Augmented and Virtual Reality, what's the difference?
Updated: May 19, 2020
Augmented and Virtual Reality, sometimes referred to as Mixed Reality, are ways of visualising 3D models using digital technology.
For Virtual Reality you likely need a headset and decent hardware to drive the experience, this can cost a pretty penny, around £2-3,000! This presents various challenges:
1) The user has to be in the same location as the high end hardware i.e office or public location. This drastically reduces the accessibility of the experience.
2) The experience is also total replacement of your current visual reality with the Virtual Reality being presented. Users can experience motion sickness due to the disorienting effects of the headset.
In contrast, Augmented Reality introduces the object into your existing surroundings using either a headset or your existing phone/tablet.
If you view this page on mobile you will see a small button by the model below, if you click this you will be able to view the model in your own space and get a taste for how seamless and accessible this technology can be. If your not on mobile you can still spin and zoom the model to your heart's content, extra points if you find the Chewbacca!
Some advantages of Augmented Reality:
1) You can see and orientate the object in existing space in the correct dimensions or in any scale you wish. You could place it on a table as a diorama. You can even superimpose the model where the building would go in the real world and see it in-situ, this will be the subject of another blog post.
2) You also do not need the expensive hardware associated with Virtual Reality as most phones and tablets can perform these tasks and have all the necessary features to do so.
3) You do not get the disorienting effects from the hardware nor the motion sickness.
4) You can embed these experiences directly into the existing Web pages so that you do not need to download applications to use them leading to an easy, seamless and friction-less experience.
We believe it will be an integral part of the internet within the next 3 years, especially once Apple releases their lightweight glasses hardware.
Augmented Reality is finding it's way into more social media applications and is becoming ubiquitous in the younger generations without them even realising it. Soon it will be an expectation rather than a nice to have! In the next blog post we will discuss how this technology can help you overcome obstructions in the planning process.
Thanks for reading!
The Peer Group