Until recently, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies have served primarily as inspiration for fiction writers and special effects teams.
The term Augmented Reality was coined by Thomas Caudell while making attempts to apply VR technology to Boeing’s manufacturing & engineering processes. The verb ‘augment’ refers to the action of adding to something in order to make it more substantial. It derives from the Latin ‘augere’ meaning ‘to increase’.
Morton Heilig is known as the ”father of virtual reality” for his research and inventions in the ‘50s and 60s’. However, actual inventor of VR is Ivan Sutherland who created the first Head Mounted Display (HMD). It was attached to a computer system and closely resembled a portable television and could not be comfortably worn by a person.
Both AR & VR are finding more and more practical applications in the enterprise and have a huge disruptive potential in the business processes. Their impact is already being felt across consumer technologies as dozens of new products enter the market. AR and VR are introducing new opportunities to transform the enterprise, particularly in the areas of Gaming, Media & Entertainment, training & simulation in education, defence, real estate, financial services, health and retail sector and reinvention of employee and customer experiences.
2. What are AR & VR Technologies:
AR and VR (AUGMENTED REALITY AND VIRTUAL REALITY) are two sides of the same coin. While AR stimulates artificial objects in the real environment, the VR creates an artificial environment to inhabit.
AR is a direct or indirect live view of a physical, real world environment whose elements are augmented by computer – generated perceptual information, ideally across multiple sensory modalities including Visual, Auditory, Haptic, Somatosensory and Olfactory. In laymen terms it refers to a simple combination of real and virtual (computer generated) worlds. Mixed reality (MR) is a subset of Augmented Reality, which overlays 3D holographs into the real environment.
VR is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike the traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds like Metaverse. Neuro Reality (NR) is a subset of VR which involves technologies that interface directly with the human brain to create a deeper sensory experience. However, it is in a very nascent stage of development.
Common things in AR and VR:
AR & VR have one big thing in common. They both have the remarkable ability to alter our perception of the world. Where they differ is the perception of our presence. Putting a VR headset over your eyes will leave you blind to the current world, but will expand your senses with experiences within.
Augmented reality however, takes our current reality and adds something to it. It does not move us elsewhere. It simply ‘augments’ our current state of presence after with clear visors.
In VR You can swim with sharks while with AR you can watch a shark pop out of your business card. While VR is more immersive, AR provides more freedom for the user and more possibilities for marketers because it does not need to be a head mounted display.