A 2017 study on extended reality predicted that Europe will be a leading force in XR development. Well, it wasn’t wrong. The European XR industry has grown steadily over the past few years, adding more companies, employees, and value.
Building on the original research that the XR Association (XRA) and Ecorys published in 2017, XR and Its Potential for Europe study illustrates that the industry has been growing slower than initially projected. That’s primarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the European XR industry hasn’t stopped growing amid the global health crisis. “XR is experiencing the consequences of the general economic shock, but there are reasons to consider that the XR market may be more resilient than others, and that the shock concerning it will only be short term,” the report states.
The State of Global Extended Reality Industry and Market
Extended reality is an umbrella term encapsulating augmented, virtual, and mixed reality but isn’t limited to the three. Covering the full spectrum of virtual and real experiences, its enormous potential for development is undeniable.
In Europe, XR development is extensive. It ranges from hardware components to manufacturing solutions, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. At the same time, these innovations are seeping into a myriad of industries like education and healthcare.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the European XR landscape has been seeing a lot of activity beyond the world of gaming and home entertainment. In fact, the pandemic has prompted businesses to accelerate their digital transformations.
Enterprise applications are some of the biggest contributors fueling the growth of the XR industry and market. Modern businesses are taking digitization seriously. Thus, there has been an increasing demand for enterprise XR solutions from such companies.
More and more companies are aware of the advantages of implementing XR into the workflow. Apart from saving time, these immersive solutions can help many industrial, business, and educational institutions save money.
Around 60% of the surveyed XR providers said that their focus is on sustainability. XR can be of significant help to achieving environmental sustainability. Equipped with immersive tech, modern businesses can run operations remotely, reduce waste, and more.
New Developments in the Extended Reality Landscape
Germany, United Kingdom, and France are the three most competitive performers in the XR industry—that is, in terms of XR activities. In the 2017 report, XRA and Ecorys identified London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Zurich as the main XR hubs. Recent findings show that they are maintaining and expanding their reach.
The European XR industry is mainly centered on software development and content creation. Recently, however, custom hardware development has been reaching a higher market share. Industrial XR applications have also been evolving at a faster pace.
In general, the European immersive tech industry has diverse AR and VR applications. They reach all kinds of global sectors, ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. It complements the global XR scene, further cementing its competitive advantage in specific areas.
According to the report, adoption of extended reality technologies will enhance about 23 million jobs worldwide by 2030. That’s a huge increase from the estimated 800,000 today.
XR and Its Potential for Europe provides a snapshot of the ever-evolving immersive technology market. It also delves into the potential of extended reality to fuel a digital economy. Thanks to the highly skilled, innovative, and diverse XR industry in Europe, this market is going to be a key player in the global XR scene.