When someone mentions VR (Virtual Reality) what comes to mind? Consequently if they utter AR (Augmented Reality) what comes to mind? I would imagine the general public would more likely be familiar with the former rather than the later. And to the tech geeks, well? Probably a different story altogether. But I will give a breakdown for our valued readers here at Digital Fixation.
Virtual Reality is defined as the computer generated simulation in which a person can interact within a 3D environment using electronic devices. For example glasses, headsets or controllers. Virtual Reality itself has been around since the early 1960s, most notably a “Telesphere” Mask developed by one Morton Heilig. A pioneer in the VR space.
Loosely speaking Augmented reality is a subsection of virtual reality. But AR provides more freedom for the user. Imagine a VR scenario where you’re underwater swimming with sharks (yes scary I know), with AR the shark can actually speak to you. Or perhaps you can lunge at the shark (again a crazy idea). So AR provides more digitally enhanced images and effects than does VR.
That was short, sweet and to the point. Firstly let’s review some numbers in this space:
- The AR Market should grow to one billion users by the end of 2021
- Up to 57 million VR Users in the US alone
- 70% of consumers believe AR can provide benefits to society
- There are currently more VR users than AR users with the technology being used by 13 and 8% of the population respectively
- Just over half of the available consumers (roughly 53%) report they are interested in using VR or AR in the next three months
From a commercialisation standpoint we can look forward to these changes:
Impacts in the world of Teaching and Training
Both technologies offer immersive learning environments for students. People can’t learn motion, scope or impact from a textbook. In cases like this both technologies can shine. Utilising VR enables professionals an opportunity to train in a simulated environment that provides significant accuracy, whilst avoid factors that result in making mistakes. This is also applicable to AR as employees can practice tasks in real time, which would enhance their skills and overall productivity. These technologies are also suitable for the medical profession; or most perhaps importantly for aiding students studying to enter this profession.
Fully autonomous vehicles are likely to be years away but you still have a number of manufacturers utilising a variety of new technologies. Much of this has focused on safety with the technology using AI and machine learning to point out any hazardous situations on the road. This is done through the use of cameras and dashboard displays which allows for additional graphics to be shown without causing much of a distraction for the driver. But Google and Apple are exploring this space.
5G will speed up AR and VR
With the increasing widespread deployment of 5G networks is set to increase the adoption of augmented and virtual reality. By integrating the technologies with 5G, customers can get more enhanced VR experiences with lower end-to end latencies of lower than 20 milliseconds. 5G also has the ability to enhance the knowledge switch to the cloud, processing and formatting a digital image that would later ship an enhanced digital expertise to customers.
Virtual events like meetings are going nowhere soon. They’re here to stay. As more consumers own VR headsets we can expect to see more meetings transitioning into VR spaces. The adoption of said tools will enable consumers to immerse themselves into a virtual web experience from anywhere. During the recent Israeli Independence Day, AR technology enabled the country’s president to “virtually” visit citizens in their homes.
With the ongoing Covid-19 issues, we are still likely to see less in the way of in-person shopping trips, and retailers increasingly using virtual experiences to help consumers find products and receive expert advice online. Popular brands like Lego and Adidas are utilising virtual technology to engage with customers. Via my LinkedIn feed today I saw a company is trialling an augmented reality credit card. I believe the offering came courtesy of Mastercard. Needless to say one of the coolest technology images I’ve ever seen! It will be interesting to see if this uniquely innovative product takes off. Some retailers are also offering 3D scanning tools that enable you to locate the right size of clothing without physically trying it on.
The worlds of AR/VR will likely provide endless opportunities in the years to come. It’s predicted the shipment of AR and VR headsets will increase sixfold by 2025. Partly because the Covid-19 pandemic has forced more urgent priorities for organisations to enable remote working and bolstering cloud infrastructure. So loyal readers of Digital Fixation? What are your opinions on this industry? And do any of you own VR or AR equipment? Are you satisfied with it’s quality? A future topic I might explore is that of “Mixed Reality” which is a combination of AR and VR on steroids. Look forward to that and another update on the cryptocurrency marketplace.Please drop us a line and provide some feedback. Until next time 🙂