Technology evolves at a frenetic pace. A decade ago, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) were considered experimental technologies unavailable to the person on the street. Today, however, AR, VR and MR have captured the imagination of the public – they’re also a lot more affordable for the average consumer.
But what’s the difference between these three technologies, anyway? Read on to find out.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality in Singapore has become quite a hit, thanks to Pokemon Go. The concept is simple, but intriguing.
Through the use of a smartphone camera, AR comprises the overlaying of digital elements on real world surroundings to create a scene that’s a mishmash of both the real and the digital. While these AR elements do not interact with the environment – they can be programmed to respond to user-stimuli.
AR is normally triggered through the use of a tracker – that’s a specific image or pattern which an application recognises – therefore allowing for the accurate placement of virtual objects. But some applications no longer require a tracker and can use certain sensors in your smartphone to situate a 3D image on your screen.
Unlike virtual reality, where you put on a headset and are transported into the ocean to swim with a school of fishes, AR allows you to bring that same school of fishes anywhere you point your phone camera. To get a better picture of this immersive experience, simply download an AR application and see for yourself.
AR first gained widespread acceptance in the gaming industry, but it’s a lot more versatile than that. Some businesses have even created their own AR mascots that appear if you point your phone at their products and logos.
Virtual Reality (VR)
While AR only entails the incorporation of digital elements as a separate overlay, VR constructs an entirely new world for the user to explore (hence its name). Through special VR headsets like the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive, users get to dive into a simulation where the real world is entirely blocked out.
This virtual environment is normally created with 3D software and the final product is a beautiful high-resolution 360 degree video which allows for maximum immersion.
Once again, VR first took the gaming industry by storm. As time passed, VR proved that it wasn’t yet another gimmicky flash in the pan. VR has great potential, especially in the medical and industrial sectors. Historical simulations could provide yet another degree of realism in classrooms, allowing for teachers to truly bring a lesson to life. As yet another sign of how the public has begun to embrace VR, YouTube, the world’s top video streaming site, launched its VR application in late 2018.
So, now that more and more platforms exist to support virtual reality, perhaps it might be time to consider a touch of VR to make your marketing campaigns truly come alive!
Mixed Or Merged Reality (MR)
If you’re still confused by AR and VR, here’s a quick recap. AR allows you to slap digital elements onto real world surroundings; interactivity between the object and the environment is, however, limited. On the other hand, VR completely blocks out reality in favour of a digitally constructed one.
If AR exists on one end of the spectrum where the real world predominates, and VR exists on the other side where the digital world takes precedence, MR is everything in between.
Of the three, mixed reality is the most recent development. Like AR, it introduces digital elements into the real world. But it’s much more than that. The programme is intelligent enough to track its surroundings and replace them completely with digital elements. This means that a box in the real world may in fact be replaced with a power cube crackling with energy in your MR game – and squeezing the box in the real world could cause the power cube to implode across the screen of your HoloLens!
Mixed reality therefore, in its most powerful form, allows for the seamless integration of the real with the digital – so much so that in future, the user may find themselves unable to tell where the digital begins and the real ends.
Now that you understand a little more about AR, VR & MR, you might want to figure out how this can help your business. Simple. Just drop any video animation company in Singapore a line and we’ll be happy to tell you more!