Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies are predicted to become mainstream over the next few years with a potential sales forecast of $150bn by 2020. But how do they differ? Well, let me explain.
VR completely immerses you in an alternative simulated virtual world. To achieve this, you need a headset and other accessories including headphones, motion-tracking gloves and controllers. I’m showing my age, but some of you may remember the Demolition Man scene with Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock?! Here’s some less raunchy example of VR:
On the other hand, viewed through smart glasses or a smartphone/tablet’s camera, AR overlays your existing environment with extra digital information. So you still see what you can see in front of you now, but with extra stuff on top of it. For example, in this picture Darth Vadar and a couple of Stormtroopers have taken over a classroom:
Some of our AR examples include MiniMonsters coming out of drink cans, a deck of cards appearing to be burned away to reveal a picture card you have chosen during a magic trick (Marvin’s iMagic), and a street with information regarding the closest restaurants and points of interest (clicAR). Have a look at our AR apps.
There are a number of different devices that will be launched in the near future for both AR and VR. We’ll be taking a look at some of these over the coming months, so watch this space. In the meantime, here’s an awesome article that talks about the economic forecasts for AR and VR a lot more eloquently than I can!