XR, a common term for Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR), has been around for a few years now. Until recently, it was mostly used for video games. With the availability of affordable commercial Head Mounted Devices (HMD) in the market, the popularity of VR and MR has risen. The demand for XR in enterprise and education has increased manifold over the last 2-3 years and will increase further in 2025.
“The Virtual Reality (VR) market was valued at USD 11.52 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 87.97 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 48.7% over the forecasted period 2020 – 2025” (Mordor Intelligence – https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/virtual-reality-market)
Image below shows the growth rate by region.
With the increase in demand for XR-based solutions, the need for tracking the data in XR programs has increased manifold. However, there are no industry standards that cover packaging, tracking (run-time APIs), reporting, etc. for XR-based learning solutions. The scenario of having many Head Mounted Device providers, with their own SDK’s, app stores, installation, and controllers, adds to the complexity of defining a common standard. Considering all these challenges, it has become difficult to create a system that caters to all HMDs and XR formats. But it is clear that organizations need to have a robust VR platform that can create a delivery channel that enables the structured, standardized, and scalable distribution of content and experiences across devices and types of XRs – all from a centralized location.
Typical Learning Formats vs an XR Application
The table below shows the key differences between a typical eLearning format versus the XR format – from the perspective of a delivery platform.
|Components||Typical Learning Formats||XR-based Learning Applications|
|Packaging and provisioning||Standards such as SCORM, xAPI, and AICC provide the guidelines for the creation and packaging of learning content.||No industry standard for packaging and distribution. So, each application follows its own platform-specific communication standard.|
|Tracking and Reporting||Well established run-time APIs. All LMSs provide basic reports based on the standard data captured.||Each XR application follows a custom standard so tracking and reporting differs across applications.|
|Distribution||Since this is mostly browser based, the solution works seamlessly on most platforms and devices.||HMD-specific applications pose additional challenges since they might require multiple applications for the same solution.|
|Device Management||All platforms (desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones) that support a browser can be used. This leaves minimal requirement for device management.||As all HMDs have their own app stores and processes, device management is an additional factor to consider from a delivery perspective.|
|Hardware Requirement||Does not need special hardware.||Needs specific HMDs for most applications.|
|Learner Engagement||Comparatively less engaging and less effective - especially for training that is based on experience, location, or process.||Very immersive and engaging. Especially effective for training simulations which require a realistic experience but cannot be replicated in real life due to cost, hazard, risk, feasibility, etc. E.g. Safety training in confined spaces.|
|Interoperability||If the learning content follows the industry standard then it can be easily ported on other LMSs.||Due to lack of standards for XR applications and content, there is very limited interoperability.|
|Learning curve||Lower learning curve, even for people who are experiencing the eLearning format for the first time.||High learning curve to get adjusted to devices, format, navigation, etc. Hence, consistency, standardization, and ease of use are critical, which again emphasizes the need for a common standard and platform.|
Below are different modules available in LP XR.
With the growth of XR usage in enterprises and education industry, there is growing demand for a platform that distributes, tracks, and provides reports on XR content across devices and solutions. MPS Interactive’s XR platform targets these needs and provides a centralized, standardized, and easy to use solution. With the rapid development of technology in the XR space, the challenge is at hand and MPS Interactive is geared to take up the challenge through technology adoption and disruption with the single goal of making learning smarter.
– By Barun Yadav, Vice President – Technology at MPS Interactive Systems