Welcome to XR
You may not have heard the term Extended Reality (XR) before, but you’ve definitely interacted with its subsets, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, in some form or other. In the past several years, XR has grown from a science-fiction concept to a multibillion dollar industry. This has been largely due to a great deal of investment in the development of XR tools and software from some of the biggest tech companies in the world. While the most immediately successful implementation of XR has been VR headsets built to make videogames feel more immersive, gaming is far from the only use case for this technology. In fact, as of today, people and businesses in a wide variety of industries have begun to realize the potential benefits XR can provide for their fields. Below are just a few examples of the industries being transformed by XR, and the unique use cases each industry has found to fit their respective needs.
While other industries have just begun to open their eyes to this powerful tool, XR has been the darling of the gaming world for several years now. Examples range from VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, which let you immerse yourself deeper in the console games you already love, to Augmented Reality app games like Pokemon Go, which render digital animations overlaid on real-world locations through your phone. Video games have always sought to take their players into a virtual world, and gaming companies’ use of XR in pursuit of that goal has already proven to be a huge reputational and financial success.
Virtual worlds aren’t just useful for gameplay. XR also has huge implications for how we as humans learn. I-talk-you-listen style lectures are often less effective for retention of information and skills than hands-on and active student participation. Thanks to XR simulations, students can more actively engage in learning through interacting with vibrant and reactive displays. This is particularly relevant to distanced learning, which has become a major source of revenue for Edtech companies in this post-pandemic world. These enterprises are finding the implementation of XR tools into lesson plans goes a long way toward tackling some of the engagement issues that remote learning is often plagued by.
These same techniques for driving up engagement among students are just as effective as a tool for drawing the eyes of customers. E-commerce companies have begun to realize this and are finding innovative ways to make use of XR on their websites to make customers more likely to stay on the page longer and continue reading about their products, instead of getting bored and clicking away, which is currently a leading cause for lost revenue in e-commerces. XR displays make the product more real for the customer, letting them interact with it more accurately, and giving them a better sense of what it would feel like to own it in real life.
That’s right, even the number-crunching world of finance is jumping on the XR bandwagon. This includes taking a page out of the education sector and implementing XR in the teaching of complex concepts when onboarding new employees. But XR can also be very helpful in generating comprehensive visualizations of statistics and numbers, the kind of data that finance institutions need to be able to interpret quickly and easily.
Now hold on. If XR is this ubiquitously flexible and useful across sectors, why are there so many companies that still have yet to dip their toes in the pool? It’s because (to extend the pool metaphor just a bit more) not everyone knows how to swim.
How to make sure your system is ready
If you’re wondering whether your digital infrastructure can handle the addition of XR to its system, the unfortunate answer is… probably not. XR tools and software generate and process massively complex visual outputs, which are often dynamic and constantly changing. The weight of that kind of complex data will put a huge strain on any network, and if you’re not using tools expressly designed to be XR compatible, the whole thing’s going to come crashing down. That’s been one of the major bottlenecks in fostering a more widespread adoption of XR. Legacy infrastructure just can’t handle it.
Azion is here to help with one simple tool that you can implement into your system today. Azion’s Edge Application is an incredibly flexible serverless platform with a wide array of modules that can be customized to make your whole system faster and more fault tolerant.
Of particular relevance here is the Application Acceleration module of Edge Application, which is purpose-built to sit on the front end of your network in order to efficiently balance traffic requests to your servers as well as minimize the network latency to your servers. As a modern edge solution, Edge Application and its modules are designed specifically to reduce the latency of heavy data loads like those found in digital implementations of XR. By modernizing your application acceleration with Azion’s Edge Application, you’ll be bolstering the speed and resilience of your network, and making ready to get the optimal use out of Extended Reality tools.
Extended Reality is here to stay. After reading this article, you’ve likely gotten a taste of the potential XR has to transform how you engage customers, train employees, and visualize your data. You’ve also learned about some of the bottlenecks in implementing XR, and why so many businesses struggle to effectively take advantage of this technology. Luckily, if you implement a modern application accelerator, one designed specifically to accommodate for modern latency issues, including the latency inherent to XR use cases. If you’re ready to take your application acceleration game to the next level, Azion’s Edge Application might be just the tool you’re looking for. Talk to our team of experts to learn more. Extended Reality is the tool of the future, and here at Azion, helping you embrace the tools of the future is what we do best.