The Rise and Fall of XR: Is the AI Era Taking Over?

Vincent Hsu

Hatched by Vincent Hsu

Oct 04, 2023

3 min read


The Rise and Fall of XR: Is the AI Era Taking Over?

In recent news, it was announced that Tencent's XR team has been disbanded, and PICO is undergoing personnel optimization. This sudden development has led many to question whether the XR industry is entering a state of decline. At the same time, there is a growing buzz around the emergence of generative AI, which is showing immense potential in various fields, such as chip design and medical diagnostics. These seemingly unrelated events raise an interesting question: Is the traditional XR era coming to an end, making way for the AI era?

The XR industry, which encompasses virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), was once hailed as the next big thing. It promised to revolutionize various sectors, including gaming, entertainment, and education. However, recent setbacks and the dissolution of Tencent's XR team suggest that the industry may be facing significant challenges. This, coupled with the rise of generative AI, has sparked a debate over the future of XR.

Generative AI, powered by advanced machine learning algorithms, has shown remarkable capabilities in recent years. It can autonomously design computer chips, analyze medical images, and even compose music. This newfound potential has led many to believe that generative AI could replace traditional XR technologies in certain applications. For example, instead of using VR headsets for immersive gaming experiences, generative AI could create realistic virtual environments directly in the user's mind.

While generative AI offers exciting possibilities, it is important to note that XR still has its unique strengths. The immersive experiences provided by VR and the real-time information overlay of AR cannot be replicated by generative AI alone. XR has the power to transport users to different worlds, enhance productivity, and revolutionize training and simulations. Therefore, it is unlikely that XR will completely disappear in the AI era. Instead, it may undergo a transformation and find new applications that complement generative AI.

To navigate the changing landscape of XR and AI, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Embrace hybrid solutions: Rather than viewing XR and AI as competing technologies, consider how they can work together to create innovative solutions. For example, combining generative AI algorithms with XR hardware can result in more immersive and personalized experiences.
  • 2. Focus on niche markets: While the XR industry as a whole may face challenges, there are still niche markets where XR technologies can thrive. Identify specific sectors or applications where XR can provide unique value and tailor your products or services accordingly.
  • 3. Invest in research and development: Both XR and AI are rapidly evolving fields. To stay ahead of the competition, allocate resources to research and development efforts that explore the intersection of these technologies. This will help you identify new opportunities and stay at the forefront of innovation.

In conclusion, the dissolution of Tencent's XR team and the rise of generative AI have sparked discussions about the future of XR and the potential dominance of AI. While there are similarities and overlaps between these technologies, XR still possesses unique capabilities that cannot be replicated by generative AI alone. By embracing hybrid solutions, focusing on niche markets, and investing in research and development, companies can navigate the changing landscape and unlock the full potential of XR and AI. As the XR industry enters a state of transition, it is crucial to adapt and embrace new possibilities to stay relevant and competitive in the AI era.

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