Augmented Reality, not Virtual Reality, is the Next Step
AR has to Come before VR
Virtual reality has been a hot topic lately. From Google to Playstation to more, immersing yourself in a video or game is all the rage. Of course, it’s nothing new. 25 years ago there were virtual reality stations at major malls across the country. The difference now, however, is that we can use a simple box and our smartphone to create the feeling as though we are right in the middle of the action.
Until there is a major progression in how phone displays work, that’s about all we can expect from virtual reality. It won’t be widely incorporated simply because it’s too clunky. What we can expect, however, is augmented reality. This technology is ready to take off now, and it can be integrated without wearing a funny headset that draws attention.
What is Augmented Reality?
When you immerse yourself in virtual reality, you are just that: immersed. In other words you have disconnected from reality and entered into a virtual world. It’s great when you’re at home playing video games, but not when you’re waiting for a bus or otherwise in public.
Augmented reality, on the other hand, keeps you in reality but enhances it. You are taken away from the boring everyday reality, and it is made better.
How does that work? Google Glass tried it, but the world wasn’t quite ready yet (plus they looked kind of weird). With Google glasses you could get heads up mapping, see “behind the scenes”, or otherwise have the virtual world incorporate into the real world. The company Here One has made augmented reality earbuds. We wrote about them a little over a year ago; they’ve come a long way since early 2016.
As the tech world progresses, we will see logical steps. Virtual reality will come on board, but before we can get there we have to augment our reality. And quite frankly, those augmented reality earbuds look like they are pretty awesome (with the exception of the $299 price tag)!
When will We See Virtual Reality?
In the world of technology, it’s really hard to make predictions. Take the Google Glass for instance. They were functional, had a cult following, but never got past the early adopter stage. They just couldn’t make it happen; the timing wasn’t right. But look at how popular the Oculus Rift and other virtual headsets have been. They’re the precursors, and when things are perfected the technology will become much more widespread.
In a few years, we will likely see gaming and the like shift to virtual reality. After that, it’s hard to say when virtual reality systems will replace traditional movie viewing and gaming. But it will likely be when holographic imaging becomes standard.
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