20 Really Good Things that Happened in XR in 2020

by Ori Inbar

2020 was undeniably hard. But alongside the sad and scary times came countless demonstrations of caring, creativity, and resilience by the XR community; it stood up for the human connection, bringing people together safely and virtually. Here are 20 really good things that happened in XR in 2020 – as inspiration for next year:

  1. XR saved lives during the pandemic. (CNN) (ARPost)
  2. Culture went virtual, with many museums, opera houses, fairs, and other cultural institutions using the tech to connect with patrons in lockdown. (TheGuardian)
  3. XR offered workplaces a way to collaborate in a more immersive environment than a video call. (TechDemandARInsider)
  4. Virtual conferences allowed people to gather and exchange ideas while staying safely in quarantine. (Forbes)
  5. XR helped reduce social isolation for seniors during the pandemic. (McKnights)
  6. AR and VR became a force for social change. (CameraIQCablecast)
  7. This teacher used the VR game ‘Half Life: Alyx’ to teach math during school closures. (ign)
  8. Mobile AR reached 600+ Million users and 19% of U.S. Adults have tried VR. (ARInsiderARInsider)
  9. XR creators exploded: Snapchat reported over 1 Million lenses created and trillion user views! (ARInsider)
  10. The first consumer-friendly and affordable AR glasses (Nreal), launched in Korea and Japan and are headed to the US. (Engadget)
  11. AR contact lenses got real. (VentureBeat)
  12. The first mass-market smartphone with depth camera (and better AR) launched with the iPhone 12 Pro. (UploadVR)
  13. The AR Cloud has matured with acquisitions and investments. (PRNewswire6dScape)
  14. Live music events got their time to shine….virtually. (HelloBeauMonde)
  15. XR became safer with XRSI privacy and security guidelines (VentureBeat) (XRSI) and more open with OpenXR certification of hardware and software products (RoadtoVR).
  16. Kickstarter featured highly successful XR campaigns including the record-setting Looking Glass Portrait – a personal holographic display (Kickstarter).
  17. The “hero device” that boosts VR adoption to the mainstream has arrived (Quest 2) along with other fantastic VR headsets. (ARInsider)
  18. With COVID-19 shutting down in-person shopping across the globe, AR shopping has stepped up  (HarvardBusinesReview),  with data indicating that AR boosts conversion for online retailers (ARInsider).
  19. The AWE Academy launched with a mission to educate XR professionals and expand the ecosystem. Check out the first class: Web AR Workshop for brand managers, agencies, and creators! (AWE Academy/Web AR)
  20. You were awesome! The XR community was truly remarkable in 2020 and helped accelerate market adoption. Keep it up for 2021!

What to Look Forward to in 2021

  • ARInsider predictions for XR in 2021 include 3D becoming ubiquitous, a spread of adoption into new industries, and an evolution of ads. (ARInsider) (ARInsider)
  • ARPost put together their list of best upcoming VR games in 2021. (ARPost)
  • Tech Times predicts XR will become a major player in 2021. (TechTimes)
  • AWE USA is poised to make a huge comeback as an in-person event this November in California – take part as speaker, exhibitor or attendee.

A version of this article first appeared on the AWE Blog, reposted here with permission. 

Spatial agent Ori Inbar is the XR industry’s top community builder, as well as Co-founder of AWE and Super Ventures


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