What is augmented reality? What is virtual reality? How are they the same? How are they different? Let’s dive into it.
So, what is augmented reality?
Augmented reality is a combination of actual reality, your real-world surroundings, and virtual reality, virtual additions to that world. And it lets the user interact with both while being able to tell the difference. It’s adding information to the world around you and when executed at its best you are able to interact with all of it in a very real human way.
Google Glass, is a great example of AR. It adds to your field of view while still letting you be present in the real world. When it comes to gaming, AR, allows you to actually play with other people because you can see and interact with them.
So what is virtual reality?
Virtual reality, on the other hand, ignores the real world and transports you somewhere else entirely. It emerges you fully in a virtual world you can interact with. Again, if executed with really intuitive peripherals it feels totally ‘human’. However, companies are still trying to figure that part out.
VR usually seems more impressive because you feel like you are in an entirely different space, there are limitations to not being aware of your surroundings. It’s a very singular experience and you have to be in a controlled environment. This prevents hurting yourself by trying to move around in the real world while thinking you’re in the virtual one.
So which is better? It depends on a variety of factors really. For example, it depends on the comfort of the hardware. If you’re wearing a headset, do you want to wear it for hours? Furthermore, the performance of the hardware also play a major role. Who would like a buggy experience – right?
Of course, you want the animations to look beautiful and as realistic as possible. This will help to prevent getting sick while using it. This solely depends on the intuitiveness of the controls. If you’re using a mouse and keyboard for example, while having a very realistic headset on, things won’t feel natural. Whereas, if we have some type of touch controls, for you to interact with very smooth, an awesome experience will be assured.
Of course, it also depends on the software developed for the product. Up until now, most software developed for AR and VR has been for demo purposes only. However, the major gaming consoles (Xbox and Playstation) are very close to launching fully interactive gaming experiences.
So what are your opinions on augmented and virtual reality? Which one gets you more excited, or, do they both get you very excited? And, do you think either will actually be a commercial success, or, are they just kind of a neat hype that will pass?