The XR (Extended Reality) market is expected to witness rapid growth in 2022 and the year ahead. Deliveries hit a record high of 10 million units in the first quarter of 2021, but have slowed in recent quarters. This year, Meta introduced their new device, the Quest Pro, which comes with an eye and face tracking system. The company hopes this will help it expand its commercial product sales into the enterprise sector, cementing its leadership position among other companies such as Microsoft and Leap Motion.
Diagram: counterpoint research
The future of XR looks bright, with a number of new technologies expected to be developed. However, the competition is expected to intensify with the predicted release of Sony’s PlayStation and Apple’s headsets next year. Emphasis has been placed on the specifications that major manufacturers (OEMs) will provide when they start to enter the market in earnest.
A higher field of view is important to improve user experience and capability. However, most current devices with FOVs less than 160° have to compromise on resolution. There are two main reasons for this: screen size and degradation at a high FOV when viewing small objects.
As the level of control over gesture and eye movement technologies increases, the number of devices using these technologies is likely to increase. Combinations of technologies will allow the development of AR gadgets without opening the functionality of the phone. In the future, they will save time and allow users to interact with features through their own gestures without having to touch a screen.
For example, multiple 3D sensors can be used to find nearby objects and gestures by using spatial recognition for motion sensors. Most 3D sensor modules are expected to use flight technology. There are two types of time-of-flight technology: indirect time-of-flight and direct time-of-flight. It (iToF) is used for face recognition on phones as it offers excellent privacy and is useful for quick investigations. Therefore, both technologies are expected to be used with extended reality devices.
Human-computer interaction (HCI), i.e. the ability to understand the emotions and behavior of other people, has developed rapidly in recent years. The associated demand for artificial intelligence has also increased. AI technologies are foundations for understanding the environment and people to provide an enhanced experience for every user. When AI and AR are combined, it becomes possible to get optimized information for each user. AI technology is continuously evolving to support exploration of XR as a digital human environment. It will be possible to analyze users’ emotions through facial expressions and body movements, and provide a real-time personalized environment even if they do not express their emotions under certain environmental conditions, which will further strengthen the bond between humans and AI technology.
As the power of mobile computing is gradually taken over by smartphones, the development of virtual reality (VR) corresponds to the increasing demand for 3D and AR applications. Meaningful visual interaction for consumers is one of the key drivers of market expansion.
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