Written by

Bernard Marr

Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the fields of business and technology, with a passion for using technology for the good of humanity. He is a best-selling author of 20 books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations. He has over 2 million social media followers, 1 million newsletter subscribers and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.

Bernard’s latest book is ‘Business Trends in Practice: The 25+ Trends That Are Redefining Organisations’

View Latest Book

Follow Me

Bernard Marr ist ein weltbekannter Futurist, Influencer und Vordenker in den Bereichen Wirtschaft und Technologie mit einer Leidenschaft für den Einsatz von Technologie zum Wohle der Menschheit. Er ist Bestsellerautor von 20 Büchern, schreibt eine regelmäßige Kolumne für Forbes und berät und coacht viele der weltweit bekanntesten Organisationen. Er hat über 2 Millionen Social-Media-Follower, 1 Million Newsletter-Abonnenten und wurde von LinkedIn als einer der Top-5-Business-Influencer der Welt und von Xing als Top Mind 2021 ausgezeichnet.

Bernards neueste Bücher sind ‘Künstliche Intelligenz im Unternehmen: Innovative Anwendungen in 50 Erfolgreichen Unternehmen’

View Latest Book

Follow Me

Why Are AR, VR & MR So Popular Right Now?

23 September 2021

It’s clear that the world is waking up to the incredible possibilities of extended reality (XR). Experts predict that XR will become a $209 million market by 2022, making it a huge tech trend that business leaders and consumers are watching closely.

As momentum continues to build, we will blur the boundaries between the digital world and the real one with smarter, cheaper, faster, and better virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).

So what are the factors making extended reality technology so popular right now?

Why Are AR, VR & MR So Popular Right Now? | Bernard Marr

Extended Reality Tech: A Hero of the Pandemic

Businesses had to adapt quickly to maintain connections with prospects and customers when the pandemic hit at the beginning of 2020. XR provided companies with ways to maintain those relationships and provide unique, memorable experiences.

Telework increased dramatically as shutdowns happened around the world, and AR, VR, and MR technology helped to fill in the gaps caused by remote work. Professionals on group calls could simulate backgrounds with impressive AR backgrounds or attend virtual conferences.

XR technology can also help professionals maintain the efficiency and quality of the services they normally provide in person. For example, AR could allow IT technicians to give guidance to customers using on-screen directions on the customer’s mobile device.

Millions of people were also cooped up indoors without regular access to their typical recreational activities like travel, concerts, classes, or get-togethers with family and friends – so more and more users took to VR as a way to get a change of scenery or visit with loved ones in a safe way.

The World Is Waking Up to the Possibilities of XR

Beyond the pandemic, there has also been an explosion in the number of ways some of the world's biggest brands are using XR technology. Here’s just a taste of some of the creative use cases for XR, as companies grasp the power of possibility of this game-changing technology:

  • Transforming the retail shopping experience with virtual dressing rooms
  • Making school and corporate training more compelling, fun, and effective
  • Improving healthcare outcomes with better diagnostic tools
  • Creating immersive experiences for sports fans or concert-goers
  • Building virtual or augmented tours of real estate properties or hotels
  • Helping people find their way through shopping malls and airports using AR on their phones

In addition, VR games continue to expand and get more sophisticated every year. The virtual reality gaming industry is expected to grow to 2.4 billion dollars by 2024 as companies develop immersive city-building, gambling, racing, first-person shooter, and adventure games.

Major tech companies are also making it easier for developers to get into the augmented reality market with open source-source AR tools like Apple’s ARKit 4 and Google’s ARCCore.

Better, More Affordable Hardware and Software

VR headsets, controllers, and software for HTC Hive and Oculus Rift – initially some of the most expensive equipment in the XR – cost around $4k when they first launched. Now hardware production leaders including Sony, Google, Oculus, and HTC are all developing far more affordable VR headsets. Today, consumers can get an Oculus Quest 2 set for $299.

The decreased prices don't mean consumers have a less dynamic experience, however. VR keeps getting more dynamic and entertaining, thanks to continual improvements in hardware and software. Developments in graphics and animation, sensory effects, tactile feedback, and increased mobility are all making the VR experience even better, contributing to its rise in popularity.

Interest and development of VR, AR, and MR are booming right now due to the unexpected demands of the pandemic and the widening of XR applications beyond the gaming and entertainment worlds. My prediction is that the boom will continue as extended reality technology continues to improve and become more available to a larger swath of the population due to decreased prices. 

Read more about extended reality technologies – including plenty of real-world examples – in my new book, Extended Reality in Practice: 100+ Amazing Ways Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality Are Changing Business and Society

Business Trends In Practice | Bernard Marr
Business Trends In Practice | Bernard Marr

Related Articles

Tim Cook Says The Metaverse Isn’t The Future Because People Don’t Understand It – They Might Not Have To

It seems like everyone has spent the last year or so falling over themselves to tell us what the metaverse is.[...]

Digital Pop Stars, Virtual Influencers And The Future Of Music And Celebrities In The Metaverse

Polar may be a rising star of social media with 1.6 million followers on TikTok and millions of views on YouTube, but to "meet" her, you have to step into the metaverse.[...]

What Is The Business Impact Of The Metaverse?

I recently spoke with Emma Ridderstad, CEO of Warpin Media, an immersive technology solutions company focused on bringing the Enterprise Metaverse[...]

Metaverse | Bernard Marr

Disney: The Metaverse, Digital Transformation, And The Future Of Storytelling

The Walt Disney Company is one of the world's best-known entertainment brands and is responsible for some of the best-loved children’s stories of all time.[...]

Will Smart Glasses Replace Smartphones In The Metaverse?

The metaverse – everyone has different ideas about what exactly it is, but what most agree on is it’s the “next level” of the internet.[...]

Is This Web3 Winery The Future Of Wine In The Metaverse?

I have previously covered a number of projects in the space involving drinks makers partnering with technologists to create innovative use cases for decentralization.[...]

Stay up-to-date

  • Get updates straight to your inbox
  • Join my 1 million newsletter subscribers
  • Never miss any new content

Social Media

Yearly Views


View Podcasts