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VR and AR are the future of gaming, but what's the difference?

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When the art form began in its humble beginnings in the early 1970s, the most complex video game involved two white rectangles bouncing a square “ball” back and forth. Todya, we have a game so immersive and deep that even the developers can’t beat it. The industry, its products, and the tools we use to play them become unrecognizable when we go back in time to show gamers of the past. But if emerging technologies are any indication, the evolution isn’t over yet.

Two cutting-edge technologies. Both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) already exist in some form today and are very likely to be the next big advances in the world of gaming technology. They are already starting to influence commerce, business, design, entertainment and more.

But what exactly is the difference? And where do they go from here?

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality is essentially When the real world is completely replaced by the digital world.

The history of virtual reality actually dates back to 1960. That’s when Morton L Heilig invented his first VR head-mounted display called Telesphere Mask. Although very rudimentary by today’s standards, the headset offered stereoscopic 3D, wide vision and stereo sound. It’s like a 3D movie theater that you can wear on your head. Although more complex and advanced, most of today’s VR headsets work on this same basic principle.

VR is like diving into a video game, where you put on a headset (and interact with space, usually via some sort of controller or remote control) and you are transported into a fully digital world, realm or universe, In the process, it completely and deliberately obscures the real world.

However, there are different ways to go about this. Some VR headsets, such as Google’s Daydream View, are not standalone devices. They rely on smartphones to act as display screens and utilize Bluetooth remotes to interact with the phone display. As VR technology has advanced and more technologically sophisticated devices have become more readily available and affordable, these have felt increasingly primitive by comparison.

Other headsets like PlayStation VR (and upcoming VR 2) require a larger system (in this case a PlayStation console) with a cable connecting the headset to the machine in order to function.

The best of both worlds and what has become a major application for virtual reality can be found in the latest generation of standalone VR headsets. Meta’s Quest 2 (formerly Oculus) is one such device, with its own headset, remote/controllers, and no need for a tethered computer to function, and is increasingly on par with functionality. performance.

What do you do in VR? Options range from basic his Viewmaster-esque experiences like Stranger Things Experience from a few years ago to full-blown video games with dozens of hours of content to play. The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimEither way, to qualify as VR, the experience must completely (albeit temporarily) replace actual reality.If this is a bit like 1999 matrix That universe is a pretty good (if not quite intriguing) analogy of what VR is all about.


Meta Quest 2 Advanced All-in-One Virtual Reality Headset

meta quest


What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality is essentially When adding a digital layer on top of the real world itself.

VR is fully immersive, but augmented reality has somehow creeped into your life without you even realizing it. For example, if you’ve played Pokémon GO, it’s AR. If you’ve ever tried a virtual furniture app to see how new furniture like your sofa would look in your living room (IKEA, Target and Wayfair have them all), it’s AR. If you’ve ever used an app to virtually try on sneakers or apparel, that’s AR. If you download an app that shows you the constellations of the night sky, it’s AR. The list goes on and on.

In reality, Augmented Reality is viewing reality through a gadget (usually a phone at this stage) with a screen and a camera, making it appear that digital exists in the real physical space.

Today, consumer applications for this technology tend to oscillate between entertainment and commercial. There are many other commercial applications where AR can be very useful. Ford, for example, began using his AR technology with Microsoft’s HoloLens in the mid-2010s to help design cars. Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Range Rover and others have adopted similar versions of the technology. And that’s just the automotive industry, just one example of the many different industries currently utilizing augmented reality technology. Even Disneyland uses his AR tech for some of the latest and greatest attractions like Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure (and his patented proprietary glasses-free AR future). there are plans). As you can see, even if you were completely unaware of this technology, its capabilities, and its many uses, you’ve probably had some experience with it.


Microsoft HoloLens 2



      What is the difference between VR and AR?

      As we have established, the main difference is whether it completely replaces the real world (VR) or adds a digital layer on top of it (AR).

      However, there are additional differences that arise from this difference. Since VR is about a fully virtual three-dimensional space, you definitely need a headset Some sort of block out of the real world. Also, because you can’t see where you’re going or an actual human hand, Requires some kind of controller device For moving and manipulating your digital self. Also, building and rendering virtual worlds is computationally intensive, and if a sufficient amount of computational work has been done upfront or remotely, playing them will necessarily require a lot of computing power. It does not mean.

      Augmented reality, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily require a head-mounted display or controller because you can see, walk around, and use your hands in the real world. However, it requires some sort of camera to take the real world as input, and a good deal of processing power to map the digital reality on top of it.

      Virtual reality is like a fake universe you dive into, and augmented reality is like putting a fake into the real world.