Making the business case for XR (Image source: XR Intelligence)
Do you remember when the internet first reached the popular consciousness with the release of the MOSAIC web browser circa 1993? A couple of years later, even though almost everyone was aware of the internet by that time, many companies -- including large, multibillion-dollar concerns -- were still debating internally whether it was worth spending their time and resources on having their own website.
Of course, this seems like a "no-brainer" to us now with the benefit of hindsight, but things were less clear-cut at the time, because few people had a good grasp on the incredible potential offered by the internet.
We are facing a similar situation today with regard to technologies like augmented reality (AR). Almost everyone today is aware of this term and has at least a rudimentary understanding of what it means, but not many people understand the true potential of this technology.
The problem is only exacerbated by the profusion of terms. In addition to augmented reality, we also have diminished reality (DR), virtual reality (VR), augmented virtuality (AV), and mediated/mixed reality (MR)
The folks at VR Intelligence appear to have given up this fight and are currently using the term XR to embrace all aspects of mediated/mixed reality. Of course, we now run into the question as to what we mean by mediated and mixed realities. As I discussed in my column -- What the FAQ are VR, MR, AR, DR, AV, and HR? -- we can think of things in terms of a reality-virtuality continuum in which the real world, or physical reality, is at one extreme, while the virtual world, or virtual reality, is at the other.
The reality-virtuality continuum (Image source: Max Maxfield)
Augmented reality refers to adding information (textual, graphics, auditory, haptic...) to a real-world environment. The counterpart to this is diminished reality, in which information is diminished or deleted from the real-world environment. At the other end of the spectrum we have augmented virtuality, in which virtual environments are augmented with real-world objects or people. Mixed reality embraces all of these modalities. Mediated reality is typically presented as a superset of mixed reality, but -- to be honest -- I would be hard-pushed to differentiate between the two.
I personally think that it's the combination of mediated/mixed reality with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) that' is going to dramatically change the way in which we interface with our systems, the world, and each other (see also What the FAQ are AI, ANNs, ML, DL, and DNNs?).
Senior Management Needs to Know
Almost every industry could benefit from XR technology in some way and the immersive landscape is growing every year with more solutions and use cases appearing on the market.
One major problem is that senior managers need to understand the true potential of all this because they are the ones who need to commit their company's time and resources to ensure that they aren’t left behind in the rush. The reason I say this is a problem is that most senior managers don’t have a clue (this is why the "Management Summaries" at the front of technical documents use a limited quantity of small words to get the point across).
I'm really not trying to cast aspersions (my throwing arm isn’t what it used to be) -- the folks at the C-level who bask in the opulence of the C-suite know far more than your humble narrator about business issues -- but I fear they haven't yet wrapped their brains around what's racing our way on the mediated/mixed reality front.
In order to address this conundrum, the folks at XR Intelligence are hosting an exclusive webinar -- Making the business case for XR and understanding its benefit -- that will take an in-depth look at communication, implementation, and the potential of immersive technology.
Technology, business, and AR expert Mark Sage, Executive Director at the AR for Enterprise Alliance will moderate a lively discussion with Brian Waterfield, Digital Manufacturing Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, Paras Shah, Head of Health, Safety & Sustainability at Vodafone, and Joe Williams, Immersive Lead at LADbible Group.
Taking place on Wednesday 11 December between 13:30 and 14:30 GMT, the webinar will identify and cure common communication mistakes when discussing XR technology as well as uncover the real value of small-scale pilot-projects. In this webinar, attendees will:
- Uncover ways to effectively communicate the potential of XR to business leaders
- Learn how to run small-scale pilots to demonstrate real benefits
- Establish a process to transition from R&D to business implementation
- Dispel damaging myths around XR
You can register for this exclusive webinar today (I just registered myself). If you register but cannot join live, you will be sent the recordings once the webinar has run.
Last but not least, we should note that this webinar is being run in association with XR Intelligence’s upcoming XR Europe Conference & Expo, which will be taking place 28 and 29 April 2020 at the Park Plaza Victoria, London.
XR Europe bills itself as the world’s premier B2B immersive tech event for those wishing to use XR to boost ROI, propel their business forward, and engage consumers through immersive, innovative experiences. The folks at XR Intelligence say that they are expecting more than 300 senior attendees from the gaming, entertainment, healthcare, retail, automotive industries, and more, More information on this conference and expo can be found here.
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