Augmented World Expo kicks off in Santa Clara

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- The world of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) has led to confusion, so a new term is emerging: XR or extended reality. Hundreds of companies and developers are gathered under one roof this week at the Augmented World Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

This tech story is only a $18 billion a year business now, compared to the $351 billion consumer electronics field, but say it's on fire with forecasts of $215 billion in just three years.

VIDEO: Google unveils tool to make virtual reality tours more accessible
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Wednesday's big splash at day two of Google's developers conference in Mountain View was a new tool that aims to make virtual reality tours more accessible.

A number of companies has been working on virtual reality glasses and headsets to immerse people in a world driven by computer generated visuals and sound. However, others are trying to speed up the processing speed of creating content to give consumers access on their smartphones. One of those companies, Wrnch (that's correct), based in Montreal, showed ABC7 News how its software could track a reporter's movements and map them onto a virtual character right on an iPhone. It could even set a person on fire.

A researcher from Belgium at the expo was trying a new headset that is more like regular eyeglasses, but was able to display a drone in augmented reality while it was being managed by a controller.

The public can attend the Augmented World Expo (AWE) on Friday, with admission at $49.

Click here to learn more about the expo.
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