If you thought that 3D TV and 4K movies were something, just wait until you hear about the latest generation of audio-visual entertainment.
It may be difficult to believe, but the reality is that televisual entertainment is less than a century old. During that time, technology has evolved from grainy black and white images to the crystal clear 4K visuals we have today. Funnily enough, movies and TV shows still captivate us, even after all this time. However, the day will come when flat-screen entertainment won’t be enough.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are the latest newcomers, offering unrivaled immersive experiences. To prepare for their imminent arrival, let’s take a look at what these new technologies are, and why we should care.
Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality
As children, our imagination took us anywhere and everywhere. Some of us imagined fighting monsters while others performed in front of millions. Simply speaking, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) allow us to experience something similar as adults. With VR, you are fully immersed in the digital experience while AR flawlessly brings digital content into the real world.
A popular example of AR is Pokémon Go, where players explore the real world while searching for fictitious Pokémon characters. When a player finds the character, their phone switches to camera mode, so the Pokémon appears to be standing right in front of them in the real world.
Even though they have yet to be as popular as anticipated, smart glasses can also create similar experiences by putting visuals right where you can see them.
VR is a little easier to comprehend. To experience this content, you just need to put on a headset. By wearing the headset, all you see in front of your eyes is a digital screen. VR headsets work with 360-degree games and videos, enabling you to examine the world around you just like in reality. As you move your head, the alternate reality also changes, giving you a lifelike experience. VR is closer to our current forms of entertainment but much more immersive.
VR and AR haven’t been around for that long, so the technology is still improving. New methods of using these platforms also keep appearing which make our lives easier and more fun. Take the 6DoF Blaster by Merge Labs, for example. It lets users take zombies down in their own neighborhood. To see your enemies, simply use your smartphone as a digital scope along with the device itself.
We’ve also started using AR at Gadget Flow. By downloading our iOS mobile app, you can view a virtual model of certain products wherever you are. The AR view allows you to picture where the product would go and understand its size and shape. It makes you feel like you own it before you’ve even got your hands on it.
Drone racing is an especially exciting way to use VR. Professional racers wear a headset to get an onboard view of the course that is enough to turn your stomach.
Where Is It Headed?
Going forward, VR and AR are expected to become increasingly popular. In 2017, Mark Zuckerberg spoke about AR and how it fits with Facebook. Advertising companies are also starting to use the technology. Plus, VR gaming arcades are beginning to pop up across the globe.
Many people still aren’t sure about VR and AR, but that’s to be expected with any new technology. We’ll have to wait and see if these platforms will make it to the ten-year mark. If they do, you can certainly expect them to dominate with more innovation than we can currently imagine.