What is Extended Reality and Why You Should Care

Extended reality (XR) is a term that encompasses all the immersive technologies that blur the line between the physical and the digital worlds. XR includes virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), as well as other emerging technologies that create or enhance our perception of reality.

XR is not just a buzzword or a fad. It is a rapidly growing market that is expected to reach $472.39 billion by 2028, according to Mordor Intelligence. XR has the potential to transform various industries and sectors, such as education, healthcare, entertainment, retail, manufacturing, and more. XR can also create new opportunities for businesses and consumers, such as:

  • Enhancing customer experience and engagement with immersive and interactive content
  • Improving training and learning outcomes with realistic and safe simulations
  • Increasing productivity and efficiency with hands-free and remote assistance
  • Expanding creativity and innovation with limitless possibilities
  • Enabling social and collaborative interactions in virtual spaces

In this blog post, we will explore some of the latest trends and examples of XR in different domains and how they can benefit you.

XR and the Metaverse

One of the biggest trends in XR is the metaverse, which is a term that describes a shared virtual space where people can interact with each other and digital content. The metaverse is often seen as the next evolution of the internet, where instead of browsing web pages, we can enter immersive 3D environments.

The metaverse is not a single platform or product, but rather a collection of interconnected virtual worlds that can be accessed through various devices, such as VR headsets, smartphones, or glasses. The metaverse can offer various experiences, such as gaming, socializing, shopping, working, learning, and more.

One of the most prominent examples of the metaverse is Facebook's recent rebranding to Meta¹⁴, which reflects its vision to create a social VR platform that connects people across different virtual experiences. Meta's products include Oculus VR headsets, Horizon VR social network, Spark AR studio, and Portal smart displays.

Another example of the metaverse is Roblox, which is a popular online gaming platform that allows users to create and play millions of user-generated 3D games. Roblox has over 200 million monthly active users who spend an average of 2.6 hours per day on the platform. Roblox also has its own virtual economy where users can buy and sell digital items using Robux, its own currency.

XR in Education

XR can also enhance education by providing immersive and engaging learning experiences that can improve retention, motivation, and performance. XR can also enable access to quality education for anyone, anywhere, regardless of physical or geographical limitations. Some examples of XR in education are:

  • Google Expeditions, which is an app that allows teachers and students to explore various places and topics in VR or AR. For example, students can visit historical landmarks, natural wonders, or outer space using VR headsets or smartphones. They can also interact with 3D models of animals, plants, or human anatomy using AR devices.
  • Labster, which is a platform that provides virtual labs for science education. Students can conduct experiments and simulations in VR or on their web browsers without the need for expensive equipment or materials. Labster covers topics such as biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and more.
  • Coursera, which is an online learning platform that offers courses from top universities and organizations. Coursera recently launched XR courses that teach students how to create VR and AR applications using Unity, a popular game engine. The courses are designed for beginners who want to learn the basics of XR development.

XR in Healthcare

XR can also improve healthcare by providing better diagnosis, treatment, training, and prevention. XR can also reduce costs, errors, risks, and stress for both patients and healthcare professionals. Some examples of XR in healthcare are:

  • AccuVein, which is a device that uses AR to project a map of veins on the skin of patients. This helps nurses and doctors to locate veins easily and accurately for blood draws or injections. AccuVein claims to improve first-stick success by 3.5 times and reduce patient pain by 40%.
  • Surgical Theater, which is a platform that uses VR to create 3D models of patients' anatomy from medical scans. This helps surgeons to plan, rehearse, and perform complex surgeries with more precision and confidence. Surgical Theater also allows surgeons to collaborate with other experts or patients in VR.
  • MindMaze, which is a platform that uses VR and neuroscience to help patients recover from neurological disorders such as stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury. MindMaze uses VR games and exercises to stimulate neural pathways and rewire the brain. MindMaze claims to improve motor and cognitive functions by 30% to 50%.

XR in Retail

XR can also revolutionize retail by providing personalized and convenient shopping experiences that can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. XR can also help retailers to showcase their products, services, and brands in more innovative and effective ways. Some examples of XR in retail are:

  • IKEA Place, which is an app that uses AR to let customers visualize how IKEA furniture and products would look and fit in their homes. Customers can browse and select from thousands of items and place them in their rooms using their smartphone cameras. They can also share their designs with others or buy the products online.
  • Sephora Virtual Artist, which is a feature that uses AR to let customers try on different makeup products and looks. Customers can use their smartphone cameras or webcams to see how various shades and styles of lipstick, eyeshadow, blush, and more would suit them. They can also get expert tips and recommendations or buy the products online.
  • Walmart VR Shopping, which is a concept that uses VR to create a virtual store where customers can shop from anywhere. Customers can use VR headsets to enter a 3D environment that resembles a Walmart store. They can walk around, browse, and pick up items using VR controllers. They can also interact with other customers or staff in VR.

XR in Manufacturing

XR can also enhance manufacturing by providing better design, production, maintenance, and quality control. XR can also improve safety, efficiency, and collaboration for both workers and managers. Some examples of XR in manufacturing are:

  • Boeing, which is an aerospace company that uses AR to assist its workers in assembling complex aircraft parts. Workers can use AR glasses or tablets to see digital instructions and diagrams overlaid on their workstations. This helps them to reduce errors, save time, and increase productivity.
  • Ford, which is an automotive company that uses VR to design and test new vehicles. Engineers and designers can use VR headsets to create and modify 3D models of cars in a virtual environment. They can also simulate various scenarios and conditions to evaluate the performance and safety of the cars.
  • Siemens, which is an industrial company that uses MR to provide remote support and guidance for its workers and customers. Workers can use MR glasses or smartphones to connect with experts who can see what they see and provide real-time assistance. This helps them to solve problems faster and more effectively.


Extended reality (XR) is a powerful technology that can create new possibilities and opportunities for various industries and sectors. XR can provide immersive and interactive experiences that can enhance our lives, work, play, and learning. As XR technology becomes more accessible, affordable, and advanced, we can expect to see more applications and innovations in the near future. XR is not just a trend or a hype, but a reality that is here to stay.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post on extended reality. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. 

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