When someone talks about virtual or augmented reality, then we often have an association with various types of entertainment. This is due to the fact that our familiarity with AR technologies took place when we started using smart glasses by Google and superimposing additional elements on the photos. Then many users liked the funny masks of cats and ears of bunnies, hearts, and confetti.

There’s no harm, we still sometimes animate our photos, but now the possibilities for this have expanded considerably. Arguably, multimedia is really the highest promising in terms of developing AR technology. However, AR technologies may serve other purposes. Today we will give you a more accurate description of its essence and functions. We will also consider some other areas of its application and provide a reference to one of the vivid examples.

What is augmented reality (AR)? What is virtual reality (VR)?

Many people confuse these two terms, even though there are significant differences between them. Virtual reality is the technology of immersion in a completely unreal environment, while augmented reality is the placement of unreal animated objects in the real world, that is, supplementing desired elements to his.

How do VR and AR work?

In order for you to better understand the distinction between these two concepts, we consider the main features of the functioning of virtual reality and augmented reality. In the first case, the specialists create an imaginary world in the program that you immerse in when you launch the application and put on special glasses, headset or a helmet.

In the second case, you use similar devices and applications, but you see in front of you a physical world with added elements. In a simplified version, you can use the app on a smartphone to set up markup on a map of the unknown area, and in a more complicated way – to design the future interior in your home.

Where will VR technology be useful?

VR technologies will be useful in the gaming industry as well as in art, culture and education. Here, as nowhere else, complete immersion in the situation is relevant. Using devices and applications, visitors of museums, theatres and game hubs can quickly transform into characters, observe historical occasions and ancient interiors.

Besides, there are opportunities for the production and use of training simulators designed to obtain the necessary skills with minimal risk. Such simulators can be used to train drivers, mechanics, pilots.

Some virtual reality programs are already used by psychologists and rehabilitation therapists to immerse people in an imaginary environment to relieve nervous tension, psychological limitations, eliminate phobias, etc.

Where will AR technology be useful?

The possibilities for mixing virtual graphics with tangible reality will be most promising in:

  1. Engineering (for example, engineers at Boeing Airlines abandoned plywood layouts in favor of augmented reality glasses for marking production areas for assembling airplanes and take-off areas);
  2. Meteorology (meteorologists and TV presenters can track and demonstrate the movement of air masses, the approach of cyclones through the use of radar, cameras in space and augmented reality apps);
  3. Architectural design (engineers can make changes to the drawings in the program and immediately visualize them);
  4. Interior design, marketing, advertising (designers and ordinary consumers will be much easier to understand how this or that piece of furniture or decor will fit into the overall style of the room);
  5. Production of household and office equipment (consumers will be offered interactive video instructions on its use and maintenance);
  6. Psychology – to recreate specific fragments from life;
  7. Beauty industry (modeling your look when changing hair, makeup, clothes);
  8. Navigation – people will be able to easily make their way to unfamiliar terrain and mark the most important locations;
  9. Processing your photos and videos among users of mobile devices.

A prime example of the use of AR technology in the field of multimedia is the TIPIT project with the same name site and the connected Solo Selfie mobile app for Android and iOS. There is one of the first and exciting projects for Boost Solutions. It offers unique opportunities for editing photos and videos, overlaying digital effects. Subsequently, the project was renamed Camerai.co.

Besides, it is possible the use of AR technology to create training simulators that will help simulate actions in a more familiar real environment.

What are the development prospects of virtual reality and augmented reality?

We suggest that augmented reality is more promising, as it allows you to interact with the entire outside world, while virtual reality provides opportunities for interaction with only its separate elements and representatives. Therefore, the possibilities of AR technology are much more extensive. The world’s largest IT companies are already engaged in its development.

Apple continues to work on ARKit, improving the ability of the software to recognize the characteristics of objects and related factors in the real world for a more reliable introduction of virtual objects into it.

Microsoft experiments on mixing virtual and augmented reality with the goal of developing a hybrid Windows platform Mixed Reality. In turn, Google does not despair by folding the implementation of Google Glass and put effort into Project Tango. Its introduction into mobile devices will give them a better “understanding” of movements in expanse.

However, virtual reality also has the right to life – presumably mainly in the entertainment. Also likely is the combination of the best mechanisms of both technologies to produce a mixed reality. Read also about other current trends in the field of information technology for business here.