A few years back, both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) sounded innovatory. Today, both these technologies are invading our lives and gaining traction among consumers and businesses. The immense popularity of Google Earth and Pokemon Go, 2017 showed us remarkable growth and awareness of these technologies. With the help of VR and AR technologies, we can expand our vision or even travel to various wonderful new places.
When talking about the increasing market share of Virtual and Augmented Reality industry, these technologies are widely used by both private consumers and companies. For instance, smart glasses and VR headsets are used in an array of fields including healthcare, education, manufacturing, logistics, military, real estate, etc. Some of the key sectors that are gaining most investments in VR and AR content are- gaming, education, movies and television, automotive, military sector, healthcare and medical devices, real estate, manufacturing, marketing and advertising, live events, etc.
AR and VR technologies are swiftly transforming a number of industries. The global AR and VR market is expected to grow to $209.2 billion by 2022 and about 14 million AR and VR devices are expected to be sold in 2019. When talking about the region with the largest AR/VR spending in the last year, the USA region comes in first place with the largest spending of $6.4B in 2018.
Let’s learn about both these fast-moving digital wonders in detail below:
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality or VR is an artificial and immersive experience projected by a device into the user’s sight. It is simply the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, this technology places the users inside an experience. It allows users to become a part of the virtual world, get immersed and interact with 3D worlds. Now it is understood that Virtual Reality is the creation of a virtual environment, which is presented to the user’s senses in a way that they feel or experience as if they are actually there.
Here are some of the key stats related to VR:
• There are more than 171M VR users throughout the world. • About 78% of Americans are familiar with VR technology now. • In the current year itself (2019), the global VR video gaming revenues are expected to reach $15.1B. • The demand for standalone VR devices will grow over 16 times between 2018 and 2022.
Virtual Reality can be categorized as- the stimulation of a real environment for training and education and the development of an imagined environment for a game or interactive story. As this technology has both entertainment and serious uses, we can expect more innovative uses for technology in the near future.
Augmented Reality (AR)
At present, Augmented Reality or AR is amongst the biggest technology trends. The current value of the AR market stands at $3.5 billion. AR allows its users to experience and see the real-life environment in front of them. It is the technology, which is expanding our physical world and adding layers of digital information onto it. Through AR, users can view the physical real-world environment with overlaid computer-generated images. AR can be displayed on various devices including screens, mobile phones, glasses, handheld devices, head-mounted displays, etc.
Here are some of the key stats related to AR:
• The Global AR market is expected to generate $70-$75 billion in revenue by 2023
• Launched in July 2016, Pokemon Go (proved to be an AR sensation) has been downloaded over 1 billion times, generating $207 million revenue in its first month.
• About 70-75% of people aged 16 to 44 are aware of AR
• Around 88% of mid-sized companies are already using AR in some capacity
• Thousands of AR mobile apps are already available in the market today
Different kinds of Augmented Reality these days include marker-less AR, marker-based AR, projection-based AR, and superimposed-based AR.
How VR and AR Technologies are Different?
So, what’s the difference between VR and AR? Below are some of the key differences between these two digital technologies, have a look:
• Virtual Reality (VR) completely takes over the user’s vision to give them the impression that they are somewhere else. Different VR devices such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard are used to transport users into a number of real-world and imagined environments. On the other hand, Augmented Reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view often by using a camera or Smartphone.
• Unlike VR, AR emerges in a direct view of an existing environment and adds sounds, videos, and graphics to it.
• Virtual Reality is achievable with the help of a coding language called VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language). This coding language can be used to produce a series of images along with specifying what types of interactions are possible for them. On the other hand, Augmented Reality is developed into apps, and used on mobile devices to blend digital components into the real world in a manner that they enhance one another.
• Despite the similar designs of the devices, both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality accomplish two very different things in two completely different ways. Whereas VR replaces your vision by taking you somewhere else, AR adds to reality by projecting information on top of what you are already seeing.
All You Need to Know About Virtual Reality Vs Augmented Reality Though both the technologies serve their users with an enhanced or enriched experience, VR and AR are inverse reflections of one another with what each technology seeks to accomplish and deliver for the user. Virtual Reality offers a digital presentation of real-life surroundings, while Augmented Reality brings virtual elements as superimpose to the actual world. Both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are fantastic examples of experiences and communications fueled by the desire to become engrossed in a replicated land for entertainment and play. Both are adding new dimensions of interaction between digital devices and the real world. So, whether both VR and AR are used alone or blended together, they are certainly opening up both real and virtual worlds alike.