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It’s time to extend our reality: Amy Peck talks XR

We caught up with the visiting tech entrepreneur who’ll present a free City of Sydney talk on all things extended reality.

XR extended reality

Amy is founder of EndeavorVR and senior director of enterprise content at HTC Vive Studios. She reveals the intricacies of augmented reality, virtual reality and extended reality, and how they’re changing our lives.

Amy Peck
Amy Peck

XR is a new buzzword in the tech sector. What does it mean?

It is indeed! Depending who you talk to, XR stands for either extended reality or the X in mathematics as a variable – meaning it represents all the realities.

Why do we need this new term?

I think everyone is tired of saying AR, MR [mixed reality] and VR. But this is most likely another placeholder term until consumers start really understanding AR and VR.

XR will only become the recognised term if consumers start using it. It will ultimately be called whatever consumers call it. The internet was originally called the ARPANET and went through a few iterations before becoming known as the internet or the web.

Is it a reflection of augmented and virtual reality evolving at a rapid pace?

It is somewhat of an indication of the speed at which XR is evolving, but we still have a long way to go. That said, this is such an exciting time for our industry. We get to see this new digital reality unfold.

How does XR impact our everyday lives now?

With VR, one of the most impactful uses is in education and training. While anecdotally we understand that learning by doing is more effective, we’re now seeing hard data to support this, and the numbers are staggering in some cases. One of the education companies I work with, SAMA Learning, is seeing students improve by a full letter grade. With training, we’re seeing figures from 15% to 80% increase in learning outcomes depending on the goal. And this is just the beginning!

What are the predictions for the future of XR?

In the next 5 years, we won’t be talking about which reality we’re in. We’ll just seamlessly interact with digital experiences in AR and VR. AR will be all around us, always on. VR will be a destination – we’ll go into VR to learn, play, socialise and discover, moving backwards and forward through time.

In the short term, for AR, we expect Apple to release its first version glasses powered by the iPhone sometime in 2020, which makes sense – 2020 vision, right?

We’ll also see the AR creator community grow with great tools from SparkAR and Adobe’s new Aero software.

On the VR side, we can expect to see companies expand their training and move into design and collaboration.

You’re a mentor and member of women in tech and STEM education groups. Is tech still a man’s world?

In many ways, yes, but it’s changing rapidly. We’re fortunate in the XR industry to have amazing women leading the charge, but we need more investors to fund diverse teams because it’s just good business. There’s plenty of data to support the success metrics of companies with diverse leadership.

It’s critical that we all stay engaged and focused on helping other women join STEM programs and get tech jobs. I like to use #MePlusThree – meaning that each of us can help at least 3 women in our immediate circle – with advice, with a job recommendation, with connections. We can all do this.

When we create a culture of women helping other women, our male allies will join in. This is how we can create a more inclusive industry.

Extend Reality with Amy Peck, CEO and founder of EndeavorVR
Monday 25 November 2019, 5.30pm
Darling Square Library
Level 1
1 Little Pier Street

This event is booked out.

Published 12 November 2019, updated 29 February 2024