This week in Extended Reality (XR) news we see an increase in demand for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) developers as well as a huge turnout of virtual experiences at the Sundance Film Festival. XR is coming, are you and your business ready with innovative ways to take advantage of this new(ish) medium?

We previously used XR for mixed reality, however after digging in a bit more we’ve identified the umbrella term of Extended Reality (XR) which is used to define all real-and-virtual worlds combined is becoming more and more common. This primarily encompasses augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality (think a combination of virtual reality and real life) but may include other realities that haven’t been invented yet. Going forward we’ll use XR in this space. 

AR/VR Engineering Jobs On The Rise

What’s Happening: AR and VR engineering jobs are on an uptick as companies look to XR to reach potential new customers as this technology lets people experience product offerings in a completely new and interactive way. 

Growth in interview requests for AR/VR among software engineers is up 1,400 percent from 2018. Facebook currently has more than 3,000 jobs with the terms “AR/VR” and Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Google have a total of 1,000. The AR/VR industry is expected to reach $571.42 billion by 2025

Why it Matters: When building new technological experiences it’s important to look at where any given industry is and look and current trends. This growth in XR is a very good indicator that not only entertainment but a variety of industries are going to be impacted by the disruption of augmented and virtual reality. If you’re looking to build a team around AR/VR solutions, it’s a smart move to start looking at potential candidates now rather than later. 

AR And VR Take Sundance By Storm

What’s Happening: Sundance film festival goers typically expect traditional flat entertainment. However, this year VR and AR experiences are disrupting the norm as attendees are interested in a plethora of interactive and personal experiences. Showings include virtual space experiences with waterproof VR rigs, to incredibly personal and emotional 1:1 moments. The shift in packed theaters to longer intimate experiences VR can be seen as attendees prioritize what’s important during their time at the festival and this is ushering in a new notion of VR not being an isolating experience, rather one that allows people to make memorable and personal connections.

Why it Matters: Every brand has something to offer, and as marketers, we have a huge opportunity to leverage VR and AR to make these brand connections more meaningful for our audience and potential fans. By using technology that lets people feel closer to others or brands, we can create authentic experiences that will have fans talking about our products with a personal relationship (or at least create a very memorable and cool virtual reality story to tell).