Anshul Agarwal, Co-Founder & Director, XR Central

Anshul Agarwal, Co-Founder & Director, XR Central spearheads sales, marketing and strategy development for XR Central. His extensive experience in sales transformation and corporate portfolio management has driven the progression of the brand. He has travelled extensively both in India and abroad to meet and work with clients, which gives him a better comprehension of the client’s expectations and management. This empowers him to work closely with the individual teams to deliver Avante-grade solutions. His robust educational background, coupled with experience in the corporate enables him to meet the expansion requisites of XR Central.

 

Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented reality (AR) are two pillars of Extended Reality (XR) technologies that help both consumers and businesses. As Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies gain traction worldwide, businesses have begun to deploy them on bigger scales. These technologies are now proven to be beneficial across industries including IT & Tech, aviation, Pharma, manufacturing, education, and training to name a few.

Interestingly, the gaming culture in India has only just blossomed, but it is already influencing the XR technologies. But, what concerns us is that the lack of understanding in developing nations, such as India, has made it challenging to utilize XR technology’s potential fully.

As a matter of fact, before implementing AR or VR, any industry or business area must overcome several challenges. The focus here is on the most significant obstacles to implementing Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality solutions in India.

Hardware dependency & High cost of Devices

The fact is that most of the experiences crated using XR technology are unfortunately hardware dependent. For example, for viewing VR experiences one needs advice such as Oculus/HTC Vive and so on. Cost is a significant reason why AR/VR has yet to gain traction in the Indian market. The cost of equipment, developing and testing VR and AR software (apps) impede the potential market for these technologies. The success of XR technology adoption is determined by the end-user experience you deliver. Without powerful hardware, visuals aren’t as appealing as they may be. It’s also crucial to consider the technology’s compatibility, quality, and construction. It is impossible to deploy XR technology on a wide scale without these elements, and they don’t come cheap.

So, a potential challenge to the industry is cost. Still, when we think about how to solve this problem, the answer that clicks our minds is ‘EXPERIENCE.’ When we want people to adapt things, we make them experience the good that comes with the product’s price. In the case of AR/VR Technology, people have already been witnessing the benefit of the technology through live examples of Lenskart, Caratlane, Makaan, Housing.com, SmartVizX, and many more. So, yes, we can say that slowly and steadily, things are changing, and people notice the changes and are even willing to be a part of the XR revolution. The best part is that we have started talking about spatial computing and web XR experiences. 

Quality & Quantity Of The Content

The lack of quality content for VR/AR consumption has also hampered XR’s growth and widespread acceptance of AR/VR in India.

The buzz around AR/VR is something that every sector should be aware of. With this technology, end users have pre-defined expectations. As a result, presenting a low-quality app may not meet the demands. As XR content is expensive due to hardware dependency, the quantity of content generated is very minimal and not enough to attract relevant stakeholders and create a massive FOMO. 

Engaging users during the development and implementation phases is the best method to tackle this problem. In this manner, the solution may be tweaked to provide the information and experience that the end consumers desire.

Speaking of quality, some startups have understood the need of the masses and to make XR adoption in India. They are creating CUBE, an XR experience builder platform in a box, which will democratize how AR/VR experiences have been created, viewed, and published. It’s an entirely DIY SaaS-based platform that will enable anyone to create their own XR experiences that will run across devices in less than 10 minutes. Now, I would say that is something that India and the entire XR ecosystem needs. With XR Central’s CUBE, everyone will be an XR content creator now.

Lack Of Education?

There aren’t many institutes in India that educate advanced technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality. Only a few have developed a specialty centered on gaming, data science, AI, and AR/VR. This is a significant problem that concerns the AR/VR industry because neither are young minds getting to know the wonderfulness of XR Technology nor are they being exposed to the potential opportunities/career options in this field.

Alternatively, infrastructure to support AR/VR technology is also a barrier, although Digital India is doing well. The extensive use of virtual technologies is being aided by the 5G network’s global momentum. The 5G infra is still being developed, which gives the XR industry the hope to boom in its full potential in the upcoming years.

 

Other Problems

Apart from the technological issues, customers are typically ignorant of virtual reality and augmented reality’s potential and still regard it as a luxury. Investors, on the other hand, see the industry as fresh and unproven in the market. Before investing, they want to know if there is a significant demand for it.

Other issues include the lack of disruptive, well-funded startups, low-cost domestic AR/VR producers, and high importation prices.

These may be the most critical problems to address shortly. However, public awareness is gradually rising. As the government moves forward with its development plan, we should see increasing acceptance of the technology in the future years.

Besides, XR also poses several severe problems in terms of personal data. The data in this situation can be highly personal and sensitive, possibly revealing one’s most private thoughts and habits.

Conclusion

These hot tech advances have besieged many major corporate enterprises and countless startups throughout the world. Thus the XR technology was offered to the public with great optimism. Even though over 170 AR/VR-based startups exist in India, the industry has been sluggish and steady. Startups such as XR Central are already ahead of the curve with their platform, CUBE.

Undoubtedly, the advantages of XR greatly exceed the disadvantages. However, to fully enjoy those advantages and avoid the problems, the entire industry must integrate concepts like ethics, accountability, safety, and trust within XR technology. For that, a universal set of rules for XR is required.

Despite the highly fragmented adoption of AR and VR technologies, the market’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected to reach just 76 percent by 2021. Acceptance has occurred in some of the industry’s main areas, such as travel, education, healthcare, and home décor, among others, and has been expanding in recent years. However, advances like the ease of doing business and economic incentives will soon position India to welcome new AR/VR startups.

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