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Big XR News from Apple, IDC, Innoactive, and HPE


The XR space has a lot to offer, and as more firms enter the industry as software or hardware solution providers, the use cases for XR will expand. The power of XR and spatial computing data is undeniable, whether in 3D environmental or user tracking data. 3D services are working hard to elevate the future of industry and work by profoundly understanding the world around us.

Even if a company is not currently using VR or virtual meeting spaces, XR data is still set to play a significant role in transforming our work. It is exciting to see the progress and innovation that emerging technology solutions are bringing.

Will the Apple Vision Pro Debut in China

Apple’s CEO and spatial computing champion, Tim Cook, confirmed that the recently released Apple Vision Pro would land in China in 2024.

Apple plans to increase its investment in its Chinese regional partners, who are already working with the company to create device components and control supply chains. The CEO is visiting China due to a decline in iPhone sales. This follows similar news from Samsung, who have noted that smartphone sales are decreasing and, in response, they are investing more in XR devices.

Reports state that Cook’s most recent visit marks the third time the CEO has been to China regarding declining device sales. Tencent is reportedly helping the Apple Vision Pro gain access to the Chinese market by making some of its most popular apps available on the device.

According to The Information, marketing the Apple Vision Pro would have been a struggle without the support of one of China’s leading technology companies. The Apple Vision Pro is an MR headset that extends the usability of ordinary computers by expanding the 2D desktop screens into a 3D computing interface of the world surrounding a user, allowing them to use MR-powered productivity apps.

Tim Cook confirmed that Apple plans to release the Apple Vision Pro later this year at the China Development Forum in Beijing.

Cook said:

I am very confident in it (China). I love China, I love being here, I love the people and the culture. Every time I come here, I am reminded that anything is possible here.

IDC Predicts Surge in AR and VR Headset Shipments

According to IDC, the shipments of AR and VR headsets are expected to increase significantly due to the rise of MR. Although the shipments for AR and VR headsets decreased by 23.5 per cent last year, new data from IDC suggests that shipments will rise by 44.2 per cent to 9.7 million units in 2024.

The recent update of the Apple Vision Pro and upcoming products will also contribute to the growth, while the macroeconomic conditions worldwide are expected to improve.

Jitesh Ubrani, Research Manager, Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers at IDC, spoke about some of the factors driving the AR and VR market, saying:

Apple’s launch of the Vision Pro grabbed a lot of headlines and has raised awareness for AR and VR and although it’s priced out of reach for most, it is helping raise the bar for competitors. Along with Apple, many companies such as Meta and others have already begun their journey, transitioning from VR to Mixed Reality; ultimately laying the groundwork for true AR experiences.

By the end of 2028, VR headsets are set to reach 24.7 million units, which translates to a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.2 per cent. VR sales are also being pushed up by its use cases, expanding from gaming to design, training, and more.

IDC Trackers are updated monthly, quarterly, and semi-annually; the results are sent to clients. Ramon T. Llamas, Research Director with IDC’s Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality programme, added:

It will be exciting to watch how the market will evolve from today’s experiences and how end-users will adapt to them. Mixed reality (commonly referred to as MR, the ability for users to toggle between augmented and virtual reality) has been the exception and not the norm, but Apple has shone a bright light on MR with the Vision Pro.

XR Cloud Streaming to Break Down Enterprise Barriers

Daniel Seidl, the CEO and Founder of Innovative, participated in an exclusive interview with XR Today at NVIDIA GTC’s XR Demo floor. He discussed the latest innovations in XR cloud streaming, NVIDIA’s shift towards this sector, and its advantages to business clients.

Seidl believes that with the wide variety of RT3D engines available for enterprise, customers will choose the services that best suit their use cases. He also noted that Unreal and Unity will “try to catch up because the industrial segments are very important for them.”

According to Seidl, NVIDIA OpenUSD, the Omniverse file format, is a “game changer.” He hopes that OpenUSD will be embraced sooner rather than later, as it will help eliminate many of the issues plaguing the industry.

XR and spatial data streaming platforms are essential for adopting XR in the workplace. The file types required for 3D collaboration tools in the enterprise are extensive and resource-intensive. In contrast, consumer XR use cases require much smaller file types, as expectations for graphical fidelity are much lower.

However, a higher graphical benchmark is required in industrial or enterprise workflows where every detail matters and minor errors can result in significant financial losses. As a result, cloud streaming is becoming increasingly crucial as hardware requirements continue to grow with extensive simulations and 3D files.

Seidl explains:

Our customers are large enterprises, and when they want to reach their users with XR, the problem is always that they don’t have the hardware, or it’s too complicated for them to get started. If we can break down these barriers and enable access to VR solutions via streaming, all a customer needs is a headset or office PC, and then they can stream it, and the use cases will get much better.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Introduces Digital Twin as a Service Platform

HPE is building a new digital twin-as-a-service (DTaaS) solution to ease enterprise clients into spatial data and simulation services and introduce new use cases. Bahr Mahony, the North American High Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence Solution Business Manager at HPE spoke to XR Today on the GTC expo floor to discuss GTC’s new DTaaS product.

Mahony said:

Digital twins allow enterprises to simulate real situations and certain outcomes in order to make better decisions. They’re also able to de-risk their business operations by gaining faster time to value through active experimentation, scenario planning, and prototyping. What HPE has done is develop a solution that can be utilised by enterprises across practically every industry, as digital twins are being employed for a variety of use cases to simulate assets and processes across a range of industries.  

Moreover, Mahony added that the DTaaS solution allows HPE clients to create an “established route” to provide businesses with new DTaaS technology and help transition a firm’s business operations to a digital platform.

Mahony also added:

Thus, it affords people the ability to start small and dip their toes in the water, as opposed to making the significant capital expense outlay and diving in head first.

According to Mahony, clients can use the HPE GTaaS platform on-site or in a co-location facility. Mahony also mentioned that HPE can help its customers identify the potential applications of digital twin technology from a professional services standpoint.

HPE’s team assists in creating a high-level roadmap for integrating the technology in a workplace environment, providing proof of concept and deployment services. Furthermore, Greenlake-managed services allow HPE to manage the entire solution on behalf of the customer.

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