AR and VR: The future of work and play?
Virtual reality and its more outward-looking cousin augmented reality are set to transform both entertainment and employment, but it’s still early days.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are often mentioned in the same breath, but there are significant differences between the two technologies — although they also share many features.
VR typically immerses the user in a virtual world via a headset that largely isolates you from the real world. AR, on the other hand, inserts virtual objects and information into the real world, augmenting your experience of it via a headset that, ideally, is as discreet as possible.
Although VR opens up potentially unlimited virtual worlds, it’s a spatially restricted experience as far as the user is concerned. You won’t be straying far from a powerful PC when using a cutting-edge immersive VR system such as the Oculus Rift or HTC’s Vive Pre, for example. And although less immersive (‘ambient’) smartphone-based systems such as Google Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR are available, you’re hardly likely to walk down the street wearing one.