27 Dec 2023 | Nathan C Bowser
Event Jan. 17: Will 2024 Be a Breakthrough Year for XR?
XR Trends Virtual Reality Augmented Reality

It has been just 13 months since Chat GPT became the fastest growing application ever, reaching 1 million users in five short days. Overnight, artificial intelligence (AI) became the darling of tech innovators, big business, and news cycles worldwide. While it was only 26 months ago that Facebook changed its name to Meta and its business plan to focus on Mark Zuckerberg’s dream of the metaverse, for some it may seem like eons since augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) were in the spotlight.
Has AI replaced XR as the future of technology and computing, or is there a deeper amalgamation of tech trends happening that we can expect to see more clearly over the next year? 
Skip the article and register for the LinkedIn Live event January 17, 2023.

screen shot of a Google Search trends graph showing AI, Metaverse, AR, & VR

Search interest, which measures the volume of search compared to its peak as well as other terms referenced, shows that the AI has soared to the top of global tech attention and stayed there over the last year.

Further exploration shows that Apple’s Vision Pro headset momentarily stole the show around its June 2023 announcement, but all these technological terms fall completely off the radar when compared to economic and geopolitical topics like “recession,” “inflation,” natural disasters, and regional military conflicts. 
These trends seem to indicate that the hauntology–the mourning of imagined metaverse futures—those in AR and VR have felt over the last year may be hyper-specific to businesses and innovators on the cutting edge of tech and not an accurate portrayal of what’s brewing under the hype-cycle. 
Rather than a black and white read that “when AI wins, XR loses,” technologists from Scott Brinker in the Martech space to Cathy Hackle, in Gaming and Spatial Computing, are suggesting that we’re seeing the early signs of “a convergence of technologies” powered by AI innovation that is quickly making all tech more useable, palatable, and powerful.
In 2023, many feared a recession; the tech sector saw thousands of layoffs; start-up investments, especially in XR, came to a halt in the first half of the year; and VR sales saw a decrease for the first time since 2015.
However the year ended well with 3% global GDP growth, lower inflation, and high employment rates across the board—this year-end momentum seems to be setting up great possibilities for 2024. Despite the speed bumps of 2023, many signs indicate 2024 could be a great year to invest in innovation.
To help businesses and innovators face 2024 with confidence, AWE is kicking-off the year with a special LinkedIn Live video session diving into these questions Wednesday, January 17th 12pm PT | 3pm ET | 9pm CET.
Two industry veterans—Tom Emrich, Director of Product, Augmented Reality,  Platforms at Niantic and Ori Inbar, CEO of AWE and Super Ventures—will go head-to-head, debating the prospects and perils of the coming year and to determine whether or not spatial computing is headed for a breakthrough year in 2024.
Key industry trends to be discussed will include: mixed reality (MR), AI's role in XR, and the anticipated impact of Apple’s Vision Pro headset on the tech landscape. This will be one live-stream you won’t want to miss.
Whether you’re an XR professional, developer, creator, start-up, investor, or an tech enthusiast, this session promises valuable takeaways to prepare you for your own breakthroughs in the coming year. 
Don’t miss this chance to engage with XR's leading voices and deepen your understanding of what is sure to be an exciting year ahead for the industry. We can’t wait to see you there!

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