Virtual reality has in the last few years become a familiar word. With 3D and 4D experiences, people are well versed with the concept and experience of virtual reality. Augmented reality, on the other hand, is still a little unfamiliar. The tech world is of course abuzz with it and there is constant research and development to improve and increase the involvement of augmented reality in our everyday lives
Are augmented reality and virtual reality the same thing?
The first and most common misconception is that augmented reality is the same or similar to virtual reality. Virtual reality is about showing the user an alternate virtual world, whereas augmented reality enhances and adds information to the world you are seeing be it virtual or real.
Augmented reality has the potential to change the face of technology, much like smartphones, when they first came in to the scene. A smartphone is like our personal remote control to a vast galaxy of data and augmented reality is much the same. As of now, augmented reality is nascent, but soon it will make its way into our lives and before we know it will become essential.
The drawback for augmented reality, as of now, is the logistics of the equipment one can use to run it. Though a smartphone can offer the platform, it’s not the ideal equipment to relay augmented information, whereas glasses would probably make a better fit (like they do for virtual reality).
There are prototype augmented reality glasses available in the market today that provide a glimpse of the future of this technology, but there is a great deal of potential for these model glasses to become more slender, more inexpensive and more user friendly.
Where does it fit?
Augmented reality will make its best fit in the virtual world for starters. The video game sector, in particular, has been the perfect entry point for augmented reality and it has already got its footprint in that segment.
Augmented reality has several benefits in other sectors too. Augmented and virtual reality together can provide assistance in quality control and training. There are prototype applications that allow optimizing of logistics and packing of inventory. The packer can find out size and weight of the boxes along with suggestions on the best position to optimally load the inventory.
There is also an augmented reality application that is intended to help the visually impaired and provide them with better mobility.
Training and maintenance are augmented/virtual reality technology can bring about a big change. So much money is spent on training, not just in terms of time, but materials too. It can help improve assembly line efficiency by training technicians virtually. Augmented/virtual reality applications can elevate workouts and provide better feedback and motivation for workout fanatics. A virtual classroom with augmented information will provide a unique learning experience for future generations, both at school and graduate levels.
The future possibilities are limitless. Augmented reality can change not just the face of technology but also how we perceive and use it. From education to employment, health and fitness to entertainment, augmented/virtual reality is poised to dive in and change the way we live.