Augmented Reality (AR) is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. It is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.
Virtual Reality (VR) is an artificial environment that can be explored and interacted with either through an interface or through immersive sensory experiences. VR can recreate an experience to make it seem like you’re actually in that environment.
Virtual reality (VR) implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world. Using VR devices such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Google Cardboard, users can be transported
into a number of real-world and imagined environments such as the middle of a squawking penguin colony or even the back of a dragon. It includes Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) technology.
What Are Virtual And Augmented Reality?
In this section, we are going to enlighten you more on what both virtual reality and augmented reality is. In recent decades, the arrival of a virtual world or introducing holograms into the ‘real world’ was limited to science fiction films.
Two of the largest technology companies, however, have made this a reality. A major Dutch supermarket chain is putting this technology onto its shelves for a few euros. It looks like it’s no longer science fiction but reality.
The difference between VR and AR In virtual reality (VR), a person is placed in a computer-generated world. The idea behind VR is that you are separated from the ‘real’ world and experience the virtual world as being real. In augmented reality (AR), the real world is augmented by computer-generated content.
A well-known example of this are the holograms as used in the first Star Wars films. Both concepts are intended to blur the line between computer-generated content and the real world.
A digital avatar, for example, no longer ‘lives’ only in a monitor, television or telephone but can also move around freely in the real world. Products like Microsoft’s Hololens or Facebook’s Oculus Rift are now making this possible.
The history of VR and ARVR and AR might sound new but these concepts have been around for many years. The first examples included the panoramas that were popular in the 19th century. The most famous panorama in the Netherlands is the ‘Panorama Mesdag’ that was completed in 1881. Being inside this panorama is like standing on a sand dune.
These panoramas were intended to place the visitor in another setting by means of optical illusions and changes made to reality. The basis of VR as we now know it was established by Ivan Sutherland and Thomas A. Furness III.
Between 1965 and 1968, Sutherland developed a device while at MIT named ‘The Sword of Damocles’ which projected a stereoscopic image onto a pair of head-mounted goggles. For head-tracking, a system of tubes hanging from the ceiling registered the direction of the viewer’s gaze.
In the 80s, Jaron Lanier took the first steps toward commercializing VR technology that was meant to take off in the 90s. The world waited with bated breath! Unfortunately, this technology failed to arrive and the public lost interest. Hereafter, VR was applied primarily for scientific research.
It was used, for example, to create rooms to study phobias and possibly to help people get over them. VR and AR today Today, we have arrived at a time when this technology is ready for consumer use. The first of these products can now be purchased, and we can now consider how to implement this technology in the workplace.
If you would like to know more about this, read our article: ‘Will VR and AR become the “New Way of Working”?’. That’s why you need to know more about augmented reality vs virtual reality.
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Which is Better VR or AR?
As Augmented reality vs virtual reality are being discussed here, you will get to know which is more better between virtual reality and augmented reality.
Augmented and virtual reality have one big thing in common. They both have the remarkable ability to alter our perception of the world. Where they differ, is the perception of our presence. Do you want know more about augmented reality vs Virtual reality? Let’s dive in.
Virtual reality is able to transpose the user. In other words, bring us some place else. Through closed visors or goggles, VR blocks out the room and puts our presence elsewhere.
Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, these are names you may have heard about by now. But if you haven’t tried virtual reality since that one arcade in the 80’s, be ready to be blown away by how far it’s come.
Putting a VR headset over your eyes will leave you blind to the current world, but will expand your senses with experiences within. You might even find yourself on top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The immersion is quite dramatic, with some users reporting feelings of movement as they ascend a staircase or ride a rollercoaster within the virtual environment.
Augmented reality however, takes our current reality and adds something to it. It does not move us elsewhere. It simply “augments” our current state of presence, often with clear visors. Seen below,
How Does Virtual Reality Work?
As mentioned, VR requires several devices such as a headset, a computer/smartphone or another machine to create a digital environment, and a motion-tracking device in some cases. Typically, a headset displays content before a user’s eyes, while a cable (HDMI) transfers images to the screen from a PC.
The alternative option is headsets working with smartphones, like Google Cardboard and GearVR – a phone that acts both as a display and a source of VR content.
Some vendors apply lenses to change flat images into three-dimensional. Usually, a 100/110-degree field of sight is achieved with VR devices. The next key feature is the frame rate per second, which should be 60 fps at a minimum to make virtual simulations look realistically enough.
Valentina Shin from the Computer Graphics Group at MIT explains it all nicely:
For user interaction there are several options:
The head tracking system in VR headsets follows the movements of your head to sides and angles. It assigns X, Y, Z axis to directions and movements, and involves tools like accelerometer, gyroscope, a circle of LEDs (around the headset to enable the outside camera).
Head tracking requires low latency, i.e. 50 milliseconds or less, otherwise, users will notice the lag between head movements and a simulation.
Some headsets contain an infrared controller that tracks the direction of your eyes inside a virtual environment. The major benefit of this technology is to get a more realistic and deeper field of view.
Though not engineered and implemented well enough yet, motion tracking would raise VR to a totally new level. The thing is, that without motion tracking you’d be limited in VR – unable to look around and move around. Through concepts of the 6DoF (six degrees of freedom) and 3D space, options to support motion tracking fall into 2 groups, optical and non-optical tracking.
Optical tracking is typically a camera on a headset to follow the movements, while non-optical means the use of other sensors on a device or a body. Most of the existing devices actually combine both options. Without a doubt, Virtual Reality could become the transformative technology one day, though not tomorrow or the next month.
The experience of wearing a headset and immersing in virtual worlds is still a new genre unexplored by customers. Well, at least Mark Zuckerberg described enthusiastically what VR is when buying out Oculus in 2014. “Imagine a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world… just by putting on goggles”.
The technology is exciting, though it still has to deliver much more on the hardware and software fronts to gain traction. VR challenges include missing engaging content, overcoming ‘nausea’ problem, high cost, the imprudence of cables and devices on ahead.
On the other hand, many entrepreneurs and tech fans are super-thrilled about VR, expecting it to grant out-of-body experiences. 100% converted and certain that Virtual Reality is the next big leap, many of them have started producing VR content.
So what is VR and how does it work? What is its potential and which VR producers should you follow?
What Is VR?
Virtual reality (VR) is a brand new user interface unlike the conventional one, immersing a person in a digital 3D environment, instead of watching on a display. Computer-generated imagery and content aim at simulating a real presence through senses (sight, hearing, touch).
Virtual reality simulation requires two main components: a source of content and a user device. Software and hardware, in other words.
Currently, such systems include headsets, all-directions treadmills, special gloves, goggles. VR tools should be providing realistic, natural, high-quality images and interaction possibilities. For this, devices rely on measurements like:
- image resolution,
- field of view,
- refresh rate,
- motion delay,
- pixel persistence,
- audio/video synchronization.
The main challenge of VR is tricking the human brain into perceiving digital content as real. That is not easy, and this “immersion” issue is what still holds virtual reality experiences back from being enjoyable. For example, the human visual field doesn’t work as a video frame, and besides about 180 degrees of vision, we also have a peripheral vision.
Yet, the VR visionaries are confident of overcoming such issues sooner or later, campaigning for the concept and collecting investments in millions. The virtual experience like 360-degree videos and pictures, VR apps, and games, are already available. There’s a good enough choice of headsets as well.
For more basics of VR, and how you can explore it, watch this dope and simple explanation with fun facts along.
What is Augmented Reality in Simple Words?
Microsoft is essentially injecting interactive holograms into our world to bridge the gap between your PC and your living room. Using HoloLens, you can literally surround yourself with your Windows apps. From a marketers perspective, this becomes one more, intensely immersive and promising way, to infiltrate our audience’s homes.
Cramer was fortunate to be one of the first agencies to receive the development edition of the HoloLens and the experiential future for our clients is already looking brighter. Using what we’ve learned experimenting with AR technology, we’ve already started building applications for product demos and more.
In 2016, the world witnessed augmented reality take center stage in the form of Pokemon Go. The viral sensation that got Pikachu and Charizard out of the Gameboy and onto your front lawn, whether you wanted them there or not! This was the first major example of AR finding mass market acceptance and infiltrating our daily lives.
Virtual and augmented realities in 2017 are already making dramatic leaps forward as startups find ways to introduce smell and touch to expand your sensory experiences.
Technology company Immersion has introduced Touch Sense Force, using haptic feedback to bring player’s hands into VR worlds, and researchers at Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab are having to resist eating foam doughnuts as they experiment with adding scent to VR.
Also, beyond the obvious media and entertainment applications for AR/VR technologies, design and engineering companies the likes of Solid works are demonstrating their commitment to immersive design with AR and VR related partnerships, including NVIDIA, Microsoft, Lenovo, and HTC Vive.
What is AR Used For?
Augmented reality is a technology that works on computer vision-based recognition algorithms to augment sound, video, graphics and other sensor-based inputs on real-world objects using the camera of your device.
Augmented reality has been a hot topic in software development circles for a number of years, but it’s getting renewed focus and attention with the release of products like Google Glass.
Augmented reality is a technology that works on computer vision-based recognition algorithms to augment sound, video, graphics and other sensor-based inputs on real-world objects using the camera of your device.
It is a good way to render real-world information and present it in an interactive way so that virtual elements become part of the real world.
Augmented reality displays superimpose information in your field of view and can take you into a new world where the real and virtual worlds are tightly coupled. It is not just limited to desktop or mobile devices.
As mentioned, Google Glass, a wearable computer with optical head-mounted display, is a perfect example.
A simple augmented reality use case is: a user captures the image of a real-world object, and the underlying platform detects a marker, which triggers it to add a virtual object on top of the real-world image and displays on your camera screen.
- AR applications can become the backbone of the education industry. Apps are being developed which embed text, images, and videos, as well as real-world curriculums.
- Printing and advertising industries are developing apps to display digital content on top of real-world magazines.
- With help of AR, travelers can access real-time information of historical places just by pointing their camera viewfinder to subjects.
- AR is helpful in development of translation apps that can interpret text in other languages for you.
- Location-based AR apps are major forms of AR apps. Users can access information about the nearest places relative to their current location. They can get information about places and choose based on user reviews.
- With the help of Unity 3d Engine, AR is being used to develop real-time 3D Games.
It is estimated that 2.5 billion AR apps will be downloaded annually and will generate revenue of more than $1.5 billion by 2015. This is because AR apps will not be limited to conventional mobile apps. There will be new markets like Google Glass which will open more forms of development and use.
Now that we have covered some of the basics of augmented reality, let’s look at what it takes to develop augmented reality apps. You first need to choose development tools. There are two major forms of augmented reality, marker-based AR and marker-less AR.
A marker-based AR works on concept of target recognition. The target can be 3D object, text, image, QR Code or human-face called markers. After detection of the target by AR engine, you can embed the virtual object on it and display it on your camera screen. Qualcomm Vuforia SDK is our recommended framework to develop native apps.
Marker-less AR, also known as location-based AR, uses GPS of mobile devices to record the device position and displays information relative to that location.
Some of the examples of marker-less AR are apps like Layar and Wikitude that let you view information of nearby restaurants and other establishments.
Barriers which we need to cross
Although going forward AR seems to have a huge potential market, there are some factors which could slow down mass adoption of augmented reality. Some of the factors are:
- Public Awareness and reach of Mobile AR
- Technological Limitations
- Addressing Privacy Issues
- Mobile Internet Connectivity in Emerging Markets
To tap this huge market, consumers need to be educated about the benefits of augmented reality solutions. At 3Pillar, our mobile development team has developed augmented reality solutions which are available for licensing to clients. With our ‘product mindset’ approach, we are providing robust AR solutions that are tailor-made for our customers.
How Does an AR Work?
Augmented reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone. Examples of augmented reality experiences include Snapchat lenses and the game Pokemon Go.
Virtual reality (VR) implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world. Using VR devices such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard, users can be transported into a number of real-world and imagined environments such as the middle of a squawking penguin colony or even the back of a dragon.
In a Mixed Reality (MR) experience, which combines elements of both AR and VR, real-world and digital objects interact. Mixed reality technology is just now starting to take off with Microsoft’s HoloLens one of the most notable early mixed reality apparatuses.
Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term that covers all of the various technologies that enhance our senses, whether they’re providing additional information about the actual world or creating totally unreal, simulated worlds for us to experience. I
t includes Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) technologies.
Is VR Dangerous?
The most obvious risk involves injuries caused by blundering into real objects while immersed in VR. But there’s growing concern about more subtle health effects.
Many people report:
- Eye strain
- And Nausea etc.
After using the headsets. Virtual Reality is really taking off, with over 10 million sets being sold globally last year. But whether they’re sophisticated headsets or cardboard adapters for smartphones, they’ve become the focus of health concerns.
The most obvious risk I loves injuries because by blundering in to real objects While immersed in Vr. But there’s growing concern about more subtle health effects. Many people report headache, eye strain, dizziness and nauseas after using the headsets.
Such symptoms are triggered by the VR illusion, which makes the eyes focus on objects apparently in the distance that are actually on a screen just centimeters away.
There’s something known as Vergence accommodations conflict, this is joe under investigation for its long term conflict, especially among children. A recent study by researchers at Leeds University found that just 20mins exposure to VR could affect the ability of some children to discern the distance to objects.
There are also concerns that regular use of VR could accelerate the global epidemic of myopia- Short-sightedness, which is predicted to affect one in three of the world‘s population by 2020. Manufacturers of VR headsets are racing to solve the problem as it potentially posses a major threat to the whole spread adoption of the technology.
Why is Virtual Reality is Important?
You will be enlighten here why virtual reality is important and why you should always go for it. Virtual reality is trending technology that gives excellent scope to diverse businesses to take a leap and simulate physical presence in the real world as well as the imaginary world.
This immersive technology creates a computer-simulated environment, and the advancement offer cutting edge solutions. The cutting edge technology crossed the barriers and diverse industrial verticals embrace the technology to create anew marketing and communicating strategy.
Virtual reality technology, of course, lifted the gaming experience to an advanced level but, not limited within the gaming industry. The importance of virtual reality spreads across the world involving businesses from diverse fields. VR technology offers a new path to success in the modern world.
Virtual reality technology entered the new realms stepping beyond the current technology. Common people are now able to access and enjoy the benefits of VR technology.
VR doesn’t get restricted within the tech enthusiast. VR technology has taken the tech world by storm and altered the expectations and imaginations of the tech enthusiasts.
Virtual reality creates an artificial environment with software. The artificial environment gets presented to the audiences in a way which encourages them to accept and believe it as a real environment.
VR technology creates primary experience focusing on two senses, that is, vision and sound. Virtual reality technology immersed the audiences or users into the virtual world generated by the computer. Apart from the simple concept of creating and artificial environment with VR technology.
It will be helpful to learn and understand the tech behind immersive technology. Understanding the basic terminology of VR technology will broaden the mind and one can understand that VR is far beyond head-mounted display virtual gaming experience.
Virtual reality simulates the vision with a perfect approach towards creating an impressive 3D environment. Apart from creating imagery VR experiences, VR technology completely engrosses the virtual environment with certain other elements.
The impact of sound perfectly syncs with the visuals creating engaging effects. The users get assurance on the virtual environment using headphone and 3D sound effects. There must be a consistency between sound and the graphic.
Shortly, rapid advancement in VE technology gets expected, and the expectation is high for experiencing the immersive digital experience. Digital marketers reap the benefits of VR technology enriching the traditional modes of media marketing.
VR tech marketing campaign turned successful and is helpful for the companies in various ways. The brands can expand their reach and visibility.
Beyond proving their existence, the brands can speed up their trading creating a great impact on the audiences. The media and marketing world transformed dramatically with the introduction of VR technology.