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What is Extended Reality?

Table of Contents

  • What is Extended Reality Technology?
  • What is an Industry That Needs Extended Reality?
  • What is Medical Extended Reality?
  • What is the Potential Benefit of Applying Extended Reality Solutions?
  • What is Extended Reality in the Cloud?
  • Conclusion


Extended Reality (XR) refers to a broad category of technologies that merge the physical and virtual worlds to create immersive, interactive experiences. The XR definition includes Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR).

XR is used in various applications, including entertainment, education, training, gaming, and more. It offers a unique and innovative way to experience and interact with the world. It is expected to continue growing in popularity in the coming years as technology advances and becomes more accessible. The XR technology market is estimated to surpass USD 2.6 trillion by 2031.

Today, we know many cases of XR technology use in Healthcare, MedTech, Engineering, Manufacturing, Aerospace, Defense, and Architecture. For example, XR can simulate real-world scenarios in medical training or visualize complex engineering designs more intuitively and interactively.

Overall, XR technology is developed to provide users with a more immersive and interactive experience that combines the best of both the physical and digital worlds. As the technology continues to evolve and become more widely adopted, we can expect to see more and more applications of XR in a variety of industries and fields.

What is Extended Reality Technology?

Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term encompassing all the technologies and environments that merge the real world with digital or virtual elements and overlays. As mentioned, XR technology includes Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and other related technologies. However, to best define Extended RealityReality, let’s look at the technologies that make up XR separately.

VR creates an entirely immersive digital environment that simulates a real-world experience. The VR experiences are divided into three types: the fully immersive, the semi-immersive, and the non-immersive. Thus, VR can be accessed through several devices, including smartphones and tablets. A fully immersive experience would, however, require a VR headset or goggles that block out the physical world. Nowadays, there are countless VR headsets, with Meta Oculus, HTC VIVE, Varjo, and Pico VR series among the most well-known ones.

AR overlays the real world with digital information, enhancing the user’s experience of their surroundings. It can be experienced through various modalities, including smartphones, tablets, desktops, smart glasses, or AR headsets, including Nreal Air, Vuzix Blade AR, Raptor AR headset, Snap Spectacles 3, and many more.

MR, also known as hybrid RealityReality, merges the real world with virtual objects in a way that allows both to interact with each other in real time. MR technology can provide a highly immersive experience, enabling users to interact with real and digital objects simultaneously. Like AR and VR technology, this technology can be accessed through devices outside MR headsets. However, devices like HoloLens and Magic Leap are the ones that allow taking advantage of full MR experience capabilities.

What is an Industry That Needs Extended Reality?

Extended Reality suits various industries, including Healthcare, Education, Architecture and Engineering, Military and Defense, Real Estate, Tourism and Hospitality, Retail, Gaming, and Entertainment. This is just a short list of industries that can benefit from immersive capabilities.

• Healthcare: XR technologies are used for medical training and education, surgical simulations, rehabilitation, telemedicine, etc.

• Education: XR technologies create immersive educational experiences, hands-on training, virtual field trips, interactive simulations, gamified learning, etc.

• Architecture and Engineering: XR technologies are used for design visualization, prototyping, collaboration, etc.

• Military and Defense: XR technologies are used for military training, simulations, mission planning, etc.

• Real Estate: XR technologies create virtual tours of properties, demonstrations, visualizations, etc.

• Tourism and Hospitality: XR technologies create virtual tours of destinations and hotels, engaging and immersive experiences, storytelling, etc.

• Retail: XR technologies create virtual try-on experiences, product visualization in real-world settings, customer engagement, etc.

• Gaming and Entertainment: XR technologies have revolutionized the gaming and entertainment industry by providing immersive experiences to users.

Image Source: Varjo

Overall, XR technologies have the potential to revolutionize many industries, providing professionals and users around the globe with new XR-enhanced tools, opportunities, and approaches.

What is Medical Extended Reality?

Medical Extended Reality (MXR) uses Extended Reality (XR) technology in medicine and healthcare. MXR, not to be confused with XR medicine (otherwise known as extended-release drugs), is a technology that can provide various benefits in medical applications, including training, education, diagnosis, and treatment.

One of the critical applications of MXR technology is in medical training. MXR simulations can provide medical students realistic scenarios and virtual patients, allowing them to practice and learn in a safe and controlled environment. This can help reduce the risks of live patient training while improving student performance and knowledge retention. MXR technology can also enhance patient education by providing immersive and interactive educational materials to help patients better understand their medical conditions, treatments, and procedures. This can lead to better patient outcomes and improved patient satisfaction.

In addition, MXR technology can be used in medical diagnosis and treatment. For example, MR technology can give doctors real-time visualization of a patient’s anatomy during surgery, allowing them to perform procedures with greater precision and accuracy. AR technology can also be used in medical imaging, allowing doctors to overlay virtual images onto a patient’s body to help with diagnosis and treatment planning. Virtual Reality can be used for procedure walk-throughs and practice, helping develop skills and building confidence and a sense of achievement. Overall, MXR technology has the potential to benefit the field of medicine and healthcare greatly. As technology continues to advance and become more accessible, we can expect to see more and more medical applications of MXR technology in the coming years.

What is the Potential Benefit of Applying Extended Reality Solutions?

Extended RealityReality can have numerous benefits depending on the industry, need, and implementation. XR benefits include increased efficiency, cost, and time reduction, increase in user engagement, and improvements in acquisition and retention, amongst other ROI. One significant advantage of applying XR solutions is that they can provide the following:

• A more immersive and engaging experience;

• Lead to improved learning outcomes;

• Build confidence;

• Improving decision-making skills.

XR technology can create realistic simulations of real-world scenarios, allowing users to practice and learn in a safe and controlled environment. For example, Extended Reality simulations can be used in medical training to provide medical students with realistic surgical procedures, allowing them to practice and learn in a hands-on and interactive way. This can lead to improved learning outcomes and better preparedness for real-world scenarios.

In addition, Extended Reality technology can improve decision-making by providing users with more information and data in a more intuitive and visual format. For example, AR technology overlays virtual data onto real-world objects, allowing users to see and interact with information more intuitively and naturally. This can help users to make more informed decisions and improve their overall performance.

What is Extended Reality in the Cloud?

XR in Cloud is one of the top emerging Extended Reality trends in 2023. It refers to using Cloud Computing resources to support and enhance Extended Reality experiences. Cloud-based XR solutions can offer a range of benefits, including improved performance, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. One of the main benefits of using Cloud-based XR solutions is that it can improve performance by offloading resource-intensive tasks to the Cloud. For example, rendering high-quality XR graphics can require significant processing power, which can be challenging to achieve on a user’s device. By leveraging Cloud resources, XR experiences can be delivered with high-quality graphics and low latency, providing users with a more immersive and engaging experience.

In addition, cloud-based XR solutions can be more scalable and cost-effective than traditional XR solutions that rely on dedicated hardware. With cloud-based solutions, resources can be easily scaled up or down as needed, depending on user demand. This can help reduce costs and improve efficiency, particularly for organizations that require many XR experiences.

Cloud-based XR solutions can also provide more flexibility and accessibility, as XR experiences can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. This can be particularly useful for remote collaboration, training, and education.

Overall, cloud-based XR solutions offer a range of benefits that can enhance the performance, scalability, and accessibility of XR experiences. As the technology continues to evolve and become more widely adopted, we can expect to see more and more applications of cloud-based XR solutions in various industries and fields.


XR technologies can transform many industries by creating immersive, interactive, and engaging user experiences. We, however, have yet to experience the full potential of Extended Reality technology, which will undoubtedly accelerate its advancement in the upcoming couple of years. While XR development could bring unique challenges, it is bound to deliver great new opportunities for businesses and users worldwide.

Authors: Alex Dzyuba, Lucid Reality Labs Founder & CEO | Anna Rohi, Lucid Reality Labs Senior Marketing & Communications Manager

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