With all of the recent advancements in virtual technology, sometimes it can be hard to keep track of all of the different terms and devices on the market. Fortunately, here at VR Arcade NOLA, we deal with this technology every day, so in this post, we present to you a quick and easy-to-read overview of where things stand:
Virtual Reality (“VR”)
In Virtual Reality, VR headsets broadcast computer-generated sounds and imagery to the user, which gives the user the impression that they are wholly immersed in an imaginary setting. The concept of virtual reality has been around for decades now, but only recently has the technology advanced to the point where the graphics can be seamless and the experience totally believable.
There is a range of VR headsets and experiences available on the market today. At the cheaper end of the spectrum you have options like Samsung Gear and Google Cardboard, which can provide the user with some interesting views of 360 videos but not much more.
Here at VR Arcade NOLA, we use high-end virtual reality equipment to provide our clients with amazing and fully-immersive VR experiences. The higher-end VR headsets include the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, which have proven to be a big hit at the corporate events, birthday parties, and wedding receptions for which we’ve been hired to provide entertainment throughout the greater New Orleans area. We have even worked with some of our clients to design customized and branded VR content!
Augmented Reality (“AR”)
In Augmented Reality, computer-generated sensory inputs such as images and sounds are added into the user’s view of the physical world. AR technology made a big splash last year with the release of Pokémon Go, wherein users could look through their smartphone and see the physical world filled with adorable Pokémon running amok.
AR has lots of applications in workforce training - you can imagine a refinery worker performing maintenance work while seeing real-time data on that refinery equipment digitally displayed in their field of view.
Mixed Reality is the next evolution of Augmented Reality. In Mixed Reality, users can interact with the digital elements that are projected into their view of the physical world. Imagine if you could reach out and touch those Pokémon in Pokémon Go, or if you could inspire young students in a biology class by having digital animals run around the room jumping on chairs and desks.
Microsoft Hololens is one of the leaders in the mixed reality field, and they currently offer a headset and kit for developers. A consumer version is expected to be released in the near future.
Magic Leap, a company owned by Google, has a lot of hype around its mixed reality technology but has yet to release a product. However, it has raised over $1 billion dollars from Google and other tech investors, so people are very excited to see what they come out with.
So there you have it - Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality! The future is virtual, and it's going to be a wild ride. As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions you have about virtual reality technology and about bringing VR to your next party or event!