Incredible is credible through Extended Reality

After a decade, you will be in different scenario due to emerging technology. You may have a busy day scheduled. You need to do morning meeting in Singapore, check on your production lines in Scotland, visit Mars during your lunch break, and attend a business meeting in Japan – all from the comfort of your office in Chicago.

While it might sound unbelievable now, but certainly this will be our future for sure. Thanks to advancements in Extended Reality (XR). It makes everything incredibly possible.

Extended Reality (XR) is a term which includes virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (MR), mixed reality (MR), and other emerging technologies which will blend real and virtual world to create an immersive experience. XR connects and engages customers at deeper, more meaningful levels.


To understand extended reality better, we first need to get an idea about immersive technologies which exist today.

Virtual Reality

This is a computer simulated technology where users feel immersed in a virtual world. Using VR headset, a user can experience all five senses to create an interactive virtual world.


Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology which does not create a new reality but overlays information and objects on real-world physical environments. AR can be experienced using smartphones and if you have used Snapchat filters, you have experienced AR.


Mixed Reality

As the name suggests, this technology lies between real and virtual world to create an environment where physical and digital elements can interact in real time.


Recently, Facebook is also looking at the next computing platform through augmented reality and virtual reality to deliver the tools and experiences we need for the future of work. Collaboration across distance needs real-time connections, shared vision and context, and a powerful sense of community. Facebook is giving this incredible experience through Extended Reality and enhancing it further on the demand of presence scenario of pandemic.


Extended reality is the umbrella term for AR, VR, MR, and other immersive technologies. By 2022, the XR market size is expected to reach $209 billion. The technology is transforming a number of industries and here are its few applications.


Banking/Finance domain:

Extended Reality will revolutionize the banking segment that will increase the convenience of consumers. Now they will be more informed and quicker in action.



Mortgages:

1. Scanning using AR-enabled devices will provide real-time cost of any property available for mortgaging to consumers.

2. AR-applications using geo-tagging and maps will provide real-time location of available property.

3. A camera scan of a mortgaged property shall provide all necessary information like the borrower, lender, loan amount, terms etc to bankers.


Personal Loans:

1. The impact of XR will be seen on personal banking with reduction of paper work involved, and the individual presence of the customer in the bank, etc.

2. Reduction of loan approval time as business processes will be simplified for quick decision making.

3. Loan processing time and loan servicing time will reduce with the virtual bank as no physical presence of consumer will be required.


Debit Cards:

1. Debit Card will become truly virtual with enhanced biomatric-based security and AR based UI.

2. Instant balance check, bill payment, map-based ATM locator, location of expenditure etc. may be achieved with ease.

3. Advanced security and theft protection will be offered along with effortless payment options while shopping.


Credit Cards:

1. Credit cards will become truly virtual with advanced security against loss and theft.

2. Easy payment option, collection and recovery will become more systematic and user-friendly.

3. Instant tracking, easy user identification, and seamless connectivity with credit raters will help bank to identify better credit opportunities.


Saving and Transactional:

1. AR may generate a completely new channel for extremely convenient transactions and payments.

2. Advanced biomatric-based security features will boost transactional security and anti-money laundering monitoring.

3. Saving accounts may offer additional add-on services with better usability applications and will help banks in cross-selling.


Healthcare domain:

Extended reality integrates digital information with the user’s environment in real time and is becoming more accessible and affordable for medical education and imaging, dentistry, nurse training and many more.

Dentistry: XR software built into smart glasses superimposes real-time data directly from a dental scanner, enabling a dentist to build precise crowns or caps.

Training nurses: AR-enabled, tablet-based simulations of different patient scenarios allow nurses to better connect with patients (e.g., SimMan) and handle daily work situations requiring a combination of social, technical, and team skills.

Medical imaging: AR enhances visualization of CT or MRI data by superimposing stereoscopic projections during a surgical procedure. This information is vital in surgeries requiring precise navigation to a particular organ. For example, XR can be used for pre-operative planning enhances accurate localization of tumors and surrounding structures for performing procedures such as minimally invasive partial nephrectomy or radical prostatectomy where the challenging anatomy of the vascular or nervous system could complicate the tumor removal.

Pediatric MRI evaluation: Current Studios has developed a AR tablet game that measures children’s ability to lie still for a length of time before an MRI exam. Doctors use it to determine whether a child will need an anesthetic during an MRI procedure.

Helping the visually impaired: VA-ST’s SmartSpecs enhances the visual appearance of everyday objects and people using 3D recognition software. It helps legally blind people or those with serious visual impairments recognize familiar faces, find lost items, and easily navigate their environment.

Visualization of peripheral vasculature: The AccuVein AV400 digitally displays a real-time map of vasculature on the skin surface, allowing clinicians to verify vein patency. Patients benefit from less discomfort during venipuncture procedures.

Remote surgical expertise: VIPAR (Virtual Interactive Presence in Augmented Reality) is a video support solution that surpasses telemedicine. A surgeon remotely guides a peer during a procedure by projecting his hands into an AR display.


Education domain:

Using Extended Reality in the classroom can turn an ordinary class into an engaging experience. XR technology provides virtual examples and adds gaming elements to support textbook materials. As a result, classes become more interactive. AR helps students better remember the information they’ve just learned. Let's review a few examples of augmented reality in classroom education.

Paleontology: Dinosaur 4D+ is an AR app and a set of flashcards. Users can scan flashcards to see 3D dinosaurs. With Dinosaur 4D+, students can see dinosaurs in action, rotate them, and zoom in and out. The app also gives some information about each dinosaur.

Chemistry: Elements 4D uses AR to make chemistry more fun and engaging. First, users need to make paper cubes from special element blocks. Then, they just need to place the cubes in front of their device’s camera to see representations of chemical elements, their names, and their atomic weights. To explore elements, students can bring together two cubes to find out if elements react and to see the chemical reaction.

History and science: Google Expeditions provides both VR and AR tours that let teachers use augmented reality in education. With AR technology and mobile devices, users can bring 3D objects into the classroom, then walk around and explore them. These can be tornados, volcanos, or even DNA. Google Expeditions covers various subjects and offers more than 100 AR Expeditions through the circulatory system, history of technology, and the moon landing.

Medical Education: Medical students can improve both their knowledge and skills by taking advantage of virtual and augmented reality. Creating human body models that allow medical students to learn anatomy in depth.

Space industry: The space industry has always been one of the first to adopt advanced technologies. No wonder this industry is exploring Extended reality. Technologies like AR and MR can help astronauts with tasks like maintaining a space station. Using goggles, workers can receive visual work instructions without turning to manuals. NASA has already tested Project Sidekick, which uses HoloLens to provide virtual illustrations and instructions to help crew members perform complex tasks. According to NASA, this capability has the potential to “reduce crew training requirements.”

Military training: While training plays a vital role in the military sector, it’s not always possible to put soldiers in a particular location for training. Augmented reality technology is used to create an environment required for training soldiers, letting them train more often. It also helps save travel costs and reduces the need for special equipment, as augmented reality can add virtual objects.

The US Marines tested the Augmented Immersive Team Trainer (AITT) a few years ago. Augmented reality provides an environment where soldiers can train effectively, adding virtual effects and objects like vehicles and enemies to the physical world. AITT helps make such training more accessible and cuts costs.

The Synthetic Training Environment (STE) is also being designed to simulate a realistic military experience for soldiers and let them improve their skills with the help of VR and AR. One of the biggest advantages of this solution is that it’s risk-free. As of now, STE is under development and is expected to achieve initial operating capability by fiscal year 2020.

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