INTERVIEW: Hugo Swart, Qualcomm’s head of extended reality (XR), flagged enterprise applications as a key market for AR and VR, but cautioned widespread adoption among consumers and businesses could take several more years.

While consumer applications get a lot of attention, Swart (pictured) said XR companies shouldn’t discount the enterprise opportunity, noting businesses were among the first to adopt smartphones.

Already, the executive said, VR technology has gathered significant traction among enterprises as a training tool, noting Walmart’s use of the technology to integrate new employees. He added a similar trend can be seen in the AR market, highlighting remote assistance and healthcare applications as two early successes.

Swart hailed the progress of XR technologies from early cardboard implementations to today’s high-tech headsets. But while the industry is “now at a point where we have the key foundational technology platforms to take VR to the next level,” he said “we shouldn’t set the expectation that this going to be a quick transition”.

Both broad adoption and further evolution of the technology will likely take many more years, he warned.

In the short term, Swart said XR devices will increasingly become wireless (like the Oculus Quest) and pair with 5G devices to help process heavy application workloads. Looking ahead, he predicted XR devices will be able to connect directly to the network with advances in technologies such as mobile edge computing.

To view the full interview, including Swart’s thoughts on the impact of 5G, click here.