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Five industries XR is set to transform

XR is inching us ever closer to the virtual world. Immersion is the cornerstone of this innovative technology, with VR being particularly effective in engrossing users in new virtual realms. VR can transport a user to new places and locations – whether that’s on Earth or even in outer space – free from the constraints of the physical world. In addition to pushing the boundaries of human experience, XR has noteworthy practical benefits. VR can effectively simulate high-risk and high-stress situations. This can, for example, allow doctors to train while eliminating real-world risks. 

The potential of XR is unmistakable, and investments in the space are climbing (for example, Limbak and Luxexcel were just recently acquired by Apple and Meta respectively). To gain a clearer understanding of the power of XR, let’s dive into some of the areas it’s set to transform. 

Making the most of music 

Our regular audio experiences can be altered and enhanced through XR technology. Visual effects can be synchronised with music to add another dimension to a regular concert: for example, AR glasses can be used to create virtual light shows or provide lyrics and translations of a song.  

For day-to-day music experiences, a user could see a personalised visualisation of a song. Or, if they were out and about, AR glasses could show the title of a song playing aloud in public.  

But it’s not just set to benefit consumers. Music producers are already feeling the pull of XR, with some musicians creating music with virtual instruments controlled via hand gestures – quite literally at the flick of a wrist. In education, students could learn from the interactive visualisation of music theory, or by using instruments virtually.  

Remodelling manufacturing 

In industry and manufacturing, XR also carries some attractive benefits. The technology could be incorporated into the assembly process, allowing workers to practice complex methods in a controlled environment. Staff could also get trained in equipment with VR, allowing them to get a handle on potentially dangerous machinery before attempting it with the physical tool. The same principle can be applied to hazardous environments. Now miners, oil rig workers, and chemical handlers can become immersed in similar virtual environments to practice beforehand. 

As well as making training safer, XR can help with quality control. XR can visualise and analyse manufacturing processes in real-time, allowing workers to identify issues before they escalate. The data collected can be used to train future workers, doing wonders for streamlining efficiencies.  

Enhancing education 

By providing new experiences, XR can make learning more immersive, stimulating, and effective – ultimately positively influencing learning outcomes. Students can take virtual field trips to explore historic sites, museums, and landmarks, which is particularly revolutionary for underprivileged schools and students. The more the ASPs fall, the more accessible these experiences will become. 

Beyond this, students could potentially experience re-enactments of actual historic events – making them far more memorable and impactful.    

For students with disabilities, XR provides an abundance of learning opportunities. The technology has already been used successfully among students with disabilities, allowing them to be more proactive in the classroom and retain information easier than without XR. 

Helping healthcare 

The controlled environment that XR can create for trainee doctors has proven to be effective in reducing errors in real-world surgeries. But as well as benefitting doctors, XR can also be used in patient interventions. The technology has already been used to help with pain management, as well as reduce the anxiety of some patients. Similarly, XR can help PTSD sufferers overcome triggers and other anxieties.  

Papers have been published exploring how the visualisation of organs in 3D can benefit surgeons by giving doctors a better understanding of patient-specific anatomy. The Microsoft HoloLens, for example, integrates a head-mounted display with mixed reality – a technology that is touted to be hugely valuable to the future of medicine.   

Transforming tourism 

City planners or historic site managers could use virtual tours to counteract overtourism. Amsterdam has recently launched a “Stay Away” campaign to regulate unmanageable numbers of tourists. In similar scenarios, VR could provide tourist experiences for less accessible destinations. 

For the tourists that can reach their desired destinations, AR glasses can offer context and information on landmarks, artefacts, and historic sites. Similarly, real-time language translation can help visitors communicate effectively with locals. For people with disabilities, XR can widen the scope of travel by offering experiences they otherwise couldn’t access. 

XR will benefit humanity in some hugely important ways. As well as offering the chance to make everyday life richer and more vibrant, it can do hugely important work in the field of medicine, manufacturing, and more. 

Futuresource can help you understand the full potential and trajectory of XR technologies. To discover more about our market research offerings, contact 

Date Published:

Nikolaos Tzoumerkas

About the author

Nikolaos Tzoumerkas

Nikolaos Tzoumerkas is a Market Analyst in the Consumer Electronics team at Futuresource Consulting. Having joined in January of 2023, his main research focus includes the segments of wearables, where he tracks smartwatches and sports watches among others, and XR where he tracks all the major types of hardware technology. Nikolaos has also worked on tablets and smartphones giving him a holistic overview of the personal electronics sector.

Olivia Lowden

About the author

Olivia Lowden

Olivia Lowden is responsible for the long-form content, press, and partnerships at Futuresource. Prior to her career at Futuresource, she completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, demonstrative of her lifelong love of words.

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