The world today is highly dependent on technology to meet the needs of a modern man. Right from waking up in the morning to going to bed in the night, gadgets of all kinds make our lives seamless. It was during the 1990s that the world witnessed an increase in innovation in the science and technology sector. Amongst this was the advent of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). In recent years, these two new technologies are used to make our lives faster, simpler and entertaining.
Thanks to the game development industry, the inception of these two technologies transformed the way people approached new innovations and were able to step onto the threshold of new-age gaming. Born out of this industry, VR and AR find its usefulness across various sectors of the market, including bio-medical application and space research.
Understanding VR and AR
While VR and AR have existed for some years now for both commercial and personal purposes, there still seems to be a confusion between the two. In VR, the user is taken into a world entirely composed of virtual elements that seem to appear real. Here the user is made to feel that they are part of a virtual environment with the use of visors and headsets.
The use of motion-sensitive visors help enhance the experience by emitting sound effects to match the environment. Moreover, the user can also turn their head to get a 360-degree view offered through the headset.
On the other hand, in AR, real-life elements are used to provide a framework. This acts as a background upon which virtual elements or objects are added to enhance the user's experience. Primarily, a transparent lens is used to unify the virtual and real world. This means, for example, if the user is standing in a garden, he/she may witness a volcanic eruption right in front of them with the use of AR.
Applications of these technologies
VR and AR find their usage across multiple industries. Recent studies suggest that there will be an estimated 77% compound annual growth in the global VR and AR market from 2019-2023. These numbers imply the wide range of benefits and usage that this technology will offer irrespective of territorial boundaries.
Some of the recent applications of VR and AR as follows:
The gaming industry has been widely using these technologies to provide better and never-before-seen gaming experiences. Some of the famous using the above-mentioned technology include Pokemon GO, Neyon Clash, Ingress Prime, etc.
These days classrooms use VR and AR to make it easier for students to understand a concept. The students can experience various lessons digitally, learn about different virtual terrains and experience practical training within their classroom. It also helps slow-learners to understand the concepts easily.
Doctors in medical research institutes are using VR and AR to conduct complicated surgeries, study new diseases and even treat them. The application of VR to cure patients with Parkinson’s has also been successful.
VR and AR are used to conduct trial and error experiments in the construction industry, real estate, architecture firms and many more. Digital Twins is one such segment of this technology that replicates physical objects to help these industries run their simulations before working on the actual devices.
What does the future hold?
Investments of billions of dollars are prevalent in AR and VR technology. A well-known tech-giant, Facebook, has already invested some handsome cash into games that use these technologies to attract more consumers in the new future. With the growing demand for games in various cities across the world, the gaming industry will boom exponentially with VR and AR.
Various companies are also on their way to create VR headsets in 8K as well as processors that transcend the conventional speed. According to IDC Research of 2018, it is estimated that investments in VR and AR will grow 21-fold till 2022. Market players such as private companies, gaming studios and IT-firms are expected to be the trailblazers in this tech-endeavor.