What is the XR industry excited for in 2022?

7 min read
Blog Author

What is the XR industry excited for in 2022?

Blog Author
7 min read
We talked to some of the biggest names in the XR industry to share what they're excited about in 2022 and beyond.

We talked to some of the biggest names in the XR industry to share what they're excited about in 2022 and beyond.

1. The possibilities with wearables
2. The rise of digital identities 
3. Democratising the space 
4. Location-based AR/XR
5. The Metaverse

“Me… I am excited about the wearables space”

When we asked our experts what they were excited about for 2022, it is safe to say wearables came up a lot. From the development of what already exists in the space, like different VR headsets to the promise of the new and perhaps more future-looking creations.

Maryam Sabour, Business Development Lead, AR & Platform at Niantic, is excited about how headsets have been developing and its implications, “Not only is the hardware getting lighter, smaller, more immersive, but also moving from mobile AR experiences to creating AR experiences for head-mounted displays, where you're no longer limited to kind of, you know, the screen of your smartphone to see virtual content, we can have these real heads up experiences.”

When we spoke to Richard Hess, former Immersive Experience Lead for AR/VR at Nestle, (now Product and Sales Manager, Zapbox here at Zappar) he unsurprisingly had a lot to say on the wearables space “This is not just a tool for the means to the single purpose content, which it could have been used in the past for like training. I think now you can look at a device like that and say, maybe training is the first place to start, but this could be a collaboration tool. This could be a tool for a future workplace or workspace could be a tool for different products or our product designs and reviews.”

Whilst some of our guests think that many wearables concepts have a little way to go, “things like the AR glasses, which are only around the corner by maybe three to five years away”, Joe Millward, Innovation Manager TAFE NSW, what is clear is that the framework on which they sit and the implications they have is firmly on everyone's minds now.

For Joe Millward this means “building the framework to ensure that we're ready when that stuff hits” which for TAFE NSW means making sure they have all their 3D assets ready and available as well as making sure they understand how spatial computing works in an education environment.

David Francis,  CEO & Co-Founder at Virtual Method: Augmented, Virtual and Assisted Reality, was more concerned with the governance challenges that will come with them "I think there are so many challenges to overcome in terms of how to do proper governance of someone's field of view.”


“I’m really excited about the idea of a representation of yourself in 3D space”

Digital avatars and what they mean for the future is something we’ve been thinking about a lot recently, in our latest ebook, Zappar’s CEO and Co-Founder, Casper Thykier said 


“We’re increasingly living in a world where we have a digital twin: we have our real selves and our digital personas that exist in social media and online.”

We thought a lot about what this new medium meant for brands and specifically how it could be leveraged in a retail environment, including digital rewards schemes, virtual merchandise and animation packs. 

Carli Johnston, Co-Founder, Head Of Product at Virtual Method | Co-Founder of Women in AR/VR, Australia, had another interesting take on how brands take advantage of 3D representation, “brands start to build their special brand guidelines, you know what does their logo look like in 3D? Can you put your logo in front of, say for instance, if you're KFC, can you put your logo in front of McDonald's when you're walking past, can you mask the store when you're in certain eyewear in the metaverse or that's really interesting how do you capture people's attention and how do you deal with brand warfare?”


“Excited about those principles, about open standards, open protocols”

Many of our experts' thoughts on 2022 were very closely aligned with our longstanding mission to democratise AR, and focused predominantly around decentralising the AR cloud and working together to build better tech.

Patrick Costello, shared that whilst “The competitive aspect of it is great and helps push the industry forward.” he believes that we should “look at everyone succeeding as an expansion event for this industry that boosts us all up right now.”

Jan-Erik Vinje, Managing Director of the Open AR Cloud Association, was excited about the web platform and excited about those principles, about open standards, open protocols.” And had a lot of very interesting things to say about how the web is leading the way in how apps should be, to remove the “walled gardens, proprietary App Store model”.

“We are just starting to scratch the surface of how AR can be used in a location-based environment…”

From world mapping to location based adverts, the mass adoption of 5G and the AR cloud are all opening up new and exciting opportunities in the space.

Dominic Collins, CEO & Co-Founder at Darabase, thinks that we are “just starting to scratch the surface of how AR can be used in a location-based environment, whether that be linked to ads or media or not. I think we're seeing the beginnings of that.”


“For me, the really exciting stuff is about really starting to paint the world with data, content and experiences which are contextual to the locations. I think the more of those types of stories we can tell, the more it inspires other people to leverage what's possible.”

Jon Meggitt, CEO & Co-Founder at Arcade, had his mind firmly on the race towards world mapping, “world mapping and the AR cloud, I have no idea who's going to get there first, but loads of people are working on it, from Apple and their world mapping, which is only available in some cities in the states, to organizations that are doing it more independently.”



“There really is no single definition of what a ‘metaverse’ is…”

Like in many future-looking conversations being had over the past year, the metaverse was a hot topic… and what better way to round up our experts’ predictions than to look at some of their takes on this ubiquitous idea.

Cathy Hackl, from the Futures Intelligence Group makes it clear that there really is no single definition of what a ‘metaverse’ is, “I think it’s something we’re all building and we’re all constructing. I’m getting really into virtual real estate and virtual property and virtual fashion, so that’s really exciting.” 

John Cassy, Chief Executive and Co-Founder at Factory 42, put it well “It sounds a bit like science fiction, and, realistically, it is a bit of science fiction today. But then, if you look at the likes of Roblox and Fortnite, these are early versions of the metaverse.”
“I think what you’ll see over the next five years will be astonishing. I genuinely think we will surprise ourselves with what we’re able to create.”


“The last words I would leave folks with is that all of us working in AR and VR, and even in virtual worlds, we’re really creating the printing press of the future. It’s an exciting time for anyone to be a part of this industry.” Cathy Hackl