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THE 5 BIGGEST VIRTUAL, AUGMENTED,
AND MIXED REALITY TRENDS IN 2022
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
THE 5 BIGGEST VIRTUAL, AUGMENTED, AND
MIXED REALITY TRENDS IN 2022
With the hype around the metaverse, there are a lot of things happing in
the extended reality (XR) world. Here we explore the five biggest trends in
VR, AR, and MR for 2022 including new headsets, 5G, as well as
applications in retail and education.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Extended reality (XR) is a catch-all term that covers virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and
mixed reality (MR). In the very simplest terms, VR involves putting on a headset to enter a fully
immersive, 3D digital environment, AR involves using a phone or glasses to overlay computer images
on top of the real world, and MR can be a combination of both technologies.
Although they achieve it in different ways, they all involve new ways of interacting and experiencing our
increasingly digital world. As more and more of our lives – work, socializing, shopping, entertainment –
move online, these new ways of interfacing with reality mean we can experience them in ways that are
richer and more immersive. In working and professional environments, this means a greater ability to
collaborate on projects with colleagues in digital spaces. In entertainment, it means games and activities
that feel more “real” than ever before.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
This digitization of our lives has accelerated greatly since the start of the
pandemic, leading to a growth in interest and innovation around XR and virtual
worlds. So here’s a look at some of the key trends that are involved, and how we
can expect them to continue shaping our lives throughout 2022 and beyond:
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
TREND 1: XR AND THE METAVERSE
Sometimes called Web 3.0 (or social media 2.0), the metaverse is a concept that’s the focus of a lot of
excitement right now - see Facebook’s recent rebrand to Meta. This is likely to remain the case throughout
2022. Although the metaverse doesn’t have to exclusively exist in XR, it’s the version of it that does that’s
getting the most attention. This is because more immersive, experiential environments are central to the
whole concept – something that XR interfaces lend themselves to very well.
The truth is that no one exactly knows what the metaverse will look like if predictions that it will play a big part
in our lives turn out to be correct. But Meta’s focus on the VR aspects (through its hardware brand Oculus)
means that it’s likely to be a core feature. 3D environments, avatars, and gamification – three fundamental
aspects of the concept – all fit well with VR interfaces. And AR, too, with its potential to blur the distinction
between virtual and real worlds, is another idea that meshes well with the metaverse concept. 2022 should
see the release of Meta’s Horizon platform, giving people their first taste of what the metaverse could
become, and VR will be the window through which they experience it.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
TREND 2: MORE ADVANCED HEADSETS AND HARDWARE
Like any technology, the hardware needed to access virtual reality gets smaller and more powerful as time
goes on. This is particularly beneficial to the uptake of that technology, when we’re talking about devices that
need to be strapped to our heads! As well as lighter VR headsets, AR devices will get lighter, too – California
startup Mojo Vision has already demonstrated the potential for AR contact lenses that project information
directly onto the retina.
Hardware will offer more features, too. Eye-tracking technology that lets us control interfaces with eyeball
movements has already been cracked, thanks to the HHTC Vive Pro Eye headset, and we can expect more
software to take advantage of this technology in the coming year. A big advantage here is that the system only
needs to render parts of the picture that are being directly viewed in high quality, reducing the power
consumption of the headset. Other innovations will attempt to solve the problem of enabling realistic
movement within virtual environments (which will always be a problem if your actual environment doesn’t
match the size and proportions of your virtual one, and isn’t free of hazards that might cause you to trip over!)
Proposed solutions to this problem include both boots, as offered by Ekto VR, and treadmills, like the one
developed by Virtuix.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
A technology known as haptic feedback will attempt to solve the problem of providing
sensations of touch in XR environments. One example is the Teslasuit that provides tactile
feedback through electrostimulation. The suit currently costs around $20,000 and, among
other uses, is used by NASA for astronaut training, but we can expect to see smaller-scale
consumer versions on the market in 2022.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
TREND 3: XR IN RETAIL
The retail industry is going through huge changes, both online and offline, and both
offer plenty of opportunities to innovate with XR technologies. In online retail, VR
solutions can be used to create more engaging and immersive shopping experiences
that mimic the "hands-on" advantages of bricks ‘n’ mortar outlets. Meanwhile, in bricks
‘n’ mortar, AR technology can help customers find what they are looking for on the
shelves and provide the type of information and feedback opportunities (for example,
integrating customer reviews with in-store products) that shoppers have become used to
having online.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
VR allows online retail experiences far beyond what is possible with typical e-commerce
websites – for example, customers can "try on" jewelry and clothing using digital avatars
and engage in "personal shopper" interactions with chatbots. In real stores, we can expect
more stores to be fitted with AR technologies such as virtual mirrors that allow customers
to try on many different items without having to take the time to get changed or even
actually touch any products! When they find items they like, they can simply be directed
towards where they will be found on the shelves.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
TREND 4: XR AND 5G
The 5G rollout is gathering pace, and 2022 is looking like it will be the year where uptake becomes
widespread enough that it becomes a mainstream proposition. Currently offering speeds around 20
times quicker than existing mobile networks, but with the potential to greatly increase that
differential, the benefits aren’t just faster data transmission, but the possibility of different types of
data and services. This is likely to include the large data volumes needed to run XR, making wireless
and cloud-based VR and AR a possibility. Plutosphere, for example, and other startups offering
similar services, let users stream VR games from cloud servers, eliminating the need for users to own
expensive gaming PCs packed with powerful graphics hardware in order to enjoy home VR. Gaming
has tended to act as the testbed for much of the VR technology that’s currently permeating other
industries such as healthcare and education, so we can expect similar solutions aimed at other use
cases to emerge during 2022. This will dramatically lower the barriers to entry for many businesses
wanting to deploy XR solutions without making large infrastructure investments.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
TREND 5: XR IN TRAINING AND EDUCATION
I believe providing more immersive, engaging, and – in some cases – safer educational opportunities
will be one of the biggest growth areas for XR technology in 2022 and beyond. There are a number
of reasons for this; firstly, in line with just about every other aspect of our lives, education –
particularly adult education and training – is increasingly happening online and remotely. This has
been driven by the global pandemic but is clearly a trend that was underway long before lockdowns
and school closures became a regular feature of life. Online learning – either in a formal setting such
as through a university or training body or informally through one of the ever-growing number of
MOOCs – increasingly allows us to fit ongoing learning into our busy lives in ways that would not
have been possible 20 years ago.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
XR technologies make it easier for students to visualize concepts – from the numbers used in
accounting to historical events or even the inner workings of reality exposed through quantum physics
– in interesting and engaging ways. Evidence suggests that when we learn through experiencing in this
way, rather than simply reading dry facts, we can improve our knowledge retention by 75 to 90%.
VR can also be used to train and simulate operating in dangerous situations, such as the FLAIM system
used to train firefighters to tackle wildfire and aircraft fires. And AR is increasingly being used to provide
real-time inputs to trainees during on-the-job learning, such as using computer vision-equipped glasses
and headsets to recognize and warn of potential dangers in the work environment.
© 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Read more about how AR, MR, and VR are being used in my book, “Extended
Reality in Practice: 100+ Amazing Ways Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality Are
Changing Business and Society.”
© 2021 Bernard Marr , Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved
Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker,
futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and
companies. He helps organisations improve their business performance, use data
more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as
artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things.
LinkedIn has ranked Bernard as one of the world’s top 5 business influencers. He is
a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum and writes a regular column for
Forbes. Every day Bernard actively engages his 1.5 million social media followers
and shares content that reaches millions of readers.
hello@bernardmarr.com
www.bernardmarr.com

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The 5 Biggest Virtual, Augmented, And Mixed Reality Trends In 2022

  • 1. THE 5 BIGGEST VIRTUAL, AUGMENTED, AND MIXED REALITY TRENDS IN 2022
  • 2. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved THE 5 BIGGEST VIRTUAL, AUGMENTED, AND MIXED REALITY TRENDS IN 2022 With the hype around the metaverse, there are a lot of things happing in the extended reality (XR) world. Here we explore the five biggest trends in VR, AR, and MR for 2022 including new headsets, 5G, as well as applications in retail and education.
  • 3. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Extended reality (XR) is a catch-all term that covers virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). In the very simplest terms, VR involves putting on a headset to enter a fully immersive, 3D digital environment, AR involves using a phone or glasses to overlay computer images on top of the real world, and MR can be a combination of both technologies. Although they achieve it in different ways, they all involve new ways of interacting and experiencing our increasingly digital world. As more and more of our lives – work, socializing, shopping, entertainment – move online, these new ways of interfacing with reality mean we can experience them in ways that are richer and more immersive. In working and professional environments, this means a greater ability to collaborate on projects with colleagues in digital spaces. In entertainment, it means games and activities that feel more “real” than ever before.
  • 4. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved This digitization of our lives has accelerated greatly since the start of the pandemic, leading to a growth in interest and innovation around XR and virtual worlds. So here’s a look at some of the key trends that are involved, and how we can expect them to continue shaping our lives throughout 2022 and beyond:
  • 5. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved TREND 1: XR AND THE METAVERSE Sometimes called Web 3.0 (or social media 2.0), the metaverse is a concept that’s the focus of a lot of excitement right now - see Facebook’s recent rebrand to Meta. This is likely to remain the case throughout 2022. Although the metaverse doesn’t have to exclusively exist in XR, it’s the version of it that does that’s getting the most attention. This is because more immersive, experiential environments are central to the whole concept – something that XR interfaces lend themselves to very well. The truth is that no one exactly knows what the metaverse will look like if predictions that it will play a big part in our lives turn out to be correct. But Meta’s focus on the VR aspects (through its hardware brand Oculus) means that it’s likely to be a core feature. 3D environments, avatars, and gamification – three fundamental aspects of the concept – all fit well with VR interfaces. And AR, too, with its potential to blur the distinction between virtual and real worlds, is another idea that meshes well with the metaverse concept. 2022 should see the release of Meta’s Horizon platform, giving people their first taste of what the metaverse could become, and VR will be the window through which they experience it.
  • 6. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved TREND 2: MORE ADVANCED HEADSETS AND HARDWARE Like any technology, the hardware needed to access virtual reality gets smaller and more powerful as time goes on. This is particularly beneficial to the uptake of that technology, when we’re talking about devices that need to be strapped to our heads! As well as lighter VR headsets, AR devices will get lighter, too – California startup Mojo Vision has already demonstrated the potential for AR contact lenses that project information directly onto the retina. Hardware will offer more features, too. Eye-tracking technology that lets us control interfaces with eyeball movements has already been cracked, thanks to the HHTC Vive Pro Eye headset, and we can expect more software to take advantage of this technology in the coming year. A big advantage here is that the system only needs to render parts of the picture that are being directly viewed in high quality, reducing the power consumption of the headset. Other innovations will attempt to solve the problem of enabling realistic movement within virtual environments (which will always be a problem if your actual environment doesn’t match the size and proportions of your virtual one, and isn’t free of hazards that might cause you to trip over!) Proposed solutions to this problem include both boots, as offered by Ekto VR, and treadmills, like the one developed by Virtuix.
  • 7. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved A technology known as haptic feedback will attempt to solve the problem of providing sensations of touch in XR environments. One example is the Teslasuit that provides tactile feedback through electrostimulation. The suit currently costs around $20,000 and, among other uses, is used by NASA for astronaut training, but we can expect to see smaller-scale consumer versions on the market in 2022.
  • 8. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved TREND 3: XR IN RETAIL The retail industry is going through huge changes, both online and offline, and both offer plenty of opportunities to innovate with XR technologies. In online retail, VR solutions can be used to create more engaging and immersive shopping experiences that mimic the "hands-on" advantages of bricks ‘n’ mortar outlets. Meanwhile, in bricks ‘n’ mortar, AR technology can help customers find what they are looking for on the shelves and provide the type of information and feedback opportunities (for example, integrating customer reviews with in-store products) that shoppers have become used to having online.
  • 9. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved VR allows online retail experiences far beyond what is possible with typical e-commerce websites – for example, customers can "try on" jewelry and clothing using digital avatars and engage in "personal shopper" interactions with chatbots. In real stores, we can expect more stores to be fitted with AR technologies such as virtual mirrors that allow customers to try on many different items without having to take the time to get changed or even actually touch any products! When they find items they like, they can simply be directed towards where they will be found on the shelves.
  • 10. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved TREND 4: XR AND 5G The 5G rollout is gathering pace, and 2022 is looking like it will be the year where uptake becomes widespread enough that it becomes a mainstream proposition. Currently offering speeds around 20 times quicker than existing mobile networks, but with the potential to greatly increase that differential, the benefits aren’t just faster data transmission, but the possibility of different types of data and services. This is likely to include the large data volumes needed to run XR, making wireless and cloud-based VR and AR a possibility. Plutosphere, for example, and other startups offering similar services, let users stream VR games from cloud servers, eliminating the need for users to own expensive gaming PCs packed with powerful graphics hardware in order to enjoy home VR. Gaming has tended to act as the testbed for much of the VR technology that’s currently permeating other industries such as healthcare and education, so we can expect similar solutions aimed at other use cases to emerge during 2022. This will dramatically lower the barriers to entry for many businesses wanting to deploy XR solutions without making large infrastructure investments.
  • 11. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved TREND 5: XR IN TRAINING AND EDUCATION I believe providing more immersive, engaging, and – in some cases – safer educational opportunities will be one of the biggest growth areas for XR technology in 2022 and beyond. There are a number of reasons for this; firstly, in line with just about every other aspect of our lives, education – particularly adult education and training – is increasingly happening online and remotely. This has been driven by the global pandemic but is clearly a trend that was underway long before lockdowns and school closures became a regular feature of life. Online learning – either in a formal setting such as through a university or training body or informally through one of the ever-growing number of MOOCs – increasingly allows us to fit ongoing learning into our busy lives in ways that would not have been possible 20 years ago.
  • 12. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved XR technologies make it easier for students to visualize concepts – from the numbers used in accounting to historical events or even the inner workings of reality exposed through quantum physics – in interesting and engaging ways. Evidence suggests that when we learn through experiencing in this way, rather than simply reading dry facts, we can improve our knowledge retention by 75 to 90%. VR can also be used to train and simulate operating in dangerous situations, such as the FLAIM system used to train firefighters to tackle wildfire and aircraft fires. And AR is increasingly being used to provide real-time inputs to trainees during on-the-job learning, such as using computer vision-equipped glasses and headsets to recognize and warn of potential dangers in the work environment.
  • 13. © 2021 Bernard Marr, Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Read more about how AR, MR, and VR are being used in my book, “Extended Reality in Practice: 100+ Amazing Ways Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality Are Changing Business and Society.”
  • 14. © 2021 Bernard Marr , Bernard Marr & Co. All rights reserved Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies. He helps organisations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things. LinkedIn has ranked Bernard as one of the world’s top 5 business influencers. He is a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum and writes a regular column for Forbes. Every day Bernard actively engages his 1.5 million social media followers and shares content that reaches millions of readers.