BUILDING A CAREER IN IMMERSIVE TECHNOLOGIES
Imagine being able to experience a guided tour of Switzerland from your home!
Fancy trying on clothes virtually to see what they would look like in person?
Or have you pictured yourself visiting virtual cinemas, restaurants and beaches together with your friends from different parts of the world?
Don’t be startled, Immersive technologies do have the ability to transform our everyday life and society. It has been on a rapid rise in the past decade with many industries from gaming to healthcare, education, real estate, architecture, construction etc. identifying and adopting its advantages.
In simple words, Immersive technology is an integration of virtual content with the physical environment by either extending reality or creating a new reality in a way that allows the user to engage naturally with the blended reality. It aims to change how we interact with everything from medicine to entertainment.
What the future will look like is anyone’s guess. But what’s certain is that immersive technology is on the rise.
The umbrella term encapsulating AR, VR and MR and everything in between is Extended Reality (XR)
- Augmented reality (AR)
AR enhances the real world by using digitally produced perceptual overlays on common equipment such as mobile phones . Pokemon GO and Snapchat filters are the most vivid examples.
- Virtual realty (VR)
VR on the other hand immerses users in a completely virtual environment generated by a computer. The user is completely shut out from the rest of the world while being surrounded by content through a head mounted display.
- Mixed Reality (MR)
MR is a combination of AR and VR. Like VR, MR also uses a Head Mounted Display. But unlike VR, a user is not shut out from the rest of the world. Instead, the HMD is more like a pair of glasses that overlays digital images on top of your real environment (just like AR).
So what is this industry all about?
Is this the right career option for you?
How do you get into it and make a lucrative career out of it?
Immersive technology is gaining a fastidious reputation when it comes to mixing reality with digital elements. From fantasy to reality, its sub-domains namely Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality have opened the doors for unconventional IT professionals with a gift for out-of-box thinking.
Statista predicts that by 2030, about 23.36 million jobs will be enhanced by such immersive technologies. Businesses of every shape and size are keen on utilising the applications of virtual reality, augmented reality to enhance their people, processes and products. Since with greater immersion comes higher profitability.
Contemplating that the industry continues to evolve and the expected on-the-job role gets redefined, here are the top careers for those interested.
- Design Architect
These professionals produce the exterior contours of wearable devices. From creating a head-mounted display to refining the edges of AR-powered eye-glass design architects are in demand for action. Along with acquiring a degree in IT and computer, one can top that off with third-party certifications to have an updated knowledge base.
- Software Developer
With the compounding growth of immersive technologies being a software developer will never be out of fashion. The developers are equipped with the task of building a whole new digital setting or creating a layer of digital experience in our reality, such as the game Pokemon Go. For those interested requisite skills include data structures and algorithms, programming, databases, networking, and quality assurance.
- 3D Artist
A 3D artist creates graphic designs. One must learn the knack of mixing creative elements such as colour, texture, lights etc. In-depth knowledge of Adobe, In-design and Photoshop is staple along with an accredited degree in graphic design.
- System Validation Engineer
They act as the bridging contact between the operations team and the development team. Their chief responsibility includes running relevant software tests and initiating improvement cycles. A bachelor’s degree in the software or computer discipline of engineering is required along with other necessary skills such as programming languages, data analysis etc.
- Mixed Reality Artist
A mixed reality artist designs and creates technology that makes the interface between computers and humans more interactive.
- Game Developer
A game developer plans, designs and produces video games for different platforms like computers, gaming consoles and mobile phones. To pursue a career as a game developer you need to be familiar with different computer programming languages, have a basic understanding of UX design and the hardware your applications will run on.
A rigger creates the setups for VR and AR games and movies. The professional automates animation tasks, captures and replicates facial as well as body motions in graphics and improves the overall efficiency of a VR app.
- User Interface Design Engineer
A UI design engineer works in collaboration with product managers and engineers and is responsible for planning and implementing new designs, interpreting data, testing for experience, conducting user research etc.
We live in a science-tech age where artificial intelligence, virtual reality, internet of things, edge computing, web 3.0 etc have infringed almost all sectors from engineering and science to medicine and gaming. The emergence of immersive technology, its accessibility coupled by its rapid growth in usage has contributed to myriad job opportunities. By pursuing AR /VR courses one can achieve a flourishing career in any industry that uses this technology.
Written by Ms. Srishti Pandey – Jitin Chawla Team