Extended Reality
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The footprints of the expansion of Extended Reality technologies can be seen globally. In fact, according to Research Nester, the size of the Extended Reality industry was valued at over $44 billion in 2022, with over 170 million Virtual Reality users worldwide and, according to Future Market Insights, is estimated to reach $47.5 billion by 2023.

As for Europe, according to the ‘Industria XR en España‘ (XR Industry in Spain) report by the Extended Reality Association INMERSIVA XR, business digitalisation has led to the development of four leading XR centres of excellence in Europe: Germany, France, the UK and Spain.

A fact to understand the Spanish XR industry is that, if we look at the companies in the sector in the ‘Who is who XR from Spain guide produced by ICEX, most of the XR companies are based in Madrid or Barcelona, although other regions such as Malaga or Valencia also play an important role.

Extended Reality in Spain

As the ‘Industria XR en España’ report reveals, Spanish XR companies are diverse and constantly evolving, but there are also certain common characteristics among them. In general, they are small and medium-sized companies with between 10 and 20 employees, with an average age of between 6 and 10 years, and which are mainly dedicated to the development, consultancy and production of VR and AR in a B2B model and with a mainly national market.

On the other hand, they have the need to recruit highly specialised profiles that are difficult to find, such as those related to development and programming, specifically Unity developers, modelling and texturing of 3D environments, UX/UI design or animation.

In terms of the most widely used Extended Reality technologies at national level, audiovisual technologies such as 360º Video, virtual productions or video mapping, together with Virtual Reality, are predominant, followed by others such as Augmented Reality and the creation of virtual worlds.

Extended Reality

The Impact of COVID-19 on Extended Reality

The COVID-19 pandemic and the growing need for companies to adopt remote working cultures undoubtedly fuelled the growth of the Extended Reality industry.

According to Forbes, overall global spending on AR and VR glasses, software and services will increase by 50% in 2020 compared to the previous year, amounting to $12 billion.

En España, teniendo en cuenta la información de las 36 empresas asociadas de INMERSIVA XR, entre las que se encuentra Innovae, al analizar el año de fundación de estas empresas, se observan dos picos temporales: uno en 2017, coincidiendo con el auge de la Realidad Virtual, y otro en 2020, coincidiendo con el aumento del interés en las reuniones virtuales durante la pandemia de COVID-19.

Realidad Extendida

The sectors with the highest demand for Extended Reality

Globally, according to a report by Fortune Business Insights, the sector with the highest demand for Extended Reality technology in 2022 is video gaming, followed by healthcare, education, retail and e-commerce, and automotive, among others.

Extended Reality

In Spain, the search for innovation, efficiency, security and cost reduction has positioned Extended Reality technologies as critical tools in various sectors, with tourism, events, education and marketing being the most in demand, followed by industry and healthcare, among others, reflecting the versatility of these technologies.

Extended Reality

A technology yet to be explored

INMERSIVA XR says that awareness of XR technologies among potential customers is key to generating demand. As examples, he highlights that the announcement of Facebook’s change of strategy to Meta and the growth of interest in Web 3.0 have generated new business opportunities for many companies in the sector.

Constant innovation and a lack of information sources have, according to their report, meant that the XR community has historically valued collaboration and knowledge sharing. The need for live experimentation with devices has led to the recognition of face-to-face events as important business opportunities.

On the other hand, participation in communities and associations is considered beneficial for both companies and the XR industry as a whole, demonstrating the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing in this evolving field.

We are currently in a time of profound change and upheaval, where XR is contributing significantly to digital transformation and process revolution in multiple fields. However, this process is far from over. The arrival of complementary technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing and 5G will continue to stimulate ideas and business opportunities. As Fortune Business Insights states, 5G, for example, offers a wide range of opportunities in improving remote control, real-time experience and industrial control, among others.

In short, the Extended Reality industry is experiencing continuous growth and is evolving in a dynamic environment full of opportunities, offering an exciting field for exploration and constant improvement for companies and professionals in the sector.