Main menu


What is Extended Reality XR?

What is Extended Reality XR?

Extended Reality XR is a generic term for immersive technologies including virtual reality, augmented reality, and horn reality.

Advances in augmented reality have already changed the way we work ,  live and play,  and are just getting started.

Extended Reality XR is a category that encompasses many of the latest immersive technologies, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality.

From gaming to virtual production to product design, Extended Reality XR enables people to create, collaborate, and explore in computer-generated environments like never before.

What is Extended Reality XR ?

Virtual, augmented and mixed reality are all elements of Extended Reality XR technology.

Virtual reality (VR) puts the user into a virtual environment. VR users can usually wear a headset to move into the virtual world. You were standing in a real room a little while ago, and in a moment you can enter the simulated environment.

Modern VR technologies are pushing these boundaries, making virtual environments look and behave like the real world. We're also adding support for additional senses, including touch, hearing, and smell.

VR allows gamers to fully immerse themselves in video games, designers and customers can review construction projects to determine details prior to construction, and retailers can test virtual displays before deploying to physical stores.

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology in which rendered images are overlaid on the real world. The mobile game 'Pokémon GO' contributed to AR becoming a mainstream technology, with computer-rendered monsters appearing on lawns and sidewalks as players wander around the neighborhood.

AR graphics can be viewed on mobile phones, tablets and other devices, providing users with a new interactive experience. For example, navigation can also be improved with AR. Instead of a 2D map, information can be floated on the windshield and superimposed over the driver's front sight, and simulated arrows tell the driver exactly where to turn.

Mixed Reality (MR) seamlessly integrates the real world with rendered graphics, creating an environment in which users can directly interact with the digital world, the physical world.

MR mixes real and virtual objects and presents them together on a single display. Users can experience the MR environment through a headset, phone, or tablet, and interact with digital objects by moving them or placing them in the real world.

There are two types of MR.

Blending virtual objects into the real world — For example, when a user views the real world through a camera in a VR headset, the virtual object blends seamlessly into the field of view.
Blending real objects into the virtual world — the camera view of a VR user blended into the virtual world, for example, seeing a VR gamer playing in the virtual world.

History of Extended Reality XR

To understand how far Extended Reality XR has evolved, we have to go back to VR.

Originating in the public sector, VR has been used to train people in flight simulators. The energy and automotive design industries were also early adopters of VR. These simulation, visualization VR use cases required large supercomputers. In addition, we needed a dedicated space, such as a powerwall, a super high-resolution display, and a VR  CAVE , which projected a VR environment on each surface from the wall to the ceiling of an empty room.

For decades, VR technology has been out of reach for most users, and small VR ecosystems are mostly made up of large institutions and academic researchers.

But around a decade ago, when several key technologies reached a tipping point, the SteamVR runtime spurred the launch of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift head-mounted displays (HMDs).
Individuals can now experience immersive content by purchasing a personal HMD. And with powerful GPUs, these HMDs and experiences can be implemented on individual PCs or workstations.

When VR suddenly became accessible to millions of people, a large ecosystem full of innovation and enthusiasm was quickly formed.

A new wave of VR innovation has begun in recent years with the launch of all-in-one (AIO) headsets. Previously, a fully immersive VR experience required a physical connection to a powerful PC. HMDs couldn't function as a standalone device because they didn't have an operating system and didn't have the ability to compute images.

However, AIO headsets give users access to dedicated devices with a simple setup that can deliver fully tracked VR anytime, anywhere. With innovations in VR streaming technology, users can now experience powerful VR experiences on the go.

Latest XR Trends

Access to high-quality Extended Reality  XRs is increasing. Consumers around the world are buying AIOs to experience Extended Reality XR, from immersive gaming to distance learning to virtual education. Large enterprises are adding Extended Reality XR to their workflows and design processes.Extended Reality XR dramatically improves design implementation, including digital twins .
And one of the biggest trends today is streaming Extended Reality XR experiences over 5G in the cloud. So there is no need to connect to a workstation or confine the experience to a single space.

By streaming over 5G from the cloud, people can use their Extended Reality XR devices anywhere, anytime, and get the computing power to run Extended Reality XR experiences in their data centers. Advanced solutions like NVIDIA CloudXR make immersive streaming more accessible, allowing more Extended Reality XR users to experience high-definition experiences anywhere.
AR is becoming more and more common. After Pokemon Go became popular, AR is being introduced into several consumer-focused areas. Many social media platforms have added filters that users can overlay on their faces. Retailers have integrated AR to showcase realistically rendered 3D products, which customers can place in a room and visualize in any space they want.

Additionally, companies in a variety of industries, including architecture, manufacturing, and healthcare, are using the technology to significantly improve their workflows and create unique interactive experiences . For example, architects or design teams can integrate AR to monitor construction projects, allowing them to view site progress and compare it to digital designs.

And although it's still in its infancy, MR is advancing in the Extended Reality XR space. The emergence of many new headsets made for MR, including the Varjo Extended Reality  XR-3, speaks of the trend. MR headsets enable professionals in engineering, design, simulation, and research to develop and interact with 3D models in real life.

The future of  Extended Reality XR

As Extended Reality XR technology advances, another technology is ushering users into a new era of artificial intelligence (AI).

AI will play an important role in Extended Reality XR, from virtual assistants assisting designers in VR to intelligent AR overlays that can guide individuals through DIY projects.

For example, imagine being able to wear a headset and tell your content what to do with natural words and gestures. With the help of hands-free, voice-based virtual agents, even non-professionals can create stunning designs, complete highly complex projects and leverage the power of powerful applications.
Platforms like NVIDIA Omniverse are already changing the way users create 3D simulations and virtual worlds. Omniverse enables users around the world to develop and operate digital twin simulations. The platform enables immersive experiences of vast virtual worlds by giving users the flexibility to move into a physically accurate and fully ray-traced virtual world through a 2D monitor or their preferred Extended Reality
 Extended Reality XR  experience.