Reality is where we live in but sometimes, we are not able to be physically present somewhere we actually want to be. Today, in this digitally advanced world we have the option to be present somewhere virtually. Likewise, we can also add the vision of digital objects to the real environment. These features are recognized as Virtual and Augmented Reality (AR). Let’s try to have an in-depth understanding of the terms and their applications in the real world.
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What Is Virtual Reality?
The idea of Virtual Reality is mainly derived from two opposite terms: ‘virtual’ and ‘real’. The term virtual means “almost” or “conceptually”, which results in an experience closer to reality with the involvement of technology. Thus, Virtual reality (VR) is the technology that allows you to produce a virtual experience that mimics situations that are real or generates a virtual world that incorporates impractical elements such as games, smooth participation in multiple situations, and contexts with risk-free options. For example, we feel our environment through our senses and body mechanisms. These are inputs used by our brain to process the information to understand and evaluate the environment. Virtual reality attempts to make our minds believe that a created illusion is a reality by presenting it to our senses using artificial information.
Top 5 Applications of Virtual Reality
As mentioned earlier, virtual reality applications are evolving day by day to new customized business areas based on the needs and imagination of the users. The very next section of this article deals with the 5 best business applications of VR technology and how different business sectors have benefitted from these applications.
- Medical Application – the medical sector has been widely using Virtual Reality technology in treating medical conditions that require therapy, such as phobias and anxiety. It helps the therapist to monitor the physiological reactions of the patient to have an idea about how they react to stressful situations. With the combined use of biosensors, they can monitor the perspiration and heart rate of the patient. It can also be used to develop communication and social skills in people with autism and also to diagnose and track their visual or cognitive damages.
- Gaming and Entertainment – VR applications have begun the journey as entertainment apps for games, but since then it has spread to many areas of entertainment including theaters, theme parks, games, and concerts. The 360-degree approach adopted by Virtual Reality has taken live broadcasting of all these entertainment solutions to a new level. The use of VR headsets that project interactive 3D objects has promoted high user engagement. Customers can also enjoy a variety of VR experiences within a single physical location.
- Commercial Application – Giving the opportunity to the customers to see and check the product in real-time is one of the best ways to convince a buyer. When it comes to sharing a great shopping experience with potential customers, implementing VR is the best solution for sellers. Creating a virtual store gives a fully customized shopping experience to the customers by providing a virtual tour experience inside the store using a VR headset. Large companies also offer VR payment systems that let virtual buyers pay for goods without disrupting the VR experience. Shopping heat maps have been designed with the help of VR technology to monitor the shopping journey of the customer and to interpret their pattern of purchase.
- Education and employment – Virtual Reality helps students view scientific progress from a scientific perspective or conduct research in a virtual lab. Virtual Reality training simulators are used in many professional courses including aviation, automotive, construction, energy, medical and military industries, and also by professional athletes. Many companies use virtual reality for employee training to enhance the skills of employees in a given job. It provides orientation and training for their work, which takes massive financial and human resources without the risk of human and physical harm in dangerous work.
- Advertising and Marketing – Within a few years Virtual Reality will become a significant platform for brands and marketers. The customer’s complete attention can be drawn to a product using virtual experience and this will help the advertisers to pitch out precise messages. The use of custom VR solutions has also improved content marketing performance as many content creation organizations have embraced virtual reality to maximize user engagement with their content. A high-level media agency that has expertise in quality media production will lead businesses to more trending branding processes, marketing campaigns with innovative advertising, and planned VR content solutions.
What Is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality (AR) injects reality to the vision replaced by Virtual Reality (VR). AR uses a soft approach by arranging the digitally created elements in a layered format in the real world. This is achieved by using wearable instruments such as glasses or headsets, projecting them into a digital image mirror, or incorporating similar elements into the camera’s image similar to a smartphone screen. AR can produce large amounts of data and intercept the real world. It is similar to that of a filter that changes how people see the world which means that AR users remain connected to the digital world as they can travel and interact with the physical world while viewing digital elements.
Top 5 Applications of Augmented Reality
Augmented reality has brought significant changes in our day-to-day lives. Various industries have embraced AR technology, realizing its potential to be adopted in business fields ranging from educational institutions, medical purposes, manufacturing, and many more. Let us have a look at some of the major industries that use Augmented Reality technology.
- Manufacturing – Augmented Reality empowers the workforce by offering remote support which makes it easy for the experts to assist and instructions to those who work in sites. AR offers the best solution for easy detection of production errors. The AR technology is capable of digitizing product prototypes in 3D, thus making it simple and easy to approach and understand. It also allows the leaders of businesses to make decisions at the right time which in turn increases the productivity and efficiency rate. Ultimately, this leads to profit generation
- Education – AR technology transforms the educational sector in two ways: by enhancing user engagement and making ideas interactive. As well as being an interesting field, it makes the field of education more attractive, meanwhile it provides teachers the chance to portray real situations using 3D modeling. The information delivered to students is made easy, lucid, and graspable in this way. In addition, it allows teachers and educators to provide a student-friendly environment so that the students can give their best results.
- Healthcare – AR technology helps in splitting complex medical concepts into interactive 3D forms, thus supporting the healthcare sector. AR initially aids medical students to learn a lot about physiology and the human body works. Also, this technique helps many medical professionals to easily explain diseases and treatments to patients and learners. It also allows surgeons to place more precise stitches and increases success rates by providing 3D visualization of organs from various angles.
- Military and defense – The US military has been observing emerging trends in augmented reality for many years. AR instruments help militants to recognize threats, access GPS data, and obtain a telescopic view of the battlefield by combining data gathered from different sources. The most important and expensive achievement in this regard is the F-35 fighter jet helmet that costs $400,000, which helps the pilot to see through the aircraft itself and to inform about any detected object from the pilot’s point of view.
- Navigation and Travel – Using a GPS while traveling invites trouble and distraction as well. To beat these situations, AR has introduced smart glasses with sensors that allow drivers to track down the location they aim to reach, without getting distracted. AR Technology can also transform information written in travelogues and other sources into useful and interactive conversations. In addition to that, it facilitates 360-degree tours of guest rooms, restaurants, and meeting facilities as well.
Virtual Reality (AR) vs. Augmented Reality (AR)
Now we have an idea about Virtual Reality and Augmented reality and we have gone through the definition and applications of both technologies. Here are some of the main differences between AR and VR;
- AR makes use of a real-world environment while VR is purely virtual.
- AR users are able to manage their presence in the real world but the users of VR are regulated by the system.
- A headset device is a must for VR but one can access AR using a smartphone
- AR can enhance both the real and virtual worlds while VR can enhance a fictional reality only.
Although virtual reality and augmented reality have similar designs for their devices, they achieve two different things in two different ways. Replacing reality and taking you to another place is what VR does. On the other hand, AR connects to your reality, presenting information on what you first see. Both are powerful technologies that may completely change the way computers are used in the future, and yet to be flagged by customers.
Also read about: How Augmented Reality Revolutionizes Education