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Srrayvinya


Date

March 2024


Topics

  • Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Mixed Reality (MR)
  • Metaverse
  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)

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5 Min Read

The Era of Extended Reality (XR) and Software Applications

The physical and digital worlds merging seamlessly is no longer a dream but a reality – an extended reality. Picture yourself planning and rehearsing a surgery beforehand or viewing immersive digital experiences of spaces still under construction or experiencing real, human-like connections in alternate realities, all in the comfort of your home! Extended Reality is making this possible as we speak.

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The Known Facts

What is Extended Reality (XR)?

XR brings the best of the worlds – Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR), revamping the way businesses interact and function. This revolutionary technology bridges the digital and physical environments by creating completely immersive experiences for users, which redefine the way they perceive and interact with data.

Virtual Reality

VR immerses the users in a simulated environment with multiple digital experiences akin to reality. With the aid of specialized equipment like VR headsets and gloves, users can interact with the artificial settings created using VR. Further, multisensory experiences including what users can touch, smell, and even taste, outclass as the future of virtual reality.

Augmented Reality

With the development of AR applications, businesses have been overlaying digital content onto the real world to enhance user experiences. AR amplifies the user’s perception of reality by providing immersive, smooth, and interactive interactions through sophisticated devices including smartphones, AR glasses and headsets.

Mixed Reality

MR combines both VR and AR where physical and digital objects coexist. Through MR headsets and smart glasses, this technology allows users to visualize their physical surroundings and interact with people around them in real-time without any room for isolation.

The Visionary Insights from Technology Leaders

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Kandhakumar Thirumoorthy, Associate Vice President – Software Engineering, articulates, “The potential applications of XR are constantly expanding, and as software development continues to evolve, we can expect even more immersive and interactive experiences. XR has the potential to revolutionize the way we learn, work, play, and connect with the world around us”.

He adds, “I see the Era of XR and Software Applications as an epoch of boundless innovation, where technology transcends the limitations of screens and interfaces to empower users with immersive, transformative experiences. Our mission is not just to develop software, but to craft gateways to new realities where imagination knows no bounds”.

When asked about Cloud Destinations’ take on VR, Kandha says, “For Sandbox VR, a gaming company offering the world’s most advanced VR experiences, Cloud Destinations has created unique Gift Vouchers embedded with the option to book an experience for closed ones. These gift vouchers allow the recipients to relish the joy of fully immersive experiences along with their friends and family”.

A beacon of inspiration, Kandha holds 25+ years of exceptional work experience in the Software Engineering domain at companies like Accenture, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Mphasis, and others.

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Soundra Pandian, Director - DevOps & Solutions Architecture, Cloud Destinations, asserts, “With the emergence of contemporary technological trends such as GenAI, IoT, the proliferation of insightful Data Analytics, and the continuous improvement of hardware capabilities, the concept of XR is poised to transcend its current niche and become an integral part of everyday life for common people to revolutionize how individuals interact with their surroundings and consume information.

He adds, “As XR technologies continue to mature and permeate various sectors, they will undoubtedly revolutionize how individuals interact with their environment, work, learn, and communicate, ultimately becoming an indispensable part of everyday life”.

A true people leader, Soundra is a Full Stack Software Engineer with 20+ years of diverse work experience in Microservices Architecture, Java, Python, DevOps, and Databases.

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The Gateway to Realistic Virtual Worlds!

Beyond gaming and entertainment, XR has been transforming diverse industries with new ways right from immersive training simulations to enhanced customer experiences, and much more. In 2024, most businesses are geared up to leverage XR technologies to develop more software applications across a spectrum of fields right from education to healthcare, real estate, and much more.

Extended Reality in Education

With XR, learning has evolved beyond the simple act of reading an article or watching a video. Right from AR providing students with hands-on, real-world experiences to XR offering virtual field trips and on-campus XR labs with multisensory engagement, the world of education has been transforming in ways unimaginable.

Below are a few examples of XR applications that promote social, data-driven, and student-centric learning.

Dreamscape Learn:

This application enables students to become practicing biologists that can discover and solve complex life science problems through immersive biology courses. Its Immersive Classroom allows teachers to lead a synchronous learning experience along with collaborative interactions between students and teachers from anywhere in the world.

AnatomyX:

An AR platform for anatomy education, AnatomyX was developed to explore, learn, and teach human anatomy through advanced gesture control and speech recognition. Designed by leading AR experts at Medivis, this application offers medical students, instructors, and administrators an immersive visualization platform with beautiful 3D graphics for studying the nuances of human anatomy.

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Extended Reality in Healthcare

The deployment of XR in healthcare has been on the rise in aiding medical education, therapy, surgical planning, training and support, and much more. Especially, AR/MR technologies such as smart glasses and virtual headsets have been widely leveraged in the healthcare industry to enhance patient outcomes. Besides, surgeons can practice complex procedures in a risk-free virtual environment with a hands-free interface, thus making them safe, simple, and effective, and reducing errors.

Here are a few XR applications that have been redefining the healthcare systems and industry.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides:

A MR application for Microsoft HoloLens, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides assists the operators with holographic instruction cards encompassing images, videos, and 3D holographic objects, whenever needed. Some of the key applications of this app include enhancing patient care, promoting remote nursing education, assisting surgeons in live surgery, training medical students, empowering healthcare team collaboration, and much more.

Mixed Reality Viewer:

Mixed Reality Viewer software when combined with Magic Leap 2 headset creates stunning MR experiences for the users. This powerful combination provides multi-user visualization of 3D diagnostics, detailed presurgical planning, and comprehensive collaboration features to specialists. This allows them to work collaboratively on medical cases with a greater level of specificity and accuracy and also plan and rehearse surgeries beforehand.

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Extended Reality in Real Estate

Through XR technologies, real estate agents and managers can bestow prospective homebuyers with a virtual tour of the properties yet with a real feel, thus closing deals faster. Besides, XR-based advertisements and sales presentations enhance customer experiences while amplifying business opportunities. From mere 3D Video and 3D Photography for creative interactions with clients to XR technologies and software applications enhancing their viewing experiences, the real estate world has been witnessing a swarm of changes!

Peruse further to learn about a few XR applications that have significantly eased the entire buying and selling process in real estate.

roOomy:

roOomy has been reshaping the real estate industry with its application that harnesses the best of 3D and VR technologies for enhanced property visualization. This app lets the homebuyers or renters immerse themselves in a beautiful, virtually staged listing encompassing designs that are as per the scale and choose the furniture of their choice beforehand that can give the right look and fit. All one must do is wear a Magic Leap 2 headset and view and browse through property-specific virtual staging designs!

RealAR:

With the might of AR and AI, the RealAR application transforms 2D and 3D floor plans into life-size walkthroughs. These walkthroughs help realtors in creating immersive digital experiences of spaces that are still under construction, right across the client’s smartphone or tablet. Moreover, the AR experiences of this app deliver almost double the levels of cognitive engagement compared with its non-AR equivalents, thus helping clients understand property and building plans within minutes.

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Extended Reality in Gaming

Last but not least, the gaming industry stands out as the trailblazer for many XR-based software applications. Right from comprehensive participation effect to being able to intimately feel the selected scenes in video games, XR games enable users to plunge into a completely different reality.

XR has been revolutionizing the gaming industry with a wide range of games, offering unparalleled immersive experiences to the users. Here are a few examples!

vTime XR:

The first AR and VR-based cross-reality social network, vTime XR presents pioneering platforms and services that enable real, human connections in alternate realities.

Asgard’s Wrath II:

The sequel to the most acclaimed VR Game – Asgard’s Wrath, Asgard’s Wrath II is one of the most ambitious Action Role-Playing Game (ARPG) in VR. This game gives all the VR enthusiasts a reason to get off the couch and swing their arms around.

Beat Saber:

A VR rhythm game, Beat Saber allows users to wield their virtual lightsabers and slice through the beats of adrenaline-pumping music. This game presents users with rhythm-action gameplay and genuine workout sessions, while reveling in the best immersive VR environments.

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The Future of XR

From Sensorama – the earliest functioning effort in VR in 1962 to the Apple Vision Pro –the marvel of spatial computing in 2023; the worlds of AR and VR have beheld many advancements, proving that the concept of extended reality is not just a dream but a fantastic reality!

With a motto of eliminating the friction from XR experiences, the integration of haptics and hand tracking is proven to create more natural, intuitive, and immersive digital interactions, thereby saying goodbye to controllers. This technology of touch is undergoing a sea of changes each day and stands out as the most important aspect of the future of XR-based software applications. Furthermore, the combination of XR, Haptics, and AI is expected to revolutionize the digital landscape in multiple ways!

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