Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR), Internet of Things (IoT), digital twins, ambient computing, and physical controls. Spatial computing is designed to make interaction and information retrieval as simple as possible, thereby reducing the effort otherwise required by users to be familiarized with the new technology.
For readers unfamiliar with spatial computing, it is the use of digital technology to allow computers
to interact in a 3D world and this technology blurs the lines between the physical and digital worlds.
It uses physical space to send input and receive output from a computer and entails use of
technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and
Mixed Reality (MR), Internet of Things (IoT), digital twins, ambient computing, and physical controls.
Spatial computing is designed to make interaction and information retrieval as simple as possible,
thereby reducing the effort otherwise required by users to be familiarized with the new technology.
As effort and time through use of this technology is kept to a minimum, it can boost office
productivity, enhance workflow, offer immersive training, impact the way we work, learn, and live.
Some components of spatial computing include Extended Reality (XR), which is the technical term
for AR, VR, and MR, and data visualization. Leaders should consider how this integration can
enhance user experiences, whether in business, education, healthcare, or other sectors.
While spatial computing currently encompasses a broad range of applications, the technology
continues to remain fairly wide-ranging with vast application areas and end-uses yet to be leveraged
and expanded further. Aspects of spatial computing are already emerging in applications ranging
from collaborative platforms such as Microsoft Teams to smartphones. Also, by 2024, it is estimated
that around 1.4 billion gadgets will have some kind of AR capability, which is a major component of
spatial computing. The technology relies on a combination of intuitive hardware and powerful
software, and a major trend that can be expected to emerge in the very near future is the
development and introduction of more advanced hardware. Miniaturization being the keystone in
the electronic devices market currently, will result in further development of more comfortable,
lightweight, and powerful wearable headsets, similar to the Apple Vision Pro, which combines VR
and MR experiences in a single, adjustable headset to give users new ways of interacting with digital
content. Also, besides evolution of wearable hardware, focus on development of more advanced
sensors for hand/eye tracking and IoT connectivity has increased substantially. The rise of XR-
focused chips designed for powering spatial computing systems has also seen cameras and
processors in these devices becoming increasingly powerful and miniaturized.
In addition, the software used to power these systems is evolving in parallel with rising focus on
producing more advanced hardware for the spatial computing landscape. For instance, pioneers in
the XR market are increasingly leveraging the novelty wave and along with introducing its Vision Pro
spatial computing device, Apple introduced ‘VisionOS’, which according to the company, is the first
dedicated spatial operating system introduced to the XR market.
Companies operating in this space are focused on enabling users of the technology to interact with
computer systems and content more naturally, and sensors used in this ecosystem to track
movements such as hand and eye tracking tools have been making a major impact in various end-
uses and applications. This enables hands-free interaction with almost any type of digital
environment and various types of content, and also expands horizons for advanced tracking
capabilities. It is evident by the emergence of more extensive tracking capabilities that sensors and
software exhibit currently, such as hand tracking that monitors user’s movements ranging from the
knuckles to the fingertips. Major companies are also in the phases of developing full-body tracking
software for future strategies in the metaverse, and others developing sensors and software to
monitor and track eye and gaze more accurately. Gesture recognition is also becoming more
advanced and innovative, and is being embedded into spatial computing software in the iOS
ecosystem. A number of companies are experimenting is this area, development of dedicated AR
studio spatial computing platform that allows users to create more advanced spatial experiences for
the AR landscape, with hand gesture recognition and spatial audio has been gaining traction.
In business applications, spatial computing could include virtual meetings, training simulations,
product visualization, and much more as the technology can be further integrated and more
application areas unlocked. Gaining better understanding on how spatial computing can benefit a
specific industry is crucial for strategic planning. User experience is central to spatial computing and
designing interfaces that seamlessly integrate with the physical environment and provide intuitive
interactions is key. Spatial computing can be leveraged to gain understanding on products and
services and be used to enhance user and consumer experience. Also, spatial computing involves
collecting and processing real-time data about the physical world, and this presents leaders the
opportunity to prioritize data privacy and security by ensuring spatial computing applications
provided comply with relevant regulations and standards.
Rapid digitization, enhanced connectivity, and advancements and innovation are prompting
investment in immersive technologies for collaboration, creativity, and productivity. This approach is
further supported by various trends that are serving to speed up change and usher in new and more
innovative approaches to the way the world works and functions. Development and introduction of
Apps designed to create spatial workspaces for remote and hybrid teams are becoming more
advanced. Also, spatial computing technologies are not limited in terms of application areas and
sectors and industries. It is also becoming an essential component in the industrial metaverse and
manufacturing industries. Spatial computing tools give employees access to guidance in real time on
the field in these landscapes, thereby enabling rapid repair of products, equipment, and machinery
through AR content mapped to specific components. Leveraging advantages of digital twins and IoT
in industrial sectors. In these landscapes, spatial computing tools can give employees real-time
guidance on the field, helping them to rapidly repair products and machines through AR content
mapped to specific components. The same tools can help power immersive product development
through digital twins and IoT. Spatial computing is also used to create simulations, analyze data,
visualize complex 3D models, automate the creation of digital twins, and scan and model physical
assets or facilities in real-time, among others.
Companies are even using spatial computing to assist with enhancing success rates of surgeries in
the medical space. The technology is also being used to diagnose, treat, and monitor patients, and to
create realistic simulations for medical training, overlay virtual screens and diagnostic information
onto the real world.
Collaboration and communication is a major area where leaders in spatial computing can create new
and more novel trends and drive consumer or user value and experience. Companies and
organizations can be enabled to exploit the benefits this technology offers to facilitate remote work,
virtual collaboration, and engage and further develop more innovative communication methods.
Technological infrastructure is a key area that organizations are focusing on currently. Leaders can
focus on enabling easier assessment and deployment, including for hardware, software, and
network capabilities, which can provide insights into range of investments required for the
appropriate infrastructure essential for the seamless adoption of spatial computing technologies.
Companies can be supported with clarity regarding the necessary training and new skill
development, as well as on investment for the implementation of spatial computing and use by the
workforce. Training programs are essential to ensure that employees in an organization have the
necessary knowledge to leverage these technologies effectively, and this is currently a relatively grey
area that needs to be focused on.
Regulatory compliance is another crucial aspect of ensuring wider acceptance and adoption
currently, and understanding and transparency regarding regulatory developments related to spatial
computing can be a major selling point. Also, regulations are expected to continue to evolve as the
technology becomes more widespread, and it is essential to ensure that a user organization
complies with any relevant legal requirements.
In addition, staying informed regarding market trends and competitors is key for leaders to maintain
an edge in a rapidly evolving market space. This awareness can help companies identify
opportunities, anticipate challenges, and stay ahead in the industry. Furthermore, ethical
considerations is a key factor that could emerge for debate in future. This is due to the fact that
privacy, security, and potential social impacts of spatial computing can have ethical implications.
Development of ethical guidelines for the use of spatial computing technologies should be advised
and encouraged across organizations using the technology to ensure no ethical limits are crossed.
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