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What is Extended Reality (XR) and Why is it Important To Your Business?

You’re familiar with virtual reality (VR), and you’ve heard of augmented reality (AR), but what the heck is extended reality (XR)? If you’re confused by the language of the metaverse, you’re not alone. Since Zuckerberg announced the social media company formerly known as Facebook is now called Meta, we’ve been overwhelmed with jargon. However, the term XR makes things easier, not harder. It is a consolidated way to talk about the metaverse, and that’s a good thing!

Let’s break it down:

Virtual reality is an entirely simulated digital environment accessed through a visor or similar device.

  • Augmented reality is digital augmentation transposed upon the naturally occurring environment surrounding the user. Currently, this simulation is produced by cameras mounted to the outside of a non-transparent visor or a near-eye prism projector mounted to glasses.

  • Mixed reality is both VR and AR delivered together.

  • Finally, extended reality is all of these things. The term XR was needed to nip an endlessly expanding acronym in the bud—VR/AR/MR/XR. If it’s part of a 3D computer-generated reality, it’s XR.

How about the metaverse? 2D virtual gaming worlds are the most accessed form of the metaverse. These include Decentraland, Fortnite, Roblox, and Second Life. However, XR adds a 3D immersive quality that creates a fully virtual experience. The metaverse and XR will be synonymous once XR is a fully realized technology. Metaverse and XR are immersive online environments where you work, collaborate, learn, play, shop, and create in real-time. It’s the embodied internet delivered through devices like sensors, cameras, VR visors, and other extended reality wearables.

How Do We Get to an XR World?

With Elon Musk working on contact lenses and implantable brain chips, how we enter may change. However, you’ll need some type of device to enter the metaverse, and you always will. What that means now is wearing a visor or glasses. There are several options, but the devices that offer enough content to make a purchase worthwhile include the Oculus, Playstation VR, and Vive. It’s rumored that Google Glass will reappear in the consumer market soon, and Google’s industrial version is available now. Apple is on the cusp of releasing its extended reality wearable. We should see that by the end of 2022.

Why You Should Become an Early Adopter

According to a report by Gartner, by 2026, 1 in 4 people will spend at least one hour per day in the metaverse. The metaverse is jam-packed with innovative, user-generated content from virtual stores to fashion shows, product launches, concerts, and educational opportunities. Brands like Gucci, Nike, and Disney have invested in creating metaverse experiences, but consumer experiences are nowhere near saturation. Good news for the rest of us—you don’t have to spend a fortune to stand out if you start now! Being an early adopter will save you money and engaging organically has a much more significant impact when the user base is still relatively small. Everything is new and exciting, and you can access unrepresented markets as they emerge. In five years, it will be too late.

What You Can Do Now

  • Set up workrooms or classrooms

  • Create custom worlds for customers to visit

  • Generate and promote metaverse content

  • Build targeted advertising for XR users

  • Position yourself as a metaverse pioneer

  • Launch educational webinars and campaigns

  • Visit worlds, follow people, and grow your network

  • Start understanding how to optimize your discoverability using metaverse SEO

  • Attend events in VR on platforms

  • Partner with creators and influencers who are already in the space to get a boost forward

  • Create public relations content using AR as a way to stand out when pitching stories to journalists

  • Set up Google Alert to follow “metaverse” in the news to educate yourself

  • Interact with journalists, reporters, and analysts that cover the metaverse.

Sliice Marketing is the first global agency dedicated to metaverse marketing and design. We will build crystal clear messaging that resonates with your audience in and outside the metaverse. Don’t go it alone—partner with Sliice to gain visibility in the metaverse and stake your claim today.

Watch our educational video here

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