Augmented reality and virtual reality are two of the latest and most popular technological advances. Virtual reality has perhaps been around a little longer, but now advances have enabled augmented reality to work independently or in tandem and create a realistic user experience. Augmented reality is used a lot on mobile phones, VR in the gambling industry is becoming increasingly commonplace, and both technologies have a lot to offer in our daily lives. If you are unfamiliar with these exciting new advancements, here are some great ways to experience them.
Pick Up a Mobile Device
Many of the latest mobile phones can offer excellent augmented reality experiences. We will start with augmented reality because this does not require any extra equipment. Basically, the phone uses camera technology and augmented reality to give the user the visual experience of having something else in their current surroundings. For example, Pokémon Go is a great way to experience augmented reality in a game. You can go out and around your local area with your Pokémon Go app loaded. Your screen will display the streets in front of you by using your camera with the addition of Pokémon creatures who appear thanks to augmented reality.
Language stores also utilise augmented reality on their websites; for example, IKEA enables users to see a piece of furniture in their room, with correct proportions, before they decide whether it will work or not. So, if you are considering purchasing a new sofa, you pick out the one you like and use the camera to point to the area in your room where it will live and, on the screen, it will be displayed so you can see whether it fits or looks right. It is not just furniture stores that utilise AR, but it is becoming popular among fashion retailers where clothes can appear on the person as if they were in an actual changing room. The only limits to augmented reality are the imagination of the designers and programmers. What about being able to see wallpaper or paint samples on your room walls before committing to purchase? Again, this is something that can happen with augmented reality.
Virtual reality is a little more complex because it still requires a headset to complete the experience at this stage. This is to do with the eye function because we can see a wide-angle, which would ruin the virtual reality experience if we were to look at a screen. To get the best experience, virtual reality is designed to be fully immersive, which means that all outside stimuli, including light, must be blocked out by the virtual reality headset, which can then offer a full 360-degree view of the landscape which becomes your reality. On top of this, you need the device that will stream the virtual reality experience so either a mobile, laptop or desktop, for example. This has limited the ability to try virtual reality for some people because the headsets tend to be quite expensive.
However, many technology retailers have tried hard to ensure that it is accessible to all, so as well as the top of the range headsets like the Oculus, Google, for example, offers a cardboard headset which is made of cardboard with just the lenses needing to be high end. It’s not going to be a brilliant experience without a decent headset, but it certainly will give you an idea of what virtual reality is all about. There are many ways that you can experience virtual reality, from simply finding yourself on a remote beach to taking a rollercoaster ride. It has become a helpful way to see the world if you cannot travel for whatever reason. It brings excitement to education, creating a dynamic way to teach children about the solar system, for example. In higher-level education, virtual reality applications have been developed that help doctors and learn to perform surgery without the need to touch a patient creating the associated risks of an under-skilled person operating on a living, breathing human being. All these developments are making virtual reality a lot more commonplace, which in turn will mean that the equipment required goes down in price, opening the accessibility to more people. It won’t be long before companies are using virtual reality trailers for their television shows and films, giving viewers the chance to step onto the set of their favourite movie.
The Ultimate Combo
Of course, virtual reality and augmented reality can combine seamlessly to create even more special effects and experiences for people to have without even needing to leave their sofa. This certainly opens the world to disabled people and others who may not be able to go out and take part in society. Virtual reality and augmented reality are proving to be very popular, and the development of both technologies is set to continue for some time yet.