What AR needs to get right to win our hearts
TECH RADAR, JAN 2018
Over the past few years we’ve experienced real world examples of how virtual reality (VR) technology can transform the way we live, work and play for the better. But many companies and industry analysts are now turning their attention to the possibilities of augmented reality (AR) or mixed reality (MR) as well.
In fact Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has been very vocal about the potential for AR to become even more popular and widespread than VR. “My own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far,” he told ABC News.
Although VR, AR and MR are loose terms that don’t always sit distinctly from each other when you try to define them, the general difference is that VR is often more focused on a virtual world, whereas AR and MR are often more focused on merging virtual and digital elements with real ones.
But again, there’s no hard and fast rule here because the industries are still so new. In fact the definitions have been called into question a lot recently after Acer launched a mixed reality headset that is just as much of a virtual reality headset,too.
As you might expect, there are many reasons why some think AR could soon trump VR, including the fact it’s already being used in popular mobile AR games (like Pokemon Go) and it’s often cheaper to get your hands on. But the fact AR is focussed on interacting with a digital world while simultaneously interacting with the real world means it also addresses some of the bigger concerns raised by virtual reality. For example, motion sickness is proving to be less of an issue and concerns raised by prolonged time spent immersed in virtual reality are likely to be lessened too.
A recent report on TechCrunch detailed that industry insiders expect AR to generate $85 to $90 billion in revenue within five years. Whereas VR is only expected to bring in $10 to $15 billion.