A new survey from Perkins Coie LLP and the XR Association compares the future of immersive technologies of XR, such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR), to mobile devices in terms of broad consumer popularity. Nearly nine in 10 respondents which includes startup founders, technology company executives, investors, and consultants shared their insight about how investment and use of XR technology will rise in the next six years.
Investment in XR has already surged in late 2018, continuing a year-over-year rise from 2017 to 2018 indicating both that investors are hopeful and that companies are becoming more established in the post start-up phase. North America is considered the top region for investment by a majority of respondents, with the Asia-Pacific region far behind that, but still foreseen to have major growth within the coming years.
A significant number of respondents showed concern for consumer privacy and data security as a legal risk while developing technology, with other concerns being product liability, health and safety issues, and difficulty in licensing technology. Companies are dealing with these concerns by updating privacy policies and disclosures regarding consumer data, as well as data security measures and training employees about risks.
Following a trend in previous years, XR technologies are most popular in the gaming industry with second in popularity being healthcare and medical devices. Many also see education, military and defense, manufacturing, and automotive as industries where the technology can expand.
“The idea of VR and AR as a means of connecting people to the digital world in a much more natural and human way is profound,” said Tipatat Chennavasin, general partner at Venture Reality Fund in a press statement. “It will help everyone benefit from the power of the digital economy. It allows us to redefine computer literacy—we can adapt the computer to the way we think and want to work.”