XR is an emerging technology with rapidly evolving software and hardware. Given that, agencies should be constantly monitoring and iterating on their XR deployments to ensure they are effectively meeting mission needs and optimizing use of available tools.
Continuous feedback can be a valuable tool for measuring success at the user level. With sensor-enabled devices, it may be possible to collect real-time feedback, which in turn can be leveraged to continually fine-tune the user experience.
In practice this means program leaders should engage with the employees, soldiers, and other end users either via discussion or questionnaire after each XR experience. They need to explore functionality: Could users see the images? Did the flow of the experience make sense? They can also ask about impact: Did this experience help them more effectively complete a task, for example? This human feedback loop can inform future iterations and provide a greater understanding of which technologies or visualizations are most useful in a particular scenario.
Agencies also need to consider results: Did the XR experience fulfill its intended function in terms of either training or mission support? By monitoring metrics including retention of training materials, productivity, speed of decision-making, or quality of customer service interactions, agencies can better understand how the addition of XR is improving mission outcomes.
XR is rapidly advancing and will transform how enterprises operate. Federal agencies should move forward now on this powerful technology or risk being left behind. They have the chance today to move the needle on training, customer service, field operations, knowledge sharing, and situational awareness, with virtual experiences elevating performance across diverse missions.
Given the rapidly evolving XR landscape, agencies should consider teaming with a partner that has a depth of experience in the field, and a track record of delivering needed technologies, particularly at scale. Prototyping and testing technology is one facet of the process, but for a robust federal implementation, scalability and sustainability over the long term will be the hallmarks of success. Agencies will want to team with industry partners who have successfully navigated that territory.
XR will add new dimensions to how the federal government can operate, with enhanced insights and immersive experiences improving how employees can train, execute in their jobs, and interact with customers and each other. And the truth is – XR is becoming increasingly ubiquitous and the convergence of edge and cloud architecture with high-bandwidth, low-latency 5G networks will further accelerate the widespread adoption of XR experiences. Agencies can’t ignore it and should look now at how it can best be integrated in their missions. By adopting this emerging technology earlier on, agencies will be able to experiment with and evolve their usage as new capabilities emerge and XR’s momentum builds.
1 Source: IDC, Worldwide Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide
2 The Extended Reality Opportunity Today: Your Employees, Forrester Research, Inc., February 21, 2020