WHETHER YOU CALL it a prototype, phase I, or proof of concept (POC), this phase is a necessary step in testing things out, evaluating what works and what doesn't, and shaping the pieces of a long-term plan. Many people refer to this as prototyping; however, I like to save that word for the experimentation and iterative development that goes into creating the pieces of an interactive experience. When referring to the phase of work itself, I suggest that every extended reality project either goes with a proof of concept or phase I to start. I define these differently as various projects have timeline requirements or specific goals that contribute to this categorization.

Proof of Concept

I classify this as the smallest scope, fastest timeline, and most budget-conscious production option. Based on the experiences I've produced, a proof of concept never goes beyond the use of getting more buy-in or testing out whether extended reality is the right solution for the organizational goals. You may be able to take components or inspiration from the project files, but the code itself is created in a way that is quick and dirty, meaning that it needs to be functional but does not need to be foundational. It's difficult to build additional features or expand on something that's been developed in this manner, which is why I am very clear about the intent of developing a POC-level experience.

A proof of concept can still be a great first step, as it often takes someone experiencing ...

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