A few years back, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) sounded revolutionary, more like the utopian world of the Jetsons. But today, with miraculous capabilities of accomplishing seemingly impossible tasks, AR and VR are invading our lives. With the popularity of Google Earth and Pokemon Go, 2017 showed us remarkable growth and awareness of these technologies. According to Statista, the global augmented and virtual reality market size is expected to reach 20.4 billion U.S dollars in 2019.
Although AR and VR are rapidly transforming various industries, thoughts like-what exactly are these fast-moving digital wonders and which one would mainstream first, linger in many minds. Here are the answers to all!
Augmented Reality – Augmenting the Real World
Augmented Reality is an interactive technology that capacitates the power of augmenting the real world environment with computer-generated perpetual information. What’s amazing about AR is that it brings components of the digital world to the natural environment. With the capabilities of narrowing spaces between reality and technology, augmented reality is expected to revolutionize the world.
Fun Fact: Studies reveal that by August 2017, the total number of downloads of Pokemon Go from Google Play market alone was 100 million.
Augmented reality is known best from the Pokemon Go and Snapchat filters. The IKEA Place app has also managed to win hearts by enabling users to decorate homes using the AR technology. According to a Statista report, augmented reality is expected to generate a revenue of 118 billion U.S dollars from AR devices and 68 billion U.S dollars from AR services.
Fun Fact: The survey conducted by GlobalWebIndex in 2018 showed the following consumer’s perception of augmented reality’s potential in various sectors.
Augmented reality with its capabilities to deliver an interactive and enhanced experience, is expected to project its best in retail and marketing industries. Increasing the array of channels to guide purchases, AR can turn to become the next big thing for retail stores. With AR technology, advertising and marketing industries can also provide more fluid customer experience by utilizing real-time user preferences and data.
Related Reading: Augmented Reality is also growing its pace in the travel industry. Take a look at how innovative travel apps are mesmerizing customers.
Virtual Reality – Exhibiting an Artificial Reality
Virtual Reality is an immersive technology that lets you experience a three-dimensional computer generated environment incorporating a mixture of interactive hardware and software. This technology blinds you out from the real world and takes you to a virtualized reality or an artificial environment. Literally speaking, virtual reality possesses the power to make you believe that you are teleporting.
The most popular forms of virtual reality we witness today are the VR Headsets. Google Earth and the other 360 degree videos on Facebook and YouTube are also versions of the VR technology. According to Statista, the market size of virtual reality hardware and software is predicted to increase from 2.2 billion U.S. Dollars seen in 2017 to more than 19 billion U.S. Dollars by 2020.
Experts predict VR to project rapid growth in entertainment and education industry. Possessing abilities to provide an immersive experience and a unique level of interaction, VR has the potential to evolve faster in these industries. With virtual reality headsets and mobile games, VR has already marked a significant position in the entertainment field.
Fun Fact: According to a survey in 2018 conducted by the GlobalWebIndex, the following is an estimate of consumer’s perception of virtual reality’s potential in various sectors.
Although, adoption of VR in the education industry is very much in its infancy, yet it is expected to transform classrooms and the way students explore colleges in the near future. The one VR miracle that has already gained popularity among students is the Gear Up NC VR app that is enabling students to screen through North Carolina colleges hassle-free.
Fun Fact: Nearly half of the population (42%) predicts that the education industry will become commonplace for VR projects to grow in the next five years. 97% of the people who have used VR for teaching have agreed that VR has the potential to engage students better.
AR or VR – The Technology to Create the Big Impact
Although both the technologies have their own share of pros and cons, augmented reality has a lower awareness rate as compared to virtual reality. This, however, could be due to the age group engaging with the technology. According to a survey, both AR and VR technologies have engagements mostly clustered around the 25-34 age group.
Speaking of potential, although AR is statistically proved to be less popular, yet 50% of the population who have used both these technologies, believe AR to have more potential than VR. Only 47% of these technology users believe VR to create a big impact in the future.
With both augmented and virtual reality offering very different experiences, the fight on which technology ranks the best still remains as an unsolved puzzle. Like how Google’s Clay Bavor once tweeted – “VR vs. AR cheat sheet: VR can take you anywhere. AR can bring anything to you. Both are important. Neither will win”.
Only the future can decide on which technology would steal more hearts and create a big bang. Some experts believe that with the development of more equipment, the line that delineates these two technologies will probably start to get blurry. However, in today’s world, both augmented and virtual reality are equally transforming industries in its own ways. To learn more about how AR and VR can reshape your business, get in touch with our tech consultants now!
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What is the first thing that comes to your mind on hearing the term, Virtual Reality? Do you get images of Neo and Morpheus strolling about in “The Matrix” or is it that of Johnny Quest with his father fighting it out in their “other world”. Either way, you are about in the right track. To think that these were characters created as part of the fantasy world in the past.
Virtual reality is a concept that is fast becoming common and popular these days. It opens a whole new range of exciting opportunities with it as well, especially in the world of gaming. Leading techs are already in the game, with their much-anticipated products such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Microsoft’s HoloLens, Sony’s Project Morpheus and a comparatively low-cost entry into this field, the Google Cardboard.
A lot of these devices are already being used in a number of industries across the world, as virtual reality is one of the most versatile technologies ever to be innovated in the recent past. To know what the hype is all about, let’s take a detour to find out what virtual reality is.
What is virtual reality
Virtual Reality is basically a concept in which computer technology is used for creating a simulated three-dimensional world. One in which the user can manipulate, maneuver and explore stuff while experiencing a feeling of actually being in that world. Nowadays, it is also known as Virtual Environment. Though there are different theories and opinions on what exactly comprises a virtual reality experience, the basic constituents are:
- three-dimensional, life-size images from the user’s point of view
- the power to monitor the user’s movements and change the images and features in the virtual display to reflect the changes in perspective
There are several devices and applications these days that have been created solely to achieve these goals.
A peek into how it works
The user feels a sense of “immersion” on being in a virtual reality environment. Immersion refers to a feeling of being inside or part of a particular world. Once the user starts interacting with the environment, he gets into state of “Telepresence”. Telepresence is a combination of the sense of immersion and interaction with the environment.
A proper Virtual Reality environment will actually make one feel detached from the real world or real surroundings and get you to focus only on your existence in the virtual environment. Computer Scientist Jonathan Steuer says, “Telepresence is the extent to which one feels present in the mediated environment, rather than in the immediate physical environment.”
Devices are designed by the developers with the help of technology to create these feelings among the users and provide rich virtual reality experiences.
The two main custodians of larger-than-life experiences – the gaming industry and the film industry are the pioneers in using virtual reality for business. They are likely to take virtual reality to new heights and set the pace for other industries as well.
For example, the 700 billion dollars worth glamour industry in the United States, Hollywood uses virtual reality to make amazing movies. Nokia’s new Camera Ozo, is likely to become a huge hit in this regard. With the ability to capture audio and video in 360 degrees, Ozo has been reported to give the most amazing experience with surround sound and images. Users actually felt the voices in their surroundings and were able to turn around and see the characters talking.
There are a number of other companies also looking to invade the film industry like Samsung.
The gaming industry too has a fairly large amount of loyal followers who are highly enthusiastic and encouraging about new innovations. For example, Rebellion, the leading game makers are looking to launch a virtual reality integrated version of their old 1980s classic Battlezone. There are also other companies yet to set their feet into this huge wonder.
Tourism is also another industry which is starting to make use of virtual reality with the South-African tourism being the pioneers. Their shark diving experience is something that is likely to become the next big thing leveraging virtual reality.
From the looks of it, this is already starting to be a revolution which is not going to stop with the present day. Into the future, maybe we’ll have people watching pyramids being built in the early days of Egypt or maybe how the Empire State building was set up in America or watch a play in the original Globe theatre. Books could also be made into jaw-dropping movies or even games with virtual reality supported cameras. We have tons of talented developers waiting, with all the skills to ideate, conceptualize and produce amazing worlds for us to explore and experience. All we need to do is wait for it.