What does an XR Research Scientist do?
Extended reality (XR) is still in its infancy as an industry, possessing many barriers and challenges to achieving mass adoption. It is the job of a research scientist to further the field however possible, and overcome these challenges through research.
You job will depend on what area of research you are working on. This might include working on the hardware side, improving hand and body tracking trying or trying to decrease the cost of hardware. Alternatively, you might work in a field like the healthcare industry, where your job is to evidence XRs ability to improve practices, usually by running experiments on participants and affirming a palpable improvement on their condition.
What’s an XR Research Scientist good at?
- Project management: as a research scientist you may have to work within (and potentially manage) a small team. It is important you are able to understand people’s strengths and weaknesses
- Forward-thinking: research requires you to think ahead – you must define your aims and ensure you have the resources and time to carry out the research. Clearly planning can help secure funding within your firm, or alternatively receive external funding for your project
- Data handling: depending on your field, the results of your research will vary widely. It could be experiment results, survey results, or using existing data. Either way, your going to need to be able to handle large quantities of data and pull conclusions from them
Where can being an XR Research Scientist take me?
First time users of XR are quick to assume that XR could make for an intense entertainment experience, and they weren’t wrong – XR has made leaps and strides in this area. That is just the beginning of potential of XR.
How do I become an XR Research Scientist?
The key to becoming a research scientist is staying in academics, especially higher education and postgraduate level. This will teach you how to conduct research and give you experience managing a research project. It will also work to give you a lot of expertise in your area, for example, if you want to research for the potential for VR to improve mental health care, you might need a good knowledge of psychology and XR technology.
When studying in higher education, you should look to focus on XR whenever possible, especially during projects – this will show that you have good interdisciplinary knowledge between your field and XR.