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financial planning for future

Financial planning can be complex, so when you seek guidance in planning your financial future, it’s essential to work with someone you can trust.
A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional makes a commitment to CFP Board to act as a fiduciary, which means acting in their clients’ best interests at all times when providing financial advice. You should want a financial adviser who makes this commitment directly to you. Therefore, whomever you choose as your financial professional, including a CFP® professional, you should consider getting a written engagement that requires them to have a fiduciary obligation to you.
Professional standards are important to protect consumers. CFP Board’s Code and Standards sets forth the commitment that all CFP® professionals make to CFP Board. This includes duties to maintain the confidentiality and protect the privacy of client information.
In addition, CFP® professionals commit to CFP Board to disclose any conflicts of interest that might affect the professional relationship and compromise the CFP® professional’s ability to act in their clients’ best interests.
Approximately one year ago, CFP Board updated its Code and Standards to mandate that all CFP® professionals commit to CFP Board to act as fiduciaries for their clients when providing financial advice.
“Simply put, someone acting as a fiduciary should deliver financial advice that is clear, specific, objective and thorough,” says Dan Candura, a CFP Board Emeritus® member and Founder of Candura Group, LLC.
Professionals who follow CFP Board’s Code and Standards commit to fulfilling three key duties as part of their fiduciary duty:
– Duty of Loyalty. This means putting their clients’ interests first.
“Your interests should be placed above the interest of the CFP® professional and the CFP® professional’s firm,” according to CFP Board’s website.
– Duty of Care. This means being careful, acting with prudence and diligence in making recommendations to clients.
For example, if you receive a sudden windfall of money that you want to delay investing, a CFP® professional who abides by a commitment to CFP Board will review the reasonable options and consider factors such as risks and interest rates in making the best recommendation.
– Duty to Follow Client Instructions. This means complying with all objectives, policies, restrictions, and other terms on which you have agreed, and “all reasonable and lawful directions of you, the client,” according to CFP Board.
“Meeting these three duties enables CFP® professionals to honor their commitment to CFP Board to act as a fiduciary, in the client’s best interest. Certainly, that is what every client

ANIMALS OUT OF THE JUNGLE

The year is 2030

bullets rain like first spring of cherry blossoms

combing out weeds of growth

our men they who drank their mother’s milk

now taint the city with chants of Him

They who prayed and those who sinned now utter blasphemous the seven deadly

He the stalwart branded the savior now flourishes and feasts on the fear of others

I write with animosity

under the lamp flickering

the cowardly act of honor I dare not venture too deep

lest faced with the fate of few Bravehearts

prisoners of His twisted vices

exceeding Gogh and his canvas art

captivated His theatrics outshine His own repeatedly

devoted to mind and soul

devoid of emotions our own

solidarity the branding mark of respect

but muffled voices still echo the halls

pained hearts who’d seen their children last fall

No cheerful laughter light up the frosted pathways

no glimmer of hope could offer respite anymore

In this endless chasm of despair and despondence

the world now seems shrunken

let hell lose

let all go astray

when muzzled hounds start barking

when all animals are out of the jungle

ANOUSHKA MUKHERJI

The poem here is set in a dystopian era where an apocalyptic situation has ensued. As a result, the country is not dictated by a powerful antagonist who dominates and suppresses its people. The countrymen do not have free speech anymore. Those who tried to raise their voices against the injustice have met with worse fate. The poet expresses how grim like the situation he is facing and desires for freedom. This short poem is a brief description of the novel 1984 a novel by George Orwell. Draconian laws have been imposed on the poor countrymen and all of them live in fear of the dictator. The law-abiding citizens are not given a chance to woe or weep for their dead children who have been taken captive by the soldiers to keep their parents in check. All the kids have been put behind bars or executed. In this era, you are not allowed a mind of your own nor to have an opinion. Doing so would only lead to a fate worse than death for you. The poet expresses what might happen in later times when chaos would erupt and democracy would no longer exist. Bullets are scattered at every corner of the country and the country is in a bad condition. The poet says that it seems like the animals are now governing our country devoid of all of humanity and conscience, it is a warlike situation. It seems that the country is nostalgic for simpler times when democracy was still alive and people still had free speech and a mind of their own. There is perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance in the future and the government neglects important matters. The country is wrecked and you have to follow His advice and His religion. Here ‘His’ signifies the government who runs the entire nation. The poet writes in secrecy for fear of conspiring against the government and being put behind bars.

Plastic: Another reason for the slow death of plants

If you ever feel lonely, there is always someone to share your stories. Sit near a plant or a tree and talk to it, and you will feel better. Now, the plants want to tell you a story to you. Let’s start from its origin. A plant may grow on its own from the seeds which fly or get carried by the insects. There can be a possibility that you might plant a sapling on your birthday. It’s a widespread practice, and it’s done even on some occasions like Environment Day or as a part to save nature. But it may not last forever, it’ll leave you one day, you may not feel this, but some people are very much attached to nature.

A woman meditating under the shade of a tree.

They grow up with the plants, use their products, and build homes using bamboos, now and even it was a practice in the past. Plants have no opportunity left where they can’t help us. Right from feeding us, fulfilling our daily requirements for essential nutrients, and provide shade during sunny days, it has a long journey to convey to us. But the most severe issue is that due to our activities, the plants are indirectly getting harmed and pushing them slowly to death. Yes, the plants unknowingly accept the plastic we humans created, and we litter it without being concerned about the future. Such minor activities summing leads to global warming when plastics are burnt openly in air and damaging the ozone layer.

The beautiful scenery of trees along the road.

Thale cress, scientifically called as Arabidopsis thaliana, a weed that mostly grows on the edges of roads, was a part of a test where the plastic material is mixed in the soil. The results were devastating. The plastic molecules were less than 100 nanometers made its way in the plant, tested with another batch with clean soil. They were left to grow for ten days. It reduced the biomass of the growing plant, with shorter roots and lack of nutrients due to the ground’s impurities. This research took up at Shandong University, China. They also mentioned that new seedlings grew slower in contaminated soil.

This research can be such a critical issue; unknowingly, we consume plastic, it is even present in table salt, bottled water, and now through plants for a very long time. According to an estimate, 52 thousand tiny plastic molecules go into the body every year. It’s similar to consuming a credit card every week, not the money, but equivalent plastic weight.

You can save the planet with a smile, not by littering plastics shamefully.

There are already more than five trillion bits of plastic on the ocean surface. Initially, the production of plastic was slow from 2.1 million tonnes back in 1950. In 2015, this reached up to more than 406 million, out of which exponentially 6.3 billion tonnes of waste got generated. A mere 9 percent of waste was recycled, it can make situations where every seabird species will be consuming plastic instead of actual food. The dominant firms are on the way to find alternatives to reduce waste, and we can be a part of it, say no to plastic, and be a hero to save the planet Earth.

INTERNET OF THINGS

What is Internet of Things (IoT)?

The Internet of things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

The definition of the Internet of things has evolved due to the convergence of multiple technologies, real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, and embedded systems. Traditional fields of embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, control systems, automation (including home and building automation), and others all contribute to enabling the Internet of things. In the consumer market, IoT technology is most synonymous with products pertaining to the concept of the “smart home”, covering devices and appliances (such as lighting fixtures, thermostats, home security systems and cameras, and other home appliances) that support one or more common ecosystems, and can be controlled via devices associated with that ecosystem, such as smartphones and smart speakers.

History of IoT

The idea of adding sensors and intelligence to basic objects was discussed throughout the 1980s and 1990s (and there are arguably some much earlier ancestors), but apart from some early projects – including an internet-connected vending machine – progress was slow simply because the technology wasn’t ready. Chips were too big and bulky and there was no way for objects to communicate effectively.

Processors that were cheap and power-frugal enough to be all but disposable were needed before it finally became cost-effective to connect up billions of devices. The adoption of RFID tags – low-power chips that can communicate wirelessly – solved some of this issue, along with the increasing availability of broadband internet and cellular and wireless networking. The adoption of IPv6 – which, among other things, should provide enough IP addresses for every device the world is ever likely to need – was also a necessary step for the IoT to scale.

Kevin Ashton coined the phrase ‘Internet of Things’ in 1999, although it took at least another decade for the technology to catch up with the vision.

Adding RFID tags to expensive pieces of equipment to help track their location was one of the first IoT applications. But since then, the cost of adding sensors and an internet connection to objects has continued to fall, and experts predict that this basic functionality could one day cost as little as 10 cents, making it possible to connect nearly everything to the internet.

The IoT was initially most interesting to business and manufacturing, where its application is sometimes known as machine-to-machine (M2M), but the emphasis is now on filling our homes and offices with smart devices, transforming it into something that’s relevant to almost everyone. Early suggestions for internet-connected devices included ‘blogjects’ (objects that blog and record data about themselves to the internet), ubiquitous computing (or ‘ubicomp’), invisible computing, and pervasive computing. However, it was Internet of Things and IoT that stuck.

Intelligence

Ambient intelligence and autonomous control are not part of the original concept of the Internet of things. Ambient intelligence and autonomous control do not necessarily require Internet structures, either. However, there is a shift in research (by companies such as Intel) to integrate the concepts of the IoT and autonomous control, with initial outcomes towards this direction considering objects as the driving force for autonomous IoT. A promising approach in this context is deep reinforcement learning where most of IoT systems provide a dynamic and interactive environment. Training an agent (i.e., IoT device) to behave smartly in such an environment cannot be addressed by conventional machine learning algorithms such as supervised learning. By reinforcement learning approach, a learning agent can sense the environment’s state (e.g., sensing home temperature), perform actions (e.g., turn HVAC on or off) and learn through the maximizing accumulated rewards it receives in long term.

IoT intelligence can be offered at three levels: IoT devices, Edge/Fog nodes, and Cloud computing. The need for intelligent control and decision at each level depends on the time sensitiveness of the IoT application. For example, an autonomous vehicle’s camera needs to make real-time obstacle detection to avoid an accident. This fast decision making would not be possible through transferring data from the vehicle to cloud instances and return the predictions back to the vehicle. Instead, all the operation should be performed locally in the vehicle. Integrating advanced machine learning algorithms including deep learning into IoT devices is an active research area to make smart objects closer to reality. Moreover, it is possible to get the most value out of IoT deployments through analyzing IoT data, extracting hidden information, and predicting control decisions. A wide variety of machine learning techniques have been used in IoT domain ranging from traditional methods such as regression, support vector machine, and random forest to advanced ones such as convolutional neural networks, LSTM, and variational autoencoder.

In the future, the Internet of Things may be a non-deterministic and open network in which auto-organized or intelligent entities (web services, SOA components) and virtual objects (avatars) will be interoperable and able to act independently (pursuing their own objectives or shared ones) depending on the context, circumstances or environments. Autonomous behavior through the collection and reasoning of context information as well as the object’s ability to detect changes in the environment (faults affecting sensors) and introduce suitable mitigation measures constitutes a major research trend, clearly needed to provide credibility to the IoT technology. Modern IoT products and solutions in the marketplace use a variety of different technologies to support such context-aware automation, but more sophisticated forms of intelligence are requested to permit sensor units and intelligent cyber-physical systems to be deployed in real environments

ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION (rpa)

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Robotic process automation (or RPA) is a form of business process automation technology based on metaphorical software robots (bots) or on artificial intelligence (AI)/digital workers. It is sometimes referred to as software robotics (not to be confused with robot software).

In traditional workflow automation tools, a software developer produces a list of actions to automate a task and interface to the back-end system using internal application programming interfaces (APIs) or dedicated scripting language. In contrast, RPA systems develop the action list by watching the user perform that task in the application’s graphical user interface (GUI), and then perform the automation by repeating those tasks directly in the GUI. This can lower the barrier to use of automation in products that might not otherwise feature APIs for this purpose.

RPA tools have strong technical similarities to graphical user interface testing tools. These tools also automate interactions with the GUI, and often do so by repeating a set of demonstration actions performed by a user. RPA tools differ from such systems that allow data to be handled in and between multiple applications, for instance, receiving email containing an invoice, extracting the data, and then typing that into a bookkeeping system.

Deployment

The hosting of RPA services also aligns with the metaphor of a software robot, with each robotic instance having its own virtual workstation, much like a human worker. The robot uses keyboard and mouse controls to take actions and execute automations. Normally all of these actions take place in a virtual environment and not on screen; the robot does not need a physical screen to operate, rather it interprets the screen display electronically. The scalability of modern solutions based on architectures such as these owes much to the advent of virtualization technology, without which the scalability of large deployments would be limited by available capacity to manage physical hardware and by the associated costs. The implementation of RPA in business enterprises has shown dramatic cost savings when compared to traditional non-RPA solutions.

There are however several risks with RPA. Criticism include risks of stifling innovation and creating a more complex maintenance environment of existing software that now needs to consider the use of graphical user interfaces in a way they weren’t intended to be used.

Benefits of RPA

RPA provides organizations with the ability to reduce staffing costs and human error. David Schatsky, a managing director at Deloitte LP, points to a bank’s experience with implementing RPA, in which the bank redesigned its claims process by deploying 85 bots to run 13 processes, handling 1.5 million requests per year. The bank added capacity equivalent to more than 200 full-time employees at approximately 30 percent of the cost of recruiting more staff, Schatsky says.

Bots are typically low-cost and easy to implement, requiring no custom software or deep systems integration. Schatsky says such characteristics are crucial as organizations pursue growth without adding significant expenditures or friction among workers. “Companies are trying to get some breathing room so they can serve their business better by automating the low-value tasks,” Schatsky says.

Enterprises can also supercharge their automation efforts by injecting RPA with cognitive technologies such as ML, speech recognition, and natural language processing, automating higher-order tasks that in the past required the perceptual and judgment capabilities of humans.

Such RPA implementations, in which upwards of 15 to 20 steps may be automated, are part of a value chain known as intelligent automation (IA), Viadro says. “If we were to segment all of the major enterprises and ask them what’s on their agenda for 2018, close to 100 percent would say intelligent automation,” Viadro says.

By 2020, automation and artificial intelligence will reduce employee requirements in business shared-service centers by 65 percent, according to Gartner, which says the RPA market will top $1 billion by 2020. By that time, 40 percent of large enterprises will have adopted an RPA software tool, up from less than 10 percent today.

Tips for effective RPA

1. Set and manage expectations: Quick wins are possible with RPA, but propelling RPA to run at scale is a different animal. Dave Kuder, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP, says that many RPA hiccups stem from poor expectations management. Bold claims about RPA from vendors and implementation consultants haven’t helped. That’s why it’s crucial for CIOs to go in with a cautiously optimistic mindset. “If you go in with open eyes you’ll be a lot happier with the result,” Kuder says.

2. Consider business impact: RPA is often propped up as a mechanism to bolster return on investment or reduce costs. But Kris Fitzgerald, CTO of NTT Data Services, says more CIOs should use it to improve customer experience. For example, enterprises such as airlines employ thousands of customer service agents, yet customers are still waiting in the queue to have their call fielded. A chatbot, could help alleviate some of that wait. “You put that virtual agent in there and there is no downtime, no out sick and no bad attitude,” Fitzgerald says. “The client experience is the flag to hit.”

3. Involve IT early and often: COOs initially bought RPA and hit a wall during implementation, prompting them to ask IT’s help (and forgiveness), Viadro says. Now “citizen developers” without technical expertise are using cloud software to implement RPA right in their business units, Kuder says. Often, the CIO tends to step in and block them. Kuder and Viadro say that business heads must involve IT from the outset to ensure they get the resources they require.

4. Poor design, change management can wreak havoc: Many implementations fail because design and change are poorly managed, says Sanjay Srivastava, chief digital officer of Genpact. In the rush to get something deployed, some companies overlook communication exchanges, between the various bots, which can break a business process. “Before you implement, you must think about the operating model design,” Srivastava says. “You need to map out how you expect the various bots to work together.” Alternatively, some CIOs will neglect to negotiate the changes new operations will have on an organization’s business processes. CIOs must plan for this well in advance to avoid business disruption.

5. Don’t fall down the data rabbit hole: A bank deploying thousands of bots to automate manual data entry or to monitor software operations generates a ton of data. This can lure CIOs and their business peers into an unfortunate scenario where they are looking to leverage the data. Srivastava says it’s not uncommon for companies to run ML on the data their bots generate, and then throw a chatbot on the front to enable users to more easily query the data. Suddenly, the RPA project has become an ML project that hasn’t been properly scoped as an ML project. “The puck keeps moving,” and CIOs struggle to catch up to it, Srivastava says. He recommends CIOs consider RPA as a long-term arc, rather than as piecemeal projects that evolve into something unwieldy.

Impact on employment

According to Harvard Business Review, most operations groups adopting RPA have promised their employees that automation would not result in layoffs. Instead, workers have been redeployed to do more interesting work. One academic study highlighted that knowledge workers did not feel threatened by automation: they embraced it and viewed the robots as team-mates. The same study highlighted that, rather than resulting in a lower “headcount”, the technology was deployed in such a way as to achieve more work and greater productivity with the same number of people.

Conversely, however, some analysts proffer that RPA represents a threat to the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. The thesis behind this notion is that RPA will enable enterprises to “repatriate” processes from offshore locations into local data centers, with the benefit of this new technology. The effect, if true, will be to create high-value jobs for skilled process designers in onshore locations (and within the associated supply chain of IT hardware, data center management, etc.) but to decrease the available opportunity to low skilled workers offshore. On the other hand, this discussion appears to be healthy ground for debate as another academic study was at pains to counter the so-called “myth” that RPA will bring back many jobs from offshore.

Impact on society

Academic studies project that RPA, among other technological trends, is expected to drive a new wave of productivity and efficiency gains in the global labour market. Although not directly attributable to RPA alone, Oxford University conjectures that up to 35% of all jobs may have been automated by 2035.

In a TEDx talk hosted by University College London (UCL), entrepreneur David Moss explains that digital labour in the form of RPA is not only likely to revolutionize the cost model of the services industry by driving the price of products and services down, but that it is likely to drive up service levels, quality of outcomes and create increased opportunity for the personalization of services.

In a separate TEDx in 2019 talks, Japanese business executive, and former CIO of Barclays bank, Koichi Hasegawa noted that digital robots can be a positive effect on society if we start using a robot with empathy to help every person. He provides a case study of the Japanese insurance companies – Sompo Japan and Aioi – both of whom deployed bots to speed up the process of insurance pay-outs in past massive disaster incidents.

Meanwhile, Professor Willcocks, author of the LSE paper cited above, speaks of increased job satisfaction and intellectual stimulation, characterising the technology as having the ability to “take the robot out of the human”, a reference to the notion that robots will take over the mundane and repetitive portions of people’s daily workload, leaving them to be redeployed into more interpersonal roles or to concentrate on the remaining, more meaningful, portions of their day.

EXTENDED REALITY (XR)

What is Extended Reality (XR)?

Extended reality (XR) is a term referring to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables, where the ‘X’ represents a variable for any current or future spatial computing technologies. It includes representative forms such as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) and the areas interpolated among them. The levels of virtuality range from partially sensory inputs to immersive virtuality, also called VR.

XR is a superset which includes the entire spectrum from “the complete real” to “the complete virtual” in the concept of reality–virtuality continuum introduced by Paul Milgram. Still, its connotation lies in the extension of human experiences especially relating to the senses of existence (represented by VR) and the acquisition of cognition (represented by AR). With the continuous development in human–computer interactions, this connotation is still evolving.

XR is a rapid growing field being applied in a wide range of ways, such as entertainment, marketing, real-estate, training and remote work.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is the simplest of the three XR subsets and describes the interaction between a virtual experience and the real world, which results in an augmented or supplemented environment. One popular example of augmented reality is the smartphone game “Pokémon GO,” where users virtually place a character somewhere in their surrounding environment.

Augmented reality is slowly making its way into sectors beyond entertainment, such as retail, online shopping, and manufacturing. Augmented reality is arguably the most widely adopted of all XR technologies as it requires the least amount of processing, allowing it to function on most smartphones and tablets. Augmented reality can exist in any environment that contains two necessary features – a camera to capture the surrounding environment and a processor to understand that environment and actively simulate a virtual object placed into that environment

Currently, the only factor slowing the growth of augmented reality is the native processing power in devices where augmented reality will take place.

Virtual Reality

As the name and image above suggest, virtual reality (VR) creates a completely virtual environment that allows users to immerse themselves in an alternate universe. The Oculus, a consumer-grade, multimedia entertainment VR solution, may be the most famous VR system on the market today. Since its founding in 2012, Oculus’s creators have continually pushed the limits of virtual reality technology.

Because virtual reality is completely simulated, users can also supplement the virtual, simulated environment with controllers and other sensory stimulators. The most obvious sensory additives, such as headphones and haptic devices, have already made their way into the virtual reality market. More advanced technologies, such as the haptic technology presented by Ultraleap, are working their way into the virtual reality market to provide users with next-level intractability and feedback.

VR technology is currently limited by low-power processing devices and GPUs. An immersive virtual reality experience requires a fully-developed simulation as well as native processing of the interactions and movement within the simulation. We see one excellent example of these current processing limitations in the jump from “standalone” VR headsets to headsets that require a PC for operation. When compared to standalone simulators, PC virtual reality devices feature more advanced – video quality, refresh rate, video complexity, movement tracking, controller complexity, audio integration and immersive experience.

Mixed Reality

The newest and most complex facet of XR is mixed reality. Think of mixed reality as a hybrid between augmented and virtual reality. Its goal is to superimpose an interactive experience over the real world, allowing for both the simulated reality and true reality. In augmented reality, the ability to interact with the simulation does not exist or is significantly limited. In virtual reality, the ability to interact with the real world does not exist. Mixed reality has set out to fill the gap between the virtual and augmented world; this highly advanced augmented reality allows for an interactive experience that’s similar to virtual reality.

One excellent example of mixed reality is Microsoft’s HoloLens’ integration with Skype, in which the user can superimpose a Skype session into reality, transmit their reality over Skype, and virtually control their Skype session with their hands by “touching” the simulation. Imagine being able to scroll through your Twitter feed or navigate the internet using Google glasses, all while being able to see the world around you.

Mixed reality’s limitations lie in the processing capabilities of available devices. However, this technology may hold the most promising future for revolutionizing how we interact with true reality. Mixed reality has already made its way into employee training, manufacturing, military, and the consumer sector. Imagine putting on your MR goggles to diagnose internal issues within your car, see your current performance, and adjust settings.

As highly complex XR devices become more powerful, efficient, compact, and affordable, this technology will find its way into our everyday lives. Scientists 50 years ago would never have believed we could fit terabytes of storage into a device the size of a stick of gum, but here we are. In 50 more years, we may be able to fit a data center worth of processing power into wearable glasses.

Uses of Extended Reality

Additionally, the hardware and software for interacting with XR have improved drastically over the years. XR technologies have improved with sophisticated tech, high-quality imaging and the perception for depth and spatial surroundings. XR software utilises improved programming, such as hand tracking and live movements, so that the environment that XR creates is very similar to the physical environment. Now, a VR headset is available for a fairly affordable price. Products like the Oculus Rift can show students the future, or introduce other emerging technologies.

In terms of industry use, almost 50% of XR is currently used in education. The interactive technology Google Expeditions allow pupils to sit in their classroom and experience virtual worlds. Similarly, apps such as Unimersiv totally immerse students in the sights and sounds of a foreign culture and language, which is proven to aid learning and development. Indeed, 9 out of 10 teachers in the UK recognise that XR technologies would be a benefit in classroom teaching.

In healthcare, there are many application areas of virtual reality, such as being used to train surgeons and doctors. Medical professors at Stanford University have stated their intention to educate their students on anatomy using VR technology, and a research team at Cambridge University is seeking to construct 3D models of tumours that can be explored in incredible detail.

Research into VR uses in this field has found that VR allows specialists to change in situations that are usually changing on the spot. For example, research has shown that rehearsing surgery in VR can speed up operations. It is also being used to allow health & safety trainees, and emergency responders to rehearse disaster scenarios in a safe but very real looking environment. Fergus Drake, CEO of not-for-profit Crown Agents, stated: “Virtual Reality allows us to go some way in accurately conveying the pressures of a humanitarian crisis and we hope it appeals to a new generation of those wanting to work in this life-saving field.”

Aside from educational applications, XR technology is also being used in design, architecture and engineering. Due to the possible application areas of virtual reality, architects can create 1:1 scale models of their projects, which they can then explore, manipulate and test before commencing the build. Similarly, automotive engineers sculpt new cars and engines in Virtual Reality suites, which brings down the cost of building numerous real-world prototypes.

The many possible VR uses are also helping fashion retailers allow consumers to customise their own garments, as well as building virtual shops so customers can browse their goods from the comfort of their own home. Global furniture makers are using AR technology to allow customers to try out new furniture in their own homes before completing their purchase.

These are just a few examples of the current and potential uses of XR technology. Hire Intelligence’s General Manager, Mark Bates, says: “The rise of XR shows no sign of abating. It’s revolutionising training and events across a variety of industries. As VR technology continues to develop there are more and more opportunities to learn about and engage with XR and the potential is hugely exciting”.

It is clear that XR provides users with a creative way to engage in a variety of new environments through simulation technology. With this, XR also offers logical solutions to modern challenges.