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What’s Next for Extended Reality in 2023?

Who could have predicted the astronomical rise of extended reality? In the last few years, this disruptive concept has evolved from being just another sci-fi pipedream, to a common component of virtually every growing industry. According to Mordor Intelligence, the XR market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 57.91% by 2027. Other studies suggest by 2030, the XR space will be worth more than $1.1 trillion. It’s easy to see why the space is evolving so rapidly. Today, it’s not just consumers who are fighting to get their hands on the latest headsets and software, but business leaders too. We’ve discovered XR can help to connect distributed people wherever they are, empower creativity, and turbocharge learning experiences. Not to mention, it stands to play an important role in the impending evolution of the “metaverse”. While it’s difficult to imagine exactly what the XR landscape will look like 5 or 10 years from now, there are a few predictions, based on the current landscape, for 2023. Here’s what we think is going to happen in the XR space this year.

1.    Mixed Reality will Transform the Enterprise

Clearly, extended reality isn’t just a consumer tool anymore. These days, there are endless case studies to show us how leading brands like BMW, Boeing, and Nike are using extended reality for collaboration, communication, product development and customer service. However, in the last couple of years, it seems most of our focus has been on either the AR or VR space. While augmented and virtual reality certainly has a lot to offer, Mixed reality is about to see its moment in the spotlight. Take a look at the enterprise headset market, and you’ll see most of the latest wearables produced specifically for companies have included Mixed Reality features. The Meta Quest Pro and Pico Interactive 4 Enterprise both offer pass-through technology, so users can connect the real world to the virtual landscape as much as they like. Going forward, we’ll see more examples of MR gaining rapid adoption in the enterprise space, particularly as Varjo, HTC Vive, Magic Leap, Microsoft, and other leaders continue to innovate.

2.    New Treadmill Technology

One of the major problems many people have with VR, is you can only walk and explore so far before you end up bumping into a wall or knocking over a lamp. Having to be mindful of your physical surroundings when you’re exploring a virtual world can make it difficult to achieve true immersion. That’s why many innovators have begun experimenting with treadmills. Companies like Virtuix and Infinadec have already introduced intelligent solutions which allow people to roam and walk as much as they like, without the risk of injury. These tools will become increasingly attractive in the years ahead, as companies look for ways to make VR experiences more immersive, particularly in the training landscape. As a result, We can expect to see some new companies getting involved in the VR treadmill space. For instance, leading companies like Peloton could soon introduce their very own VR treadmills, ready to install in-home and meeting rooms.

3.    Meta will Announce a Metaverse Breakthrough

Meta has been dealing with consistent heat from the press, ever since it changed its name from “Facebook” and began doubling down on Metaverse investments. People are expecting to see something phenomenal from the brand, and the market is keen to see what comes after the Quest Pro is released in late 2022. This will be the year Meta starts rolling out some serious reveals – with the potential to really change how we look at the metaverse. After all, the company will need to act fast if they want to show stakeholders and investors, they mean business.

4.    Magic Leap will Release More Affordable Headsets

Magic Leap has struggled to capture the attention of a lot of companies and customers recently, thanks in large part to the massive price tags on its headsets. However, we have seen some evidence the company is looking at ways to make its technology a little more accessible. In September 2022, the Magic Leap 2 was released as an “Augmented Reality” headset. However, the first edition of the headset was focused on “Mixed Reality”. This could be a sign that Magic Leap is branching out into different segments, so they can reach a wider audience. With their new Saudi owners, we’re sure to see more innovation and growth from Magic Leap in 2023. They’ll have a lower-cost device ready to wow users. After all, even if Magic Leap is continuing to focus on the enterprise market – not every business user will need a $3,000 headset.

5.    A Year of Immersive Collaboration

One of the biggest areas where VR are is rapidly gaining adoption right now, is in the collaborative space. Ever since the pandemic accelerated the trends of remote and hybrid work, companies have been looking for better ways to bring team members together, without having them physically share the same office. XR seems like the perfect solution. More than 20 vendors in the VR collaboration space already. They’re all new vendors too- emerging from the XR tech landscape, rather than the collaboration industry. We could see Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco, RingCentral and other leading UC (Unified Communication) vendors navigating (if not already) into this space during 2023. XR collaboration is set to be a big part of how we continue to communicate and connect as businesses become more distributed.

Final Thoughts

The world of XR is definitely evolving at an incredible rate. This could be a transformative year for the industry. There’s every possibility we could see someone walking down the street with a mixed-reality headset on, a few months from now. What could go wrong? There’ll continue to be a lot of confusion in some aspects of the XR space, however – particularly the metaverse. There’s a lot of hype around this concept right now, but there are still countless people who couldn’t tell you what the metaverse actually is. Credit: