Optimism surrounding immersive technology rising after pandemic, Perkins Coie’s custom XR industry survey finds

SEATTLE – (BUSINESS WIRE) – The disruption caused by COVID-19 has bolstered the prospects for immersive technology, which could become even stronger as the world emerges from the pandemic, according to the fifth annual XR Industry Insider Survey (formerly the XR Industry Insider Survey). virtual and augmented reality) published today by Perkins. Coie and the main industrial group of the XR Association.

The survey of 164 industry stakeholders involved in XR, which encompasses virtual, augmented and mixed reality, shows that the pandemic may have really surpassed the industry momentum of the last half of the decade. In light of the effects of COVID-19, that is, the patterns of social distancing that forced a global shift toward remote connectivity and greater comfort and familiarity with online and virtual experiences, more than eight out of 10 respondents say investment in immersive technology will increase in 2021 compared to 2020.

“Clearly, the initial economic disruptions related to COVID-19 did not hurt the prospects of the XR industry, and the long-term effects of the pandemic appear to have increased bullish sentiment related to immersive technology,” said Kirk Soderquist, co-chair of the Digital Media and Entertainment, Games and Sports Industry Group and partner in the Perkins Coie Technology and Privacy Transactions practice. “These survey results reflect what we feel from XR dealers: that five- to seven-year terms are accelerating from one to four years.”

“The results of our surveys reflect two broad categories of how COVID-19 has changed the landscape of immersive technology,” said Elizabeth Hyman, executive director of XRA. “The first category refers to what consumers are expected to do as the pandemic ends. The second deals with the behaviors established during the pandemic that will be maintained. Taken together, the pandemic will have a lasting legacy in evolution and the continuous growth of immersive technology “.

The survey, conducted in April 2021, was preceded and reported by group interviews with experts in the field. Overall, the results show that immersive technologies continue to expand beyond gaming and entertainment, with sectors such as health, education, retail, and workforce development and training considered areas of potential growth.

Strong optimism, but obstacles remain

Eighty-three percent of respondents expect investment in immersive technology in 2021 to be higher than in 2020, compared to 68% in our previous survey, which said that investment in 2020 would be higher than in 2019 In addition, 37% said the investment would be significantly higher than this year’s survey, compared to 26% last year. It should be noted that optimism is higher in some industries; after being dependent on remote work for the past year, 95% of respondents say their organizations plan to increase spending on immersive technology for better remote collaboration and training.

Jason Schneiderman, co-leader of Immersive Technology (AR / VR / XR) and emerging Venture Capital Venture Company lawyer at Perkins Coie, said that, “although, as the survey indicates, definitely we have seen investment grow due to the pandemic, already experiencing a bullish market reaching 2020, especially in education and training in labor, as well as in the automotive and retail sector. ”

The biggest barrier to mass adoption revolves around access to software. Half of respondents said that developing more accessible software (not specifically in terms of open source software or software designed for people with disabilities) to meet the needs of all users will be the main driver of the adoption of the company. For consumer adoption, respondents said the main driver was availability and access to software and open source communities (61%).

Other challenges are consistent with the results of last year’s surveys. 65% of respondents cited user experiences as the main barrier to greater adoption of immersive technology, while content offerings (53%) and costs to consumers (27%) were other barriers.

Voice of minority and female companies

Validating some anecdotal evidence indicating that the industry is increasingly diverse, six out of ten respondents identified as workers in a minority or female company. Aside from giving us a snapshot of the diverse industry landscape, the most notable finding was that these respondents are even more convinced than the set of general surveys that developers don’t understand what makes the content appealing to consumers, especially for minorities and women.

The results showed that minority-owned firms were more likely to agree strongly, while female-owned firm respondents more agreed or agreed on the lack of compelling content. For respondents of minority-owned companies, existing content is especially lacking when it comes to being interactive and immersive. In addition, respondents from female-owned companies were more likely to think that educational content is lacking even though they believe the pandemic has affected the use of immersive technology in education more than any other sector except marketing and advertising (the set of surveys chose healthcare).

Use of immersive technology a Healthcare, education and fashion are changing

Respondents to last year’s survey, conducted in January 2020, said healthcare was the sector most prepared for disruption by immersive technology. COVID-19 proved them right and the sector was also the one (outside of gaming and entertainment) that this year’s respondents believe will be the hardest hit by the pandemic. Marketing and advertising were next, although in last year’s survey it was not an area that many respondents said was ready for the disruption of immersive technology.

The pandemic also seems to have greatly affected the prospects for immersive technology in two other sectors: education and fashion. 97% considered immersive technology to be a major contributor to significant advancement in education by 2026, with 63% agreeing firmly. Immersive experiences in retail, specifically in fashion, are already on the rise as a result of the effects of COVID-19, with 89% of respondents agreeing that fashion and retail present great opportunities for technology. immersive.

About Perkins Coie LLP

Perkins Coie is a leading international law firm known for delivering high value strategic solutions and extraordinary customer service on issues vital to the success of our clients. With more than 1,200 attorneys in U.S. and Asian law firms, we offer a wide range of corporate, commercial, intellectual property litigation and regulatory legal advice to a wide range of clients, including many of the world’s most innovative and leading companies. of industry. as well as public and non-profit organizations. Perkins Coie’s Vertical Immersive Technology (AR / VR / XR), part of the newly launched and reinvented group of the digital media and entertainment, games and sports industry, advises the pioneers of XR technology to build immersive worlds for games, education, health, and beyond. By making an all-inclusive commitment to the industry, our attorneys advise market leaders on immersive technology, products, services and content. Lawyers for this group help meet the legal and business needs of our clients, focusing on leveraging the firm’s collective experience in the transformative convergence of digital media and the entertainment industry. , digital gaming and sport.

About the XR Association

The XR partnership promotes the dynamic global growth of the XR industry, which includes virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality and future immersive technology. XRA is leading the responsible development and adoption of XR by convening stakeholders, developing good practices and research, and advocating on behalf of our members and the XR industry.

The XR partnership represents the broad ecosystem of the XR industry, including headset manufacturers, technology platforms, component and peripheral companies, Internet infrastructure companies, enterprise solution providers and corporate end users. The founders of XRA are Google, HTC Vive, Microsoft, Facebook Oculus and Sony Interactive Entertainment. For more information on XRA membership, visit xra.org/joinus.

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