Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day, and Neither Was the Metaverse

Great things take time, but XR enterprise technology is generating positive ROI for businesses today

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Rome Wasn't Built in a Day. Neither Was the Metaverse. - XR Today News
Mixed RealityInsights

Published: June 20, 2023


Rory Greener

The history of technology is replete with over-hyped pronouncements and predictions. But over the long haul, many technologies found their place in the consumer market – thanks to enterprise adoption.

Some technologies can experience rapid adoption, while others might take longer. And to paraphrase Mick Jagger, “Time is on my side” for companies that persist in their pursuit of a purpose-driven mission to introduce new technology.

Consider the PC. In the early years, PC companies like Apple and IBM focused on the business market – because that’s where the demand was. That strategy drove the PC’s adoption and eventually led to its widespread acceptance. It fundamentally changed how people do almost anything everywhere.

But adoption rates can vary significantly, depending on technical complexity, cost, compatibility with existing systems, and market needs.

XR is no different.

Metaverse Rising – In the Enterprise

XR technology adoption is accelerating thanks to the enterprise market, where it’s poised to generate significant business benefits and ROI across a wide swath of enterprise activities.

According to Statista, “The global extended reality (XR) market that includes augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) reached 29.26 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, rising to over 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2026.”

Companies have already experienced the improvements that XR can deliver in training, remote collaboration, data visualization, healthcare treatments, product design and prototyping, as well as maintenance and repair.

Indeed, an Accenture study found that 89 percent of C-suite executives believe XR will impact the future growth of their companies. And, among consumers, 55 percent believe the metaverse is an exciting development that could enhance their daily lives.

Don’t Rely on Old Playbooks

What made a company spectacularly successful in one industry doesn’t always guarantee a smash hit in another. History shows that many products created by industry leaders don’t always succeed.

Just ask Google, Amazon and Apple about the future of their virtual assistants in the Era of Chat-GPT. They created products based on entirely different technical assumptions about smart devices for the home based on traditional machine learning (ML) techniques. But these industry leaders’ smart assistants can’t manage conversations nearly as well as ChatGPT.

The point is that the market leader in one arena doesn’t always win in an entirely new era of disruptive technology.

Early leaders in the VR space, like Meta which dominates the social media space, and Pico Interactive (owned by Bytedance) might view the metaverse as an extension of their existing revenue streams from social media.

Their goals are likely to focus on increasing their platforms’ user engagement through immersive experiences. And for Pico, social media aspirations are becoming part of its market strategies.

Both firms rely on pre-existing go-to-market models that might or might not play well in the enterprise space. Even though they offer novel solutions, they have comparatively limited experience serving the enterprise.

For corporations and global institutions looking to transform how their employees work and how they engage with customers by deploying XR solutions, it’s essential to have a partner that has deep roots in serving the enterprise and understands its complex requirements.

Consumers are comparatively straightforward; they want something that works right out of the box. However, the enterprise potentially has to manage, secure and service thousands of headsets around the world. At the same time, when they acquire XR hardware, they want to avoid the tech debt created by proprietary cloud and software obligations.

 Get Real with Lenovo ThinkReality

There’s no doubt that Meta and Pico have made progress in the enterprise. But it’s the enterprise where XR has the fastest adoption rate and that’s where interoperability and complete hardware and software solutions are crucial.

Lenovo, a firm with a long history in providing compute solutions to the enterprise, has a different approach to the metaverse:

“Lenovo created ThinkReality specifically to address the challenges of scaling XR solutions in the enterprise now. It was the mission five years ago and it remains so today,” said Vishal Shah, GM of XR and Metaverse, Lenovo.

Lenovo ThinkReality is a three-pillar strategy of XR hardware, software, and services for a complete end-to-end XR solution for the enterprise.  It’s a portfolio of XR solutions of interoperable hardware, software, and services. Its cloud-agnostic platform provides device and application management for multiple users and use cases through a single interface. It also offers omnichannel device and application management and MDM services across users.

Lenovo’s ThinkReality is a reality – today.  It’s not a future promise. It’s a complete solution available and businesses that are using it are reaping positive ROI and benefits.

It’s just the beginning of the enterprise metaverse. And Lenovo continues aggressively in the following areas:

  • Enterprise XR hardware, software, and services dedicating to making it easier to scale across large organizations.
  • A business focus with a portfolio created solely to deliver enterprise XR technologies. Gone is the division between consumer and business products.
  • Solutions across AR and VR with the deep understanding that these are distinctly different technologies with unique use cases.
  • A cloud and device-agnostic platform to enhance interoperability - avoiding ‘walled gardens’ and proprietary solutions that hinder future metaverse strategies.
  • Companies adhering to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals can benefit from Lenovo’s full life-cycle device management.

Snap To It with Snapdragon. Long Live the Ecosystem.

Creating the metaverse is too important to leave to a few big companies. A thriving ecosystem of XR software developers means an innovative ecosystem of products for more people to benefit from.

This is why Lenovo is a partner in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform. Snapdragon Spaces is helping pioneer innovative XR experiences to lead the next generation of immersive technology and solutions.

Snapdragon reduces developer friction by providing a uniform set of XR features designed to be independent of the device manufacturer. It is compatible with the Khronos OpenXR specification to enable application portability.

Companies using Lenovo’s ThinkReality VRX and ThinkReality A3 solutions can access Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform and OpenXR-based SDK to create custom XR applications.

Headworn, mobile XR solutions need a common language and tools for developers to create powerful interoperable applications that can be deployed more easily,” Shah said. “Snapdragon Spaces is creating the momentum towards a tipping point in the industry where customers can find or create the killer apps that change their business or how they live,” said Shah.

Keeping It Real Case Studies

ThinkReality is helping customers achieve ROI with its XR solutions.

Micron Technologies 

COVID created a host of problems for enterprises. Suddenly there were workforce shortages and supply chain upheavals.

In response, Micron Technologies commissioned Lenovo’s ThinkReality platform and Sphere AR solutions to help solve some of their most urgent issues.

With Lenovo’s AR technologies, employees stayed connected and collaborated with remote guidance for real-time maintenance, repairs, and optimising factory equipment. It resulted in reduced downtimes and increased repair turnarounds. Resources were allocated efficiently. Significant savings were the result.


Baker Hughes deploys Phantom View, its enhanced reality software platform, using Lenovo ThinkReality headsets to support remote operations management, training, collaboration and site walkthroughs.

Phantom View software renders digital images on powerful workstations or server platforms and streams high-fidelity video to connected head-mounted displays in real time.

The solution also provides enhanced-reality-based employee health and safety training by streaming full-scale 3D models of drill sites, accurately reconstructed from real sites and with realistic physics, to the Lenovo headsets. This AR simulation evaluates employees’ ability to assess health and safety risks on site—before they visit.

Other use cases include upskilling, training, remote guidance, walkthroughs and geological reviews.

We’ve Only Just Begun

Enterprises require custom solutions to manage and use their XR products. Lenovo continues its path of innovation and benchmark-setting reliability for clients and partners.

“Lenovo is tremendously excited about the future of XR in the enterprise,” Shah said. “Today, ThinkReality solutions are having an impact and helping transform organizations by connecting teams in immersive experiences, improving collaboration, and training. XR will deliver new and exciting experiences in how they work, learn and receive healthcare. The sky is the limit,” he explained.

The path to the metaverse has been uncovered. And the enterprise will lead the way.

Immersive ExperienceMetaverse

Brands mentioned in this article.


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