Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are two terms you probably hear thrown around a lot. You’ll see them in tech headlines, and on other avenues, where they are touted to be the next big thing. However, people often confuse the two and use the terms interchangeably. As a refresher, you should know that AR is an enhanced real-life experience, while VR is an immersive experience which puts you in an alternative reality. Both of these have their own applications, both practical and recreational.
You might have seen those exaggerated fear-mongering headlines which make it seem like AR and VR technology will make people lose touch with reality and usher in a dystopian world. This fear is further emphasized by all those dystopian TV shows and movies people watch on streaming services and their Cox cable connections. These are quite overstated and ignore the fact that these technologies are already quite pervasive. However, AR and VR are more present than you’d think they, and in very beneficial ways. Here are a few places you can see them being used around you.
Data-Driven Sports Broadcasting
You’ve probably seen all those panels and interactive visual elements which pop up during various sports events. This is one of the first sectors which adapted AR so wholeheartedly. No matter what sport it is, you’ll see these panels which give you statistical information, predictions, and other interesting broadcasting features.
These 3D graphics make sports commentary and broadcasting a more interactive and visual experience. They also let viewers visualize possible results and trajectories, with just a few visual overlays.
Interactive Online Shopping
Just imagine a world where you can digitally try on clothes and makeup without having to go to the physical locations themselves. In fact, you don’t even have to imagine this, as many retailers offer AR solutions for online shopping.
Now, you can ‘try’ your purchases digitally through AR technology. This is an extension of the social media filters you see on Instagram and Snapchat. They’re becoming increasingly more discerning and complex, so are well-suited for your online shopping purposes.
Improved Building Practices
Architecture is one major field where AR and VR technology is making a major mark. This is because it lets architects and civil engineers create renders of planned buildings and gauge how well they will work out. This can help determine any weaknesses and predict what would happen to these structures in various extreme situations.
Residential architects also use AR and VR technology to give their clients detailed renders of their projects, and alter things accordingly without having built the house already and having to make expensive structural changes. This way, they can give people their dream homes with all the details decided well on time.
Virtual Training Programs
There are certain fields where you require extensive training to be qualified. These include race-car driving, flying planes, performing surgery, and many others. All of these are high-risk careers with lives at stake, so just letting people practice with the actual instruments would be quite dangerous.
AR and VR technology can help you train for these careers without the risk factor. There are already numerous virtual training programs such as flight simulators and virtual surgery simulators. These can help you practice your skills without any of the associated dangers. They also make you more capable when you eventually handle the real thing.
Exciting Learning Opportunities
The education sector really needs to accommodate all sorts of learning capabilities into its practices. Some people prefer to listen, while others prefer to visualize. With AR and VR technology, you can include everyone with interactive lessons. When students engage more with what they’re learning, they’ll retain knowledge better as well.
Many schools and universities are already including such lessons in their curricula for all age groups. This is perfect for the increasingly digital world, and is an overall more interesting experience than regular classes.
This is practically the first place where AR and VR really boomed. What started with simple games like Beatsaber and Pokemon Go has turned into a global phenomenon. Almost every gaming platform has integrated VR capabilities and introduced VR hardware for their customers.
Resultantly, you won’t just see AR and VR in recreational video games, but also in fitness programs, healthcare, and many other sectors. Gaming started it all, and showed the world the many applications of these technologies.
In conclusion, AR and VR are already more pervasive than you’d think. However, they are making the world a more interesting and interactive place, so these developments should be encouraged.