VR and AR apps: Bridging the gap between real and virtual By James Tredwell on October 21, 2019 Now that there’s rapid growth, more and more questions are being asked about AR and VR. The line differentiating between these two reality-mimicking technological fronts is vague. Some novel users who had never come across any VR or AR app or a device assumed every altered reality as VR. Since there are a number of applications available on the play and app store now, the crowd is getting accustomed to the key differences between the augmented and the virtual reality. VR and AR share a lot of commonalities, and there is little that could draw a line between the two. Because VR has had more coverage than the latter, our understating of augmented reality is still fuzzy, given the various ways in which it is deployed. As VR and AR are not the same, they require different business strategies and demand disparate skillset to lead operations. AR vs. VR Virtual reality device mimics a different state of an environment by creating an entirely virtual world altogether. It does so by shutting the real world and cutting off real-world contacts. VR is, thus, only an instance of reality and not an actual world. Augmented reality lets the user experience the real world by digitally augmenting or enhancing unreal objects with it. An AR is a convergence of the real and digital world, whereas VR is only a simulation of reality in a different realm. With the above explanation, it will become easier to perceive why the following popular apps are categorized as AR or VR, contrary to the belief that every altered reality is a VR. AR vs. VR: Key Applications Pokémon Go This application was all the hype a few months back. What users liked the most is it allowed them to step outside, to stroll around hunting Pokémon’s, much like the cartoon character Ash Ketchum did. If you dabbled with this gaming application, you would know how it overlays Pokémon on your screen as though they were present before you. YouTube VR This one is seriously worth the try. There is a whole arsenal of VR videos on YouTube for you to watch. The video shifts it point of view as you move and incline your head. With reference to the aforesaid examples, the former does not cut you off from the reality and only relays some digital alteration to the dimension you are living in. The latter, however, only creates a real-like instance, and though the world appears to be actual, it is not so. AR and VR, is that all? So much heed is being paid to VR nowadays that AR has comparatively been sidelined and has left us with an ambiguous image of augmented reality. There’s another term associated in close reference to the altered-reality models. Mixed reality, cousin to AR, superimposes digital world over the real and also concurrently allows the two to interact with each other. The MR, brief for mixed reality, goes a step beyond the augmented and fits the future spectrum. Being the youngest immersive technology, MR is not very well acquainted with. But, we have had some glimpse of MR from the companies that pioneered into the technology with some early investments, and the idea seems worthwhile for now. The concept is still nascent and will take some time to blend with the ongoing technology. AR, VR, and MR- use case scenarios Users more easily relate to VR because it is the most popular entry in our glossary nowadays. AR – augmented reality applications are best suited where the user needs to be connected and stay in touch with the real world. Examples of AR solutions for an enterprise includes on-job-training. Augmentation is apt for industrial implementation wherein it helps digitally capture the skillset of retiring workforce, sharing and training the less-experienced workforce. VR apps are helpful where a complete immersion or simulation is required, and the contact with real-world has little or no effect on the immersed environment. Examples include training soldiers in a new, inaccessible, remote terrain without moving troops to that location. MR – is a more practical augmentation and a leap ahead of AR; it unlocks the interaction of digitally augmented objects with the real world. The terms AR and MR are often confused and used interchangeably, but there’s some difference between the two – as evident from the excerpt above – that we believe was worth addressing. How AR, VR, and MR differ from reality? In the way it is implemented AR and MR are not very different from the reality and only superimpose a slightly modified version of it, so to speak. A VR immerses the user in a state that is entirely different and coincident with the real world. The advent of Virtual Reality has allowed the two worlds – the real and virtualized- digital world – to coexist. The events from world A does not impact world B and vice versa. What’s in future with AR, VR, and MR? Though at its infancy, AR and MR – majorly MR – will become the face of virtualization in future. VR would continue to feast on a share of virtualization, but its deployment would narrow down to scenarios where the creation of a different world-environment will be the problem statement. Moreover, the way we have envisioned the future with interconnected devices interacting with each other can only be achieved by a conjunction of mixed reality and cloud hosting. Some popular applications/tools to imitate real world For a moment, we would keep our Pokémon obsession aside and explore other popular applications you can install to experience virtual/augmented reality. The concept of virtual reality is more focused on consoles and PCs; as imitating an entirely new world requires enormous processing power. AR and MR are more native to smartphones and are able to efficiently converge realism with virtualization. Ingress From the same developer as that of Pokémon Go, Ingress imagines a world that has discovered dark energy; leaving you the choice to join hands with the Enlightened – who wish controlling humanity with this energy- or Resistance – that aims at protecting mankind. dARK A short adventure AR game that takes you to a parallel world to connect dots, uncover all the secrets and find the missing person. dARK is exciting and brings out the Sherlock inside you. Sharks in the Park Sharks in the Park is a more advanced AR immersion application. It lets you convert your field into a fun, adventure terrain with jaw-dropping sceneries. The sensors placed in your smartphone adds to the charm and sense movements in real-time to create a highly addictive gaming experience. Upshot These altered realities will become more mainstream in coming 5 to 10 years. If the world continues to grow its craze for AR/VR based wearables at a pace it is growing now, these gadgets will become central to a comfortable lifestyle. We might be more near to converging various capabilities with AR than we think. Author bio: Nishant is a content writer by hobby and fortunately also by his profession. A state level tennis player, Nishant has written short stories, poems, and snippets for a number of blogs (including his own). Cloud Computing, Server Hosting and Cyber Security are Nishant’s forte. When he is not writing he is either sleeping or playing tennis.