In our digital world, nothing seems to dictate the growth and success of companies more than technological advancements. Among the countless new technologies of today, extended reality (XR) stands out for its budding importance in global business, particularly in North America. The continent had the largest market share in extended reality in 2018 and is expected to continue dominating the XR market throughout the forecast period. Canadian business owners must have a firm understanding of extended reality to implement the technology and access the ample funding available through tax credit financing and other means to thrive in this highly competitive area.
What is Extended Reality?
Extended reality is an immersive technology consisting of augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and virtual reality (VR) that fuses the physical and virtual worlds into new spaces. It combines edge cloud and on-device processing with 5G technologies to deliver photorealistic visuals and enhanced digital experiences. XR also allows individuals and businesses to interact with standalone headsets by combining AR and VR technologies. Versatile, XR is utilized in many fields, from entertainment and retail to healthcare and transportation.
Benefits of XR in Business Fields
Most industries can benefit from XR technology as it produces more efficient processes, maximizes training, and allows individuals to collaborate in virtual settings from remote locations. Currently, AR and MR serve as training guides for workers by using relevant data to improve the user’s physical world. VR simulates environments in which users practice job-skill techniques and other soft skills. Additionally, XR permits employees to practice riskier tasks in a safe yet realistic manner when used with Internet of Things (IoT) headsets. There are various other situations where XR can make an impact in business, including:
- Allowing design teams to explore and evaluate concepts without needing physical prototypes
- Assisting with employee upskill when budgets are diminished and in-person meetings are unavailable
- Enabling multiple users to engage with the same content while customizing it to each user’s preferences
- Increasing the enterprise’s ability to bring high-quality goods and services to market
The Market Growth of XR
Due to the vast benefits XR technologies offer businesses, some economists believe they could potentially provide a $1.5 trillion boost to the global economy by the year 2030, a startling increase from the $27 billion market value of 2018. The projected value encompasses areas such as the development of new customer experiences, increased production, and safer workplaces.
Advancements in AR and VR technologies, such as display, head-pose tracking, and motion tracking, are central driving forces of XR market growth. The effects of COVID-19 have also increased the need for XR technology as more jobs transition to remote virtual training and meetings. Additionally, numerous tech giants such as Google and Microsoft have supported augmented reality industry growth with hefty investments. With the advent of 5G technology, companies across the globe are commercializing XR viewers with high bandwidth and low latency to offer customers fresh and immersive experiences.
Potential Setbacks with XR Technologies
While experts expect the XR market to grow substantially in the coming years, several issues may hinder augmented reality industry growth. For example, the lack of a highly dense connected infrastructure has made it difficult to use software information and form immersive 3D graphics. There have also been challenges with the thermal efficiency and power of standalone headsets.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic advanced XR technology with the increase of virtual meetings, it also impeded the production of XR devices by disrupting supply chains and causing several manufacturing plants to close. Additionally, the XR industry has slowed down as consumers have spent less on non-essential goods since the start of the pandemic.
Financing XR Innovation
Despite possible issues that can hold the market back, XR companies continue to enhance their platforms, software, and services with organic and inorganic strategies. These businesses must have sufficient research and development grants and investments to continue improving XR technologies and thrive.
Easly helps Canadian XR businesses keep up with market growth by providing tax credit financing for Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) refunds. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) awards over $3 billion in these tax credits to more than 20,000 claimants every year, but the processing time of these refunds is lengthy. In the meantime, your business can lose out on making key innovations in XR technology.
Easly’s efficient application process allows businesses to be funded in as little as two weeks. Through our Capital-as-a-Service platform, our partner companies access 75% of their accrued refunds in quarterly installments to smooth cash flow throughout the year and continue with consistent investment in R&D.
Start Accessing SR&ED Funds with Easly
The hopeful projections of augmented reality industry growth indicate how crucial it is for Canadian XR companies to discover and develop new technologies. Contact Easly today to get the financing you need for your technological research and development projects.