for spatial computing
- Extended Reality (XR) cloud/edge architecture requirements
- How XR innovations change the way we interact with technology
- XR use cases from industry leaders
- Considerations for enterprises looking to adopt XR solutions
- Hurdles to adoption
- The adoption curve for XR technologies
- When will we reach critical mass? What will it take to get there?
- Where is the XR industry headed?
The ~45 minute webinar was followed by a 15-minute Q&A.
A clip from the webinar:
René Schulte is Director of Global Innovation at Valorem Reply working with teams across the globe on emerging technologies like 3D volumetric video streaming, the AR Cloud enabling large, cross-platform user experiences with real-world persistence.
He is a creative developer and thought leader with a passion for UX and deep technical knowledge from more than 15 years in VR/AR/MR/XR/Spatial Computing technology and 3D programming, developing for the Microsoft HoloLens since 2015, was featured on Forbes and is listed as dev influencer. He also coded AI deep learning neural networks before it was cool and is leveraging modern AI to empower humans. Also working on applied Quantum Computing impact.
He is a frequent keynote and session speaker and panelist at conferences like //build, Ignite, Uni Heidelberg, Unite, Vision VR/AR Summit, VRDC (GDC), AWE, ESA, RTC, VRARA and more. Blogs about many topics. He also created popular open source libraries like WriteableBitmapEx and the AR library SLARToolKit.
Elizabeth Baron is an Enterprise Solutions Executive at Unity Technologies, where she creates solutions for the industrial design, engineering and manufacturing space, based on the innovative Unity platform that powers creation at all points in the product development process. She applies holistic and creative solutions for enterprise to connect knowledge with experience for cross-functional teams.
Formerly, Elizabeth was a Technical Specialist in Immersive Realities at Ford Motor Company. She is the principal inventor of the Ford immersive Vehicle Environment (FiVE) process and technology, an immersive environment with high realism in experience, providing contextual data and real time global immersion for multiple disciplines across Ford. She then expanded FiVE to combine the physical and virtual worlds, creating location-based actionable immersive storytelling in Design Studios.
Elizabeth became the first Virtual Reality Technical Specialist at Ford, a position she asked to create so she could grow the technology within the Company. Elizabeth was awarded the highest individual technical award in Ford Motor Company, the Dr. Haren Gandhi Research and Innovation Award, honoring her career in immersive visualization and her technical leadership. In 2020, she was recognized with the SIGGRAPH Practitioner Award, for her contributions to industrial design, and her influence on multiple industries, and inducted into the SIGGRAPH Academy. She was named one of Engineers who Mattered in 2020 by Engineering.com.
Glen Allmendinger is the president and founder of Harbor Research and has been responsible for managing all of Harbor’s consulting and research activities since its inception. Glen has worked with a very broad range of leading technology innovators, product OEMs, and service providers assisting them with strategy and market development for new smart product, systems, and services opportunities. He has participated in pioneering research and consulting work in the Smart Buildings, Healthcare, Retail, Transportation, Energy and Industrial arenas helping clients to determine the scale and structure of emerging opportunities, competitive positioning, and design of new business models.
In 2005, Glen co-authored the pioneering article “Four Strategies for The Age Of Smart Services,” published in the Harvard Business Review. Glen has also authored thought leading articles for a wide range of publications including, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal, as well as being a frequent speaker in industry forums.
Our moderator, Eoghan Jennings, is VP of Business Development at Harbor Research. He has a rich background in finance, beginning his career at Credit Suisse. As CFO of Xing AG he co-led the IPO team and led XINGs five acquisitions. XING became the best performing IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange throughout 2007 and 2008. Eoghan served as managing partner of Parklane Capital.
Eoghan co-founded two successful accelerators, Startup Bootcamp and HealthXL, both headquartered in Europe. There he attracted the participation of rising startup companies and raised funding from investors and multinational corporations, including Silicon Valley Bank, IBM, Novartis, GSK and RB.
Eoghan co-founded Bourbon, a content creator for music fans, and The Foundation For a Better Economy, a foundation advocating for financial change. He helped define and drive Fathym’s market and product strategy, bringing the team together and leading virtual design and brainstorm sprints.
THE NEXT COMPUTING REALITY
The next generation of human-computer interfaces (HCIs) will cross a much larger chasm than previous ones—not by making people more like computers but by making computers closer to us. Instead of looking at computer displays, users will wear the displays as head-mounted devices (HMDs) that either block out the physical world and present an entirely different reality, or overlay onto our world real-time data-driven graphics, sound and video. These visual interfaces won’t require typing on or even touching a keyboard. Instead, human control and notification will be done with hand and head gestures, haptic (skin level) feedback, and voice-recognition.
In addition to specialized applications for healthcare, real estate, retail, education, engineering and much more, HMDs will incorporate all the functions of smartphones for voice communication, texting, email, video browsing, and social platforms. Once these HMDs become unobtrusive and affordable enough, they will be standard issue for every consumer in developed countries. Depending upon the speed of innovation, it is even possible that undeveloped segments of the world may skip the handheld smartphone entirely in favor of the head-mounted one.
THE FORMS OF XR
Extended Reality (XR) is the blanket term for this new realm of immersive simulations, which is typically divided into three categories:
- Virtual Reality (VR) immerses the user in an imaginary or replicated world (or simulates the real world) in a way that completely blocks out the real physical environment.Augmented Reality (AR) layers or superimposes virtual images, video and sounds on the real world, which remains perceivable. This is most commonly seen in smartphone apps that show the real world in the phone’s camera with digital assets placed upon it. The “heads-up” displays of digital eyeglasses and windshields are other early examples of AR in practice.
- Mixed Reality (MR) is a hypothetical combination of the two, which could involve experiences like a “virtual wall” superimposed on reality that a user could actually “bump into” or bounce a virtual ball against.
XR in general broadens our visual command of the space we’re working and playing in. We are no longer conscious of, or limited by, the edges of finite screens. Further, the gestural control (via hand and head movements) used with HMDs represents a new and very powerful method of navigating a computational environment.
These interfaces are developing quickly but a number of technical issues remain to be resolved. XR visualizations are computationally intensive and require high-end hardware to produce lifelike real-time visualizations. Improvements in size, weight, battery life, and cellular technology must all be addressed for HMDs to become a widely adopted mobile computing platform.
And yet this has always been true of digital innovation. Companies should not be lulled into believing that this future is “science-fiction” and that it’s acceptable to wait and see what happens. We know what’s going to happen. As we’ve seen in previous computing incarnations, hardware will quickly catch up to software requirements.
OUR ENTERPRISE BET IS ON AR
In fact, XR has the potential for massive market disruption. We estimate that VR and AR together could become an $80B+ market by 2025. Our projections for that year include:
For the foreseeable future, HMDs will co-exist with present-day computing form-factors (desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones). But in the medium-term HMDs will become lighter, more powerful, and less obtrusive, and will be increasingly used by all people in every walk of life.
Although we focus on VR and AR as the major drivers of adoption of this new computing incarnation, we believe that as processor power increases and application development becomes more sophisticated, AR will be the more fruitful realm for business because it allows the power of computing to be embedded in normal reality.
Healthcare, retail, and manufacturing will experience the highest adoption rate during that time, followed closely by construction and professional services. The top horizontal use cases we expect to see adopted by these verticals are training and education, and virtual workspaces and remote services.
As XR test-pilots continue to make headlines, work settings will also continue to shift in the wake of the pandemic, and hardware prices will continue to fall. Across hardware, software, and services, the XR market is quickly reaching maturity for enterprise use. For players looking to enter it, the time to start developing your solution is now.