Exploring New Realities: How Tech Titans Are Shaping the Future of XR

Digital evolution is accelerating at an unprecedented pace. As extended reality (XR) is reshaping our digital landscape, the tech juggernauts such as Apple, Meta, Microsoft and Google are not only part of this process, they are leading it head-on. The recent events are a testament to the rapid acceleration of the XR meteor. On 30 June 2023, Apple’s Vision Pro, the latest breakthrough in mixed reality technology, was officially unveiled at a grand event. Two days later, Christine Warner and Mark Zuckerberg hosted Meta’s Connect conference where they shared the company’s ambitions for the metaverse. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s threefold strategy in XR technology and immersive learning has become a new vanguard for the industry. This commentary pieces examines the latest progress, and what Microsoft and other tech giants are doing in XR.

Apple's Vision Pro Unveils at WWDC 2024: A New Era Begins

At this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple is slated to reveal its first XR device, the Vision Pro. But buzz about the Vision Pro is less for what it is than for its promise to change the way we interact with digital content. As Apple prepares to move perhaps towards broader market release, the XR world awaits to see how things will change.

META CONNECT 2024: Forging Ahead in XR

And one day before Apple’s glitzy announcement was Meta’s Connect 2024 event, a showcase of new developments in the world of social media and XR. Meta’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, is not about to relinquish his turf in the XR market to Apple for the sake of his quest to conquer the metaverse. The Connect 2024 event suggests that Meta also has new products that could compete with those from Apple. There is fierce and serious competition brewing in the world of XR.

Zoom Enters the XR Arena

In a blog post to Zoom employees, the company’s CEO Eric Yuan has now begun to sketch out the roadmap. Zoom, he told the Zoomtopia conference in October, will ‘continue to push boundaries by exploring XR and AI-infused functionality into our video-first platform, creating an immersive XR version of our application, and enhancing collaboration with a digital whiteboard’. Yuan drops the F-word twice: he wants Zoom to become an ‘AI-first company’. And that sounds a lot like a retreat from video.

MICROSOFT'S Bold Move: Restructuring for the Future

Alongside this, Microsoft made headlines this year with some major organisational changes, including a restructuring of its HoloLens and Azure Cloud divisions that resulted in layoffs. While the company has been tight-lipped about future products and services, Microsoft has reassured customers of its continued support of HoloLens 2, and reaffirmed commitments to ‘providing XR software solutions’. In partnership with the XR specialists including Meta, Microsoft has focused its ambitions on the enterprise sector and specifically integrative immersive applications of Office 365. Over the course of several years of rapid change, its approach has become an adaptable strategy for the tech world.

MICROSOFT and the XR Training Revolution

In addition to product development, Microsoft also partners with HaptX and RoundTable Learning to offer immersive learning solutions for BNSF railway workers, which are achieving higher safety and efficiency levels using VR for training operations. Microsoft is not alone in this space. With XR technologies, both Microsoft and other companies are dramatically transforming professional training and setting a new standard for industry practice.

The Next Frontier: MICROSOFT’S Unwavering Commitment to XR

Courtesy KiwibotDespite this, we can still witness the determined dedication that Microsoft has to XR technologies. Instead of abandoning ship, it is investing in software and immersive learning solutions, and is still one of the major players. Microsoft, like other tech giants, is still a formidable and integral part of the virtual world. We are truly at the start of a new digital epoch, and these titans of technology are guiding us into a brave new world of untold promise. In this new virtual space, we are all cats. We can still use this technology freely, or we can pay for the privilege. However, once we are hooked, it can be difficult to resist the lure of videogames as the ultimate digital playground for grownups.

About Microsoft

As a pioneer in personal computing, software and now immersive technologies, Microsoft has been at the forefront of technological innovation for half a century. As a company, we’ve long focused on how to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. We play an integral role in shaping the future of how people engage with the digital world, decision making, education and more. As a result, we also have a good sense of the possibilities that XR technologies present for reshaping how we live our daily lives.

Jun 08, 2024
<< Go Back