XR, a technology category that encompasses both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), is set for explosive growth over the next 6 years, according to a new report. The findings come from Frost & Sullivan, a reputable analytics firm that specializes in investigating economic and technological trends.

The Frost & Sullivan report examines the state of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality (MR), to paint a picture of the market prospects across the entire spectrum of these futuristic technologies. This ranges from complete VR immersion into computer-generated environments, to the use of virtual objects to enhance real-world experiences that characterize AR/MR.

The data reveals that the idea of the metaverse, an immersive shared computer environment in which users play, socialize, work, and trade, continues to attract funding and interest from investors. The metaverse is widely touted as the successor to today’s internet and leverages blockchain technology to allow users to monetize and trade virtual objects.

VR- and AR-capable hardware is the primary way for people to access the metaverse and interact with the software. The Frost & Sullivan report forecasts the global XR market as a whole will experience an 11x increase by 2028, growing from $14.55 billion to $160.14 billion. Experienced VR and AR developers are also in demand as companies search for talented individuals to build their metaverse products.

Analysts point to many potential drivers behind this growth, each representing exciting segments of the industry. Apart from the metaverse, experts cite the availability of AR-capable mobile apps and the growing popularity of VR gaming across PC and game console platforms.

The North American and Asia-Pacific markets are noted to be the two leading regions in terms of XR revenue. The report also lists specific industries that are projected to benefit from VR and AR adoption, including media and entertainment, the manufacturing industry, retail and e-commerce, health and fitness, and education/training.

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