The Alternative Realities: Augmented vs. Virtual

Augmented Reality or AR and Virtual Reality or VR come up as two ends of the same sentence. There can be no conversation where both of them aren't together discussed.

To all those who are less informed about them and use them alternatively, we must tell you- as related as they are, the difference, however, is enormous and worth explaining.

First up, they both possess the ability to change our perceptions of the world, the knowledge of our presence is what is the main difference between augmented reality and virtual reality.

Virtual reality is what we call 3D or computer generated digital environment wherein one can perceive things and interact with objects realistically. Peripherals like headsets and motion sensors are employed to transmit the appropriate feeling to all the senses.

Augmented Reality like its name suggests, enhances the reality with additional content that is virtual. 2D or 3D digital materials such as sounds, visuals over real physical world objects is what could be called Augmented Reality.

VR creates an imagination to interact with; AR adds to the stimulating content to already existing real world aspects.

^333B907E6CBF456DF181452C275C3A4991FD71175763A71A19^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr -> Famous Examples of VR and AR

Most common examples of VR Technology include 

  • a console, PC, and mobile games.
  • There are social networking platforms too, to mention a few- Oculus Rooms and vTime.
  • Online Environments like Second Life.
  • Design applications like Google Tiltbrush.
  • Other Entertainment Content, for example, videos on YouTube 360

Famous Examples for AR Technology:

  • Location based Games like Pokemon Go
  • Snapchat filters
  • Shopping Apps

These employ smartphone cameras to place the virtual graphics over the real world view.

-> Devices and Platforms These Technologies Manipulate:

VR

To track Head and Body movements, spatial audio setups, and stereoscopic displays; the VR technology makes use of Gyroscope and Motion Sensors. For VR settings, Wearables and accessories are crucial to being able to interact more realistically.

1) Controllers and Treadmills

Using standard hand-operated game controllers, one can easily navigate through virtual environments. To accurately replicate movements, treadmills and similar devices are put to use.

2) Head-Mounted Displays

Tools like Oculus Rift, PlayStation, VR and HTC vive could sync to external devices like the consoles and PCs.

3) Haptic Interfaces

To experience physical reciprocation through sensations such as vibrations, Bodysuits and Gloves exist to serve the purpose.

4) Mobile VR Goggles

Strapon Goggles enable a vibrant experience VR content to the user on smartphones and tablets. Samsung Gear and Google Cardboard are some modern examples of mobile VR Goggles.

AR

To allow users to perceive digital content and materials, AR employs display systems along with input systems and location tracking sensors. Smartphone models boast availability of most of this hardware.

1) Display

Hololens, smart glasses like the Google Glass, lenses and smartphone cameras are head mounted displays that AR employs.

2) Sensors

Accelerometers, Gyroscopes, Optical Sensors, and GPS that comes with built-in specs in standard smartphones, through which the position of the user can be tracked.

-> Applications of VR and AR Technology

VR allows for numerous possibilities when it comes to creating outstanding imageries, precisely the reason why it is more popular than AR in the field of technology. AR is seen as a daily requirement in the processes and enterprise applications.

VR

VR comes of use in the following aspects of our lives.

1) Design

  • Creation of virtual stereotypes in the field of automobiles to electronics.
  • For architects to experience realistic images of future buildings

2) Entertainment

Be it games, virtual theme parks, and videos, etc., VR is extensively used for such sort of entertainment purposes. However, VR is required for virtual viewing, sporting events and live concerts, and virtual tourism.

3) Military and Healthcare

To train personnel in the military safely, VR technology is required to create high-intensity situations like emergency and combat scenarios.

4) Business

For business to coordinate better with global teams, VR technology is used for the purpose of remote conferencing. VR is enables employee training effectively by creating life-like stimulation.

AR

AR is mostly all about location based apps and games, however, technology has expanded the horizons for AR in the healthcare, manufacturing, and business arenas.

1) Assembly and Manufacturing

In the assembly of complex products, AR is used to overlay images and instructions into the user’s reality and helps access technical specifications.

2) Medicine and Healthcare

To provide essential information on important organs and medical cases and conditions for doctors and trainees, AR technology comes of use to provide safer and More effective surgeries and diagnosis.

3) Troubleshooting and Repairs

For the purpose of viewing troubleshooting and other repair-related information, with the help of cameras and smart glasses; AR made service manual help technicians and consumers.

4) Sales and Marketing

To engage larger population, services and products are marketed using digital content like promotional apps and videos Using the AR technology. By allowing viewers and potential consumers to view the product in various colors, sizes, and dimensions; AR technology is used for enhancing consumer experience.

-> Developing VR vs. AR apps

VR

There are two conditions of content creation when it comes to the VR application.

  • Using a spherical camera by taking a 360 degree video.
  • Using Game engines to create a 3D animation.

Unreal and unity game development are some popular game engines that the providers generally use for top virtual reality game services. VR applications.

AR

The best augmented reality developers like the Unity Game Development, with an effective knowledge about the AR technology; combine expertise In the development of mobile apps and processing of image. An example would be Vuforia which is an augmented reality app development that support detection of target, virtual buttons, 2D and 3D recognition, etc.

-> Future scope for AR and VR

VR

  • With more headsets making use of inside-out tracking to exit the need for cameras, Virtual Reality, that way, will presumably go wireless and portable too.
  • Developers like unity game development are looking for engaging solutions that uses graphics with high frame rates, solution for issues like latency or lag between the real movements and the movements in the stimulated environment.
  • Content of Virtual reality is expanding to incorporate newer experiences in the field of movies or shopping so the consumers can feel like they are in the stores but virtually.

AR

  • New smartphones have precise cameras that include the specifications like enhanced depth, tracking, supporting more AR apps.
  • Newer versions of the google glass with new modifications have been launched, aimed at enterprise use.

Blending the Two

MR or Mixed Reality combines the aspects of both the augmented and the virtual realities. MR enables users to interact realistically with virtual materials, for example, Holograms, placed perfectly in the real world setup.

However, this technology is in its initial stage; with the development of Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality Headsets, MR is expected to take a leap far ahead in the coming years.

Potenza Global Solutions has over the years, aced in the field of AR and VR technology and aims to provide efficient solutions in the services mentioned above. Being a forerunner among the leading providers of virtual and augmented reality game and app services, it invites those who wish to take a step in the right reality to further explore the galaxy of the AR/VR projects today.

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