Virtual reality and the progress with augmented reality

Technology Contributor
Today's Focus
Virtual Reality
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Virtual reality isn’t as new as we tend to think. In fact, the technology has already been on the market since the 90’s, though it wasn’t as readily accepted by the general public due to certain processing problems and general slowness of image generation. Now, when all the hardware and processors have caught up with the image rendering, virtual reality quickly grew much more prevalent among the younger generations, now sparking interest even among the elderly.

With increased investments into the technology, the prevalence of virtual and other realities is estimated to increase by up to 80% in 2021.

Relevance and advancement of virtual reality

Initially, virtual reality has been imagined to mainly apply to the world of gaming and entertainment. And indeed, there have been a lot of major advancements in virtual reality in the context of video games that keep providing users with more and more realistic representations and immersive experiences.With inventions such as Oculus rift and Vive, gamers have gotten around to most engaging and world-like imagery, with better and better games being adapted to these platforms.

Nowadays however, the VR experience is progressively starting its emergence into the professional domain. Although, it’s not so much VR itself that is relevant in the work place as is Augmented reality (AR). The main difference, for those who aren’t very familiar with the technology, is that VR embodies a completely simulated world that it projects into your visual receptors. AR on the other hand, maps a virtual image onto the real world, such as a cityscape hologram onto a real-life table.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality quickly found a wide range of applicability not only in the purely scientific spheres of work like medicine or engineering, but likewise in architectural, retail and educational projects. In 2021, multiple brands are already working hard on this enticing perspective and have developed very impressive devices, of which: Microsoft HoloLens, allowing for precise holographic displaying; Google glass, portraying 3D imagery and videos, as well as retrieving data from other devices; AR lay-on headsets for the Smartphone, allowing for use of AR directly, and many others.

So for how much can one expect to acquire such experience-augmenting gear ? Well, a lot of the AR models are quite new, and the prices haven’t yet settled down across the markets. But generally speaking, one can expect to spend from anywhere over 1,000 to 10,000 Euro’s.

Buying a virtual reality gear?

On the other hand, VR headsets have been commercialised for a little longer and pertain more to the gaming community, so their price range is currently more affordable. Generally between 600 and 3,000 Euros.

Another important question that one might ask is whether it’s worth buying one of these right now, or is it more optimal to wait for updates, tweaks and price reduction. Well, undoubtedly AR and VR are currently still at an early stage in their development. Much more impressive projects are to be expected within the field, so it really depends on how much disposable income you have.

If the price range won’t put a devastating burden on your wallet, then it’s definitely worth considering. Both have already been developed to a level where you can already have a solid immersive experience, so if this is something that interests you, you should certainly consider looking into the area!


(Written by Hussein Al-Bahir)

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