During this time when technology is shifting at a fast pace, with all the automation and remote work, the reports are indicating that the XR market size will reach USD 571.42 Billion by 2025. Today, thinking of incorporating eXtended Reality (XR) into your businesses seems to be a practical and effective approach. However, a few questions remain unanswered, such as: when is the best time to adopt, what type of XR tech fits my needs, how to streamline all parts of my business to prepare.
Foresight practices have a key role in streamlining opportunities and determining the appropriate use of XR in future scenarios based on the collected data. Foresight methodologies such as Horizon Scanning, Scenario Creation, Road-mapping, Cones of Future and Back-casting are some of the most helpful methods. They will enable your team to observe existing trends, identify new and emerging ones, and plan when and how to incorporate XR technologies. Furthermore, to identify the most appropriate type of extended reality (e.g. AR, VR, MR) to start prototyping for.
Below is a visual representation of the various foresight methodologies. They can be either Quantitative, Qualitative or a combination of both, designed to capture the short/long term futures.
Image: Futures Platform
The Vision Roadmap
Using foresight practices, you can create a roadmap which includes insights into the future of an industry and functions as a lens to discover emerging product and service opportunities. This could be updated regularly with new knowledge and used as a north star to revisit and align the company’s hierarchy. Great use of it would be as ongoing guidance to identify the best timing and type of the emerging tech for industries.
Below are some of the tools and methodologies to help us create the vision roadmap, also use it in a more effective approach to produce actionable tasks:
Cones of Possibilities
The Cone of Possibilities is a tool for futures studies that helps categorize the envisioned futures and prioritize scenarios to ease the decision-making process. This is a visualization of how we can examine many different futures to understand how to make better decisions in the present.
The vision roadmap enables you to identify when the business is ready to implement an XR solution and create a detailed scenario in which you have implemented the solution. Using the cone of possibilities you can prioritize this scenario and plan to prototype and test.
Backcasting starts with picking a preferable future which can be in the range of probable to possible (it can sometimes exceed the possible era based on the goals of a project considering if that is a long term or short term strategy), aim for it, then the team works backward to identify required actions and infrastructure that will connect that future with the present.
Backcasting happens in cycles, as XR world and technology is changing rapidly, backcasting will help you to know your next short-term goal aligned with a long-term plan, once achieved the short term goal, your team can backcast again and re-align with the new prospect.
This process will enable your team to identify the opportunities and the best timing to incorporate XR solutions into your businesses whether it is VR training, an XR solution for HR or futuristic AR tools. The high accuracy of this plan is due to the consideration of real data about your business needs and infrastructure, also the needs of your users. It also provides you with plausible scenarios to back-cast and start prototyping, then test your prototypes and get prepared for the implementation with confidence.