A scene from the movie, Ready Player One

Where Do We Go From Here? XR in the Next 10 Years

If the weather is cooling and the leaves are changing colour in your neck of the woods, you might already be looking back at what the past year has brought us in the Extended Reality community.


We’re all well aware that the excitement of 2016 and the boom of 2017 have faded. So far, 2018 has shown us the much-needed stabilization that will shape how and where immersive technologies can meet our needs.


Occupations like real estate developers, industrial designers, health care innovators, and supply chain professionals are just a few fields of work to embrace and apply the power of XR.


Now is the perfect time to take a look ahead of this individual fiscal year and get a sense of what will shape the future of our work as XR specialists.


How will XR Affect the Future?


The fast answer is, by solving problems.


While the dystopia of Ready Player One is a compelling setting for the world’s most popular video game, XR’s many practical successes with Augmented Reality have already shattered the stereotype of Extended Reality’s value being rooted in personal entertainment.


XR will tackle everything from sustainable resources to intelligent infrastructure. We will see more improvements to workplaces and industry practices. Sometimes this will take the form of analysis from a distance, and sometimes it will include the use of robotics. Either way, the general public will think of it as simply the forward march of technology in general.


XR is going to weave its way into our lives in the same way smartphones did. If someone from 1980 asked you what you do with your phone, how would you answer?


All we need is one product to launch XR from the realm of tech enthusiasts into the hands of every person on the planet.


Breaking the Hardware Barrier


Apple AR Glasses

Apple AR Glasses Concept Design (Credit: AppleUnboxed)


We are not far from seeing AR glasses that look and feel like the real thing. XR hardware has always been headed in this direction, including products that transcend VR/AR/MR categorizations, able to toggle between immersion and real world overlay.


Device comfort and aesthetic appeal are important, but we expect to see products so clever they practically disappear from our peripheral vision.


Interactive holograms may become a part of our lives as well, making yet another science fiction wish come true. Few of us will want intrusive contact lenses or implants that pose risks to our health. We expect to see non-wearables designed to respond to tactical contact and voice commands.


The end goal for the entire XR industry will be to remove hardware altogether. This means the complete and total democratization of the AR Cloud, with data that serves everyone, everywhere, all the time.


Altering Computing, Rewiring Thinking


Our recent post about the AR Cloud touched on the idea that Extended Reality technology will transform the nature of our interactions with computers, specifically the increasing intolerance for having to search, dig, and re-search, for information online.


Once search engine research has become a thing of the past, the days of a keyboard and mouse may be limited as well. Computing won’t be restricted to a desk and chair either.


Students of all ages will be learning in the field. Professionals will be collaborating, designing, selling, and troubleshooting all within the space they occupy, wherever that happens to be. This is a dream for many, disconnecting themselves from cubicles and cords.


Picture every inefficient task or unpleasant errand – personal or professional – that interrupts your day and gets in the way of what you’re really trying to achieve. This is where, in conjunction with AI, XR has room to grow. Directing your commute. Facilitating project analysis. Assisting your meal preparation. Monitoring your inventory – for home or work – and ordering supplies for you as needed.


Think about everything you’d like to delegate to someone else, but don’t have the resources to do so. XR will be there.


What will you achieve when you remove unnecessary tasks from your day?


At Stambol, we like to use our collective imagination to provide solutions today – and to visualize how we can solve problems tomorrow. Join us here on our blog or on any of our social media channels to jump in on the conversation.


Image Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures / Jaap Buitendijk