What is Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality?
Augmented Reality or AR is defined as “a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.” For example, imagine you are walking through a grocery store with your phone out in a viewing mode, and as you pick up food items, a description, rating and nutritional facts appear on your phone, as if they were in in the “real world”. This is the essence of AR and just one of the many uses for it.
The demand for AR and VR regarding corporate training has caused an increase in the global market. Statistics show that market growth is projected to reach $2.8 billion by 2023. AR is usually presented through smartphones and tablets. Additionally, recently, Google released glasses that allow people to view and interact with the digital world. Dent Reality has already created this reality and is launched beta versions across the UK. Other forms of augmented reality are games such as Pokemon Go and apps such as Snapchat to make objects or images appear through the smartphone but are not actually there in real life.
Virtual reality takes augmented reality one step further and fully immenses a user into a different world. A good example of VR today is the PS4 launch of a virtual reality headset with a handful of games (or experiences) to immerse yourself in (check out what it looks like here). The headset completely takes away all the visual from reality and replaces it with an interactive video landscape.
The WeForum suggests four ways that AR/VR will change the way we create and experience content:
- Moving From Observation to Immersion: We have essentially had the same flat screen medium since 1896, virtual and augmented reality offer a unique experience and sense of presence while generally observing. Artist, art itself and how we visualize it will also be heavily impacted as artist can begin to create completely different landscapes and interpretations of reality.
- Reducing Production Costs in Creative Activities: “Virtual prototyping” shortens the time and cost of iteration in product development and improve the end product. During the prototyping of a complex system in the cargo industry, SGW designworks saved $50,000 in a faulty prototype by creating it in VR first. Further implications can relate to city planning, construction, architecture, or consumer products.
- Low barriers to entry for new creators: Small firms will be able to create higher quality content at lower costs. High definition, 360 degree imagery can be made in hours.
- Tool for cognitive and empathetic enhancement: Being able to to immerse ourselves into different parts of the world could prompt vast amounts of humanitarian action. It could provide a layer of authentic experience that people in the developed world lack and offer a different point of view on life.
Augmented and Virtual Reality have been increasing in use in terms of professional development. Their benefits are therefore mentioned:
- They make training more enjoyable and innovative
- They create experiences that are impossible to achieve with any other form of training
- They teach through practical simulation rather than theoretical concepts
- They offer a practice playground that encourages users to learn from their mistakes
- They encourage employees to explore at their own pace and in their own style
Additionally, the education sector has advanced due to AR and VR applications. In particular, they are rapidly changing the way students are learning, providing experiential learning by simulating real-world environments. Furthermore, this new technology increases student engagement levels, and provides insights into what they will experience in various environments when they enter the workforce. This is beneficial for visual learners and ultimately – providing alternatives to more traditional teaching methods.
Overall, the ultimate goal of augmented reality is to create a convenient and natural immersion, so there’s a sense that phones and tablets will get replaced, though it isn’t clear what those replacements will be.
The AR/VR Challenge
How can AR/VR technologies be used to help improve life across the world? Are there uses for these tools that are unseen or do you see a use that is to come in the future? Bring your innovative idea to life with Prepr.