AR and VR: it is important to understand why these are two different technologies

AR and VR: it is important to understand why these are two different technologies

Photo: Virtual Reality Pop

One of the most anticipated events of 2018 is the launch of additional reality glasses from the Magic Leap company. The startup was founded in 2011, and all this time has been developing a single product. During its existence, it was possible to attract about $2.3 billion of investments from companies such as JPMorgan Investment Management, Google, Alibaba Group, Warner Bros, etc. Separately, it is worth highlighting the German media giant Axel Springer SE, which has successfully invested in digital startups for at least the last five years, which also invested in Magic Leap.

And although the details of this project are hidden behind seven locks, the closer to the announcement date, the more interest from consumers.

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Separation of AR and VR

Today, AR-glasses are not a popular product in the consumer market, despite the ability to overlay virtual images on the real world. It is worth remembering Google Glass, which did not get the expected success. Nevertheless, further developments in this area will force AR to reach a new level and finally separate from VR.

Why is VR a fundamentally different technology? First of all, it is worth saying that this is a technology that immerses a person in a new world and is more suitable for entertainment. In any shopping center today, you can find such entertainment boxes, where, wearing VR glasses, you can experience such dives for yourself, but nothing more. Many people, having tried it once, no longer return to this kind of entertainment.

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The closest similarity of VR appeared in 1960. It was a Telesphere Mask gadget, equipped with miniature kinescopes for image transmission, as well as an audio system and a device for transmitting the smell and wind effect.

Telesphere Mask. Photo: Morton HeiligTelesphere Mask. Photo: Morton Heilig

Since then, VR has undergone many transformations and modifications, which continued until the appearance of the first smartphone.

Nevertheless, the improvement of the smartphone did not allow AR to develop to the same extent. But everything changed in 2017, when Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore were released.

Thanks to the currently perfect hardware and software of mobile devices, the” adaptation ” of AR takes place quite quickly. However, since VR technology preceded AR, and they are both connected with digital reality, it is customary to combine them into one area. But given the fact that these technologies are constantly developing, and each in its own direction, it is still important to separate them, and not consider them as a single whole.

Often, the media mix AR and VR, which leads to the fact that these two terms are used as synonyms. And this is not true, because the technologies are very different from each other. And if professionals continue to combine these two areas, what can we say about the consumers themselves?

What is the difference between AR and VR

Below are a few reasons why AR and VR should be separated:

1. VR requires an expensive and not always comfortable headset. The prices for it are not cheap, for example, such a popular model as the HTC Vive costs 44,000 rubles, and the Oculus Rift costs 39,000 rubles. Of course, there is also a cheaper headset, but often it is not as perfect as the equipment from the leading manufacturers of VR gadgets.

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2. You can use a smartphone camera for AR, which means that everyone can use AR technologies without additional equipment purchase. Users do not need to carry it with them. It’s simple: activate the AR app and start enjoying all the benefits of the technology.

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3. AR uses the real space around you by adding digital 3D objects to combine the real world with AR objects. AR puts a digital layer on top of the real world, allowing you to stay in the real environment, and not be transferred to the virtual world. That is, the real world is the background for the created objects or AR-space. For example, you can design a spreadsheet into space, or move virtual 3D objects around you (for example, virtual furniture in your apartment).

Photo: Investment-estatePhoto: Investment-Estate Last year, the Snapchat mobile app was supplemented with a camera effect with a dancing hot dog. A bun that listens to music and dances has a face, arms and legs. It can also recognize surfaces and interact with surrounding objects.

God help me, this stupid hot dog from Snapchat, dancing on the back of indifferent animals, is my new favorite thing…

4. AR is primarily a tool that helps you perform tasks. VR is something else, since the application developer has full control over the world you are immersed in, and the outcome of the game is usually predetermined. The user simply “witnesses” through the headset what was originally prepared. On the contrary, users of AR technology can add new objects to existing ones and create any functional computing space.

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It is necessary to clearly separate AR and VR. It is the responsibility of entrepreneurs, investors and people interested in digital reality to help draw a line of differences between these two technologies and make efforts to make it understood by others. As a result, each of us will stop being misinformed and will finally be able to understand the difference between AR and VR.

Based on the materials of Dana Loberg, CEO and co-founder of Leo AR, the first augmented reality communication platform that makes it possible to enrich the world with realistic 3D and 4D animated objects and photogrammetry.

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