Extended Reality (XR) Startup Program

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    In News

    • The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), and Meta have announced the list of 120 startups for the Extended Reality (XR) Startup Program.

    Extended Reality (XR)

    • Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term for any technology that alters reality by adding digital elements to the physical or real-world environment .
    • Extended reality includes VR(virtual reality), AR(augmented reality) and MR(mixed reality) as well as all future immersive technologies that enable an extension of reality while blending virtual graphics with real-world elements. 
    • Augmented Reality
      • Augmented Reality (AR) does not create a new reality, but it overlays digital images onto the real world with the help of a device like their mobile phone or tablet
      • Examples include Instagram filters, Snapchat’s lenses 
    • Virtual Reality
      • Virtual reality (VR) is a 3D,digital environment completely generated through computers.
        • In VR users can be fully immersed in simulated realities with the help of dedicated headsets capable of generating realistic  images and sounds just like in real life.
        • Some examples of VR include experiences generated by gadgets such as Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR.
    • Mixed Reality
      • Mixed Reality (MR) lies at the intersection of VR and AR. This technology blends real and virtual worlds to create complex environments where physical and digital elements interact in real time.
      • One example of MR could be a scene depicting finding of a new element by Tony stark in the IRON MAN movie .

    Applications

    • Retail: XR can lead to new innovations which give customers the ability to try before they buy. Rolex has an AR app that allows people  to try on watches on their actual wrist. 
    • Remote work: XR can enable workers to connect to the office or with professionals located around the world in a way that makes both sides feel like they are in the same room.
    • Education & Training: The use of XR can help the students by providing the option to participate  in classes from all  across the globe from their own location. The training of employees and workers can be done remotely using XR.

    Challenges

    • AVGC Task Force: Headed by the Secretary, Ministry of I & B, the task force called for “National AVGC-XR Mission” to focus on content creation In India, 
    • XR Startup Program: It is a collaboration between Meta and MeitY Startup Hub (MSH) to support and accelerate XR technology startups.

    Way Forward

    The XR ecosystem and its applications represents a tectonic shift in progress of mankind, India needs to pursue a balanced approach weighing both uses and risks .The XR Startup Program is a right step in that direction.

    Source: IE