In the list of technologies that mark the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, virtual and augmented reality occupies a particular place. This article will consider the essence of such technologies and their basic types.
Augmented reality vs. virtual reality examples
Everything related to virtual reality (VR) is already becoming a part of our lives. We do not notice, but expensive VR headsets are becoming more affordable, and augmented reality elements are already perceived as natural entertainment. Many even make masks for social networks themselves, and this is without special programming skills. To more accurately define virtual reality, it is often divided into augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and virtual reality itself.
Virtual reality is the embodiment of imagination in a computer-generated world. Here the user can communicate with the virtual world and be isolated from the real world. Since the user is separated from the real world, he does not need sensors to collect information about the real world. However, the access devices must be such to allow the user to interact with the virtual world. With the help of software, the processor renders a virtual world based on user input. Then, using complex output devices, the user begins to see the virtual world. Simple devices such as a display will not suffice here as the user will be able to see the difference between the natural and virtual worlds.
If we compare augmented reality vs. virtual reality examples, we will see that AR is a way to make the look more functional. In this case, digital content lays another layer on top of real physical objects. For example, it is how the sensational Google Glass glasses in 2014 work. In turn, virtual reality or VR implies an exit to another, alternative space and functioning in it. This task requires special helmets and motion sensors.
You have come across augmented reality if you have at least once used mobile applications that require access to the phone’s camera and change the image in real-time. For example, it is how some popular developments for tourists, fashionistas, and chat lovers work. In the first case, the user can point the phone at an attraction and see information about it without the need to be distracted by the guide. The second – is to put on makeup and try on clothes, not in real life, but looking at yourself on the screen. Virtual reality is familiar to everyone who has been to a 5D cinema. Sound, image, change of position in space, and tactile sensations like vibration, wind, and water allow you to plunge into another dimension.
Where to use?
AR is already being applied in projection glasses and digital holography. Such technologies are used, for example, to train pilots and navigators. However, the possibilities of VR are even more impressive. They are as follows:
- Instruction. Imagine that you need to train the maintenance personnel of a nuclear power plant. Building a training ground is highly costly and inefficient. Still, immersion in virtual reality will provide the necessary skills in an almost real world from the brain’s point of view.
- Design. VR can be useful when discussing complex issues between participants with different technical backgrounds, for example, a designer and a customer. Volumetric visualization brings the pictures in people’s heads as close as possible. With its help, you can imagine the product and show processes that cannot be seen live because of their duration or extremeness.
- Presentation. Technology now allows teamwork with 3D models. It is enough to combine five to ten helmets in one virtual space. At the same time, participants from different countries and cities can view and discuss the project details as if they were all in the same room.