Today, it’s all about keeping up with technology that is taking ground-breaking strides at a blinding speed. All aspects of life are now intertwined with the constant technological leaps we are witnessing. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have been the talk of the decade, since what was once considered as impossible, has now been overcome in the forms of AR and VR.

What is AR?

For those who are less familiar with the term, Augmented Reality is a blended view of reality and imagination. It offers an enhanced (or, augmented, if you want to be literal) physical, real-world environment with direct or indirect interaction. AR superimposes computerized 3D images or holograms directly into the environment, with the help of computer generated details.

What is VR?

Virtual Reality is the creation of a virtual environment which users can interact with. It immerses you in a simulation using stereoscopic 3D on a screen, using wearables such as VR helmet or goggles. Facebook’s Oculus Rift is one such wearable VR-gear, scheduled to be released some time next year.

What’s the difference?

Both AR and VR have the same goal of immersing the user in a (somewhat) modified reality, but the two technologies use different approaches in achieving it. AR provides the ability to interact with virtual objects while users continue to be in touch with the real world environment, whereas VR completely isolates the user from the real world to an entirely fabricated virtual environment. Both of these terms were tied with gaming up until recently, but now they are being incorporated into everyday life.

Since AR does not take the user away from the real world, it has potential to be of commercial success. With the rise of wearables like Oculus Rift, and companies like Microsoft and Magic Leap, AR is making great strides in modern technology. Mobile apps that incorporate AR are vastly popular as of today: Wikitude, Layar, Field Trip, Snapshop, Ingress. We at Thiken have recently developed an AR app ourselves as well.

Thiken’s very own Mitsubishi AR app that lets the user immerse in a 3D image of a vehicle from the newspaper advertisement.

Mitsubishi AR app that was developed by Thiken to let the user immerse in a 3D image of a vehicle from the newspaper advertisement.

VR is already being used in a variety of industries and top companies in the world, in the forms of education, demonstration, and showcasing. One such company is Toyota, where they have used VR to build a distracted driving simulator as a part of its TeenDrive365 campaign, in order to educate teens and parents. The simulator had sensors to interpret how the user was driving while the simulation itself included distractions like ringing cellphones and chatty friends in the backseat.

Businesses can use VR as a cost effective way of developing a product or a service, because prototypes can be developed avoiding the excessive expenses of having multiple versions. It also helps detect design problems from early on. Furthermore, VR can be handy when effectively demonstrating a company’s successful new products, or proving the feasibility of a concept to the clients, in a highly detailed and clear manner. For instance, hoteliers can provide virtual tours to display their featured suites and adjoining sites, to impress both customers and investors.

Another way to utilize VR in your business, is for educating new employees: conducting complex training sessions is made easier by having the new recruits in a simulated environment, offering 360 view of the tools, that would otherwise include handling expensive and complicated equipment.

Mentioned above are only measly examples to direct your attention towards AR and VR. Technology has come a long way since telephones, telegrams and printouts. Since many reputed companies have adopted AR and VR to establish their potentiality in their market space, it can be considered highly advisable to incorporate these technologies into your business solutions. Otherwise, sorry to say, you will soon be left behind.

Change the status quo. Make “Reality”, your perception.

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