With reality technologies gaining more popularity and momentum with every passing day, many companies have started developing and using augmented and virtual reality technology to gain an edge in the industry.
- Apple has launched the ARkit framework that let millions of iPhone and iPad user to get access to augmented reality and experience it first hand.
- Meanwhile, Facebook is pushing itself every day to make the usage VR a reality for everyone in this world.
But while both of them are reality tech, the AR and VR are vastly different than each other.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the differences between augmented and virtual reality and how we have already been using them in real life.
So, let’s dive in…
What Is Virtual Reality (VR)?
Experts have defined virtual reality in many different ways and some of them are way too complicated. So let’s use a simple definition that best represents what VR really is. Virtual reality or VR is an artificial world that is digitally created to entirely replace the real world.
With virtual reality, the user can hear the artificial sounds, see artificial things, and feel as if they in a whole new world. And it happens all thanks to the simulation of a digital world that’s been artificially created.
But how exactly would it feel like in the first place?
Well, for starters, imagine this: you suddenly open your eyes and see a world that a computer is constantly generating. You can move inside the world as you like and interact with different things in that world. That’s how VR really feels like.
Types Of Virtual Reality Headsets
Now, you have a rough idea about what VR really feels like. But in order to get inside this computer-generated world, you need to use VR headsets. And before you rush to go and choose one, you should know that there are two different types of headsets that let you immerse yourself into the virtual world.
- PC-connected Headsets: These headsets are normally connected to a pc or gaming console which creates quality virtual graphics. Modern computers have a really amazing processing power. So, they are capable of creating realistic graphics and a virtual environment that will make you immerse in it. And because of that, these type of headsets are capable of creating the best-quality VR graphics in the industry right now
You can also use the VR headsets with special controllers, for instance, when you’re playing VR games using a console. Some of the popular PC-connected VR headsets are Oculus Quest and PlayStation VR.
- Standalone Headsets: It’s true that PC-connected headsets create the best virtual environment. But because of that, those headsets are also quite expensive. So, if you want to experience virtual reality but not prepared to spend a lot of cash yet, then standalone headsets are the right choice for you.
As the name suggests, you don’t need to connect it to a PC or gaming console to experience VR. In fact, all you need to do is wear it and look at your smartphone screen(which will be inside the headset) to experience the virtual world. These headsets are really affordable and cost a lot less than the PC-connected ones. Some of the best standalone headsets are Google Daydream, Procus One, Samsung Gear VR, etc.
Meanwhile, there are other standalone VR headsets for which you wouldn’t even need to use a computer or smartphone. For example, Oculus GO from Facebook can generate a virtual world without the help of a computer or smartphone. With these standalone headsets, the virtual world can be in everyone’s grasp real soon.
Real-life Applications Of Virtual Reality
When we talk about the application of virtual reality, most people would probably think about its application in the gaming industry. And why not, since PlayStation has launched their own VR headset for amazing VR gaming experience.
But the real-life applications of VR doesn’t just limit to the gaming industry. Here are some other important industries that are using VR technology to revolutionize the way they usually do work:
Using virtual reality in education will revolutionize the way we learn new things. Thanks to its immersive digital experience, not only schools but also businesses are using this technology to train their employees. Companies, such as Unimersiv, is already providing the platform and educational content crafted specifically for schools and organizations to educate their students and stuffs using VR.
For decades, the real estate agents have been using photos of the property to showcase it to potential buyers. However, with VR technology, it’s going to change really soon. Thanks to the immersive three-dimensional experience with VR, the potential buyers can inspect the property just like they’re visiting it. Companies like Matterport is already using VR tech to showcase the property to the clients using 360-degree videos.
Healthcare: Real-life Application Of Virtual Reality
Thanks to its digitally created immersive artificial world, doctors can now have an in-depth look into the human physiology. This will not only help doctors understand the patients better but it will also help future surgeons to train for real operations. Medical Realities is already using virtual reality to display human anatomy and train the students and surgeons in training.
Marketing: Real-life Application Of Virtual Reality
With virtual reality, businesses can launch engaging marketing campaigns to reach out to their ideal customers. And in the age of online shopping, VR technology is especially important.
As of now, people just shop online seeing the photos or videos of the products. But with VR, they can really experience how the product is actually like which is guaranteed to increase customer trust. And as a result, it will increase online sales.
A few companies have already started using VR to showcase their products to their customers online this way. For instance, IKEA has launched a VR application with which any customer can check out the kitchen designs and even interact with it.
What Is Augmented Reality(AR)?
Although a lot of people are using the term augmented reality or AR a lot, many people still have no clear idea of what it really is. In simple words, augmented reality is adding digital objects or content to the real world as if the digital content exists in the real world in real-time. These digital objects can be anything starting from texts and images to the actual objects like chairs, furniture, and any object you can imagine.
In other words, if you see a virtual image of a real-life object on your computer or mobile screen in real-time, then that’s AR.
For instance, let’s say you want to buy a sofa but don’t know how it will fit inside your room or how it would look like. So, with augmented reality, you can check how a certain sofa looks like in your regular room or if it really fit inside certain places.
How To Experience Augmented Reality or AR?
For now, there are two ways for you to experience augmented reality. Here they are:
- Through Portable Devices: Among all other reality technology, AR is the most accessible one to the normal people. All you have to do is download an AR application to your mobile devices such as a cellphone or tablet and you would be able to experience AR first hand. When you use an AR app, it simply uses your phone’s camera to capture the real world and then overlay the virtual object to it.
One of the best examples of the popular AR applications is the game Pokemon GO. Millions of people all around the world play this game. And they can see virtual pokemon through their phones or tablets that they are capable of interacting with.
- Through AR Headsets: Using smart glasses or AR headsets is another way to get access to the AR and experience it. However, unlike the VR headsets, AR headsets don’t immerse you inside a fully digital world. Instead, it adds virtual objects that closely resemble the real one inside everything you see through the glasses. Or in other words, with an AR headset, you can see digital objects or content to project right in front of your eyes.
Real-life Applications Of AR
Here are some real-life applications of AR technology that you probably don’t know yet:
Today, millions of people shop online and the number of people buying things online keeps growing with every passing day. And why not, after all, online shopping is hassle-free, it saves a lot of time, and money too.
But what if you order something that you don’t like at all. Of course, you can return or exchange it. But doing so will mean a waste of time and extra hassle.
With augmented reality technology, people can check out how a certain product will look like in real life even before they make the purchase. And many online retailers have already started using AR technology in their online stores.
For example, Titan Plus, an eyewear retailer in India, has started using AR in their website and app. This way, customers can try out different glasses and see which one looks better on them. Also, with IKEA Place, you can look at how furniture would look like in your room.
In the world of manufacturing, having a new technology gives you a much-needed edge in the industry. And with the introduction of AR, the companies can greatly improve their productivity as well as the quality of the products they manufacture.
The workers in the manufacturing plants can use AR tech to reduce human errors, save time by making quick adjustments, and increase the overall efficiency. Some of the world’s biggest manufacturers such as Boeing are already using augmented reality to bring down the manufacturing cost and make the manufacturing process faster and more efficient.
AR is particularly a revolutionary tech for the navigation industry. With AR, we can use a virtual object to show us direction in the real world in real-time. And many brick-and-mortar stores are also using it to drive customers to their shops.
Maintenance And Repair
Isn’t it frustrating when you desperately want to repair something but you have no idea how to do it? Normally, you would spend hours watching DIY videos or go to a professional even if it’s something that is not super hard. These are your only options. Or is it?
With AR at your disposal, now you have a third option too. You can use special AR apps that might help you repair the damaged thing in the most efficient way possible.
And we’re not talking about the future. In fact, a few companies and their workers are already using AR technology for maintenance and repair work. For example, Inglobe Technologies has already developed an augmented reality app that helps in car maintenance and repair.
Still, have questions about augmented and virtual reality? Feel free to contact us at www.techsngames.com