From 2D to 3D

How enterprises can bring the virtual world to life


Technologies that Accenture Strategy calls “xR”—which include virtual reality and augmented reality—have been around for years. But new opportunities are on the way. As these technologies grow more sophisticated, they are enabling a broader shift from 2D to 3D—not just for gamers, but also for enterprise-grade solutions. The seismic impact of 3D enterprise solutions will expand far beyond the xR use cases of today.

The move from 2D to 3D will initiate a fundamental shift in how people expect to interact with real and digital objects across all digital devices, and that has significant enterprise implications.


Investor interest in xR technologies is growing at a record pace. xR funding increased 140% from 2015 to 2016.


The business opportunity of xR technologies is significant as they are translated into 3D solutions—even more significant than some might believe.

  • Opportunity … times 6. Conventional analysis sizes the xR market at about $137 billion annually. But according to Accenture Strategy, if one looks across the broader landscape, the 3D opportunity is about six times larger: $895 billion.
  • Virtual hands around the world. The shift from 2D to 3D will revolutionize the way we interact, collaborate and learn—whether in the same room or across the world. 
  • 3Difficulties. Although the shift from 2D to 3D will be far-reaching in its impact, both for companies and consumers, some barriers need to be overcome:
    • There are more than eight different xR platforms that developers work on, with no clear leader in sight and no concerted effort towards standardization.
    • Available content is constrained: STANDARDS are limited and there are not enough addressable eyeballs.



How can your organization take advantage of the move from 2D to 3D? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Companies both on the lagging and leading edge of technology should get ready for the shift to 3D and how it will touch all corners of their business.
  • xR market leaders need to create a unified design language and invest in platforms to attract content creators and consumers to the xR ecosystem.
  • Companies not at the forefront of xR still need to evaluate how consumer and employee behaviors will shift so that they can adapt their engagement and business models accordingly.



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