- Posted by Holosphere
- On 10th April 2018
At the forefront of any tech-based revolution, there are often two formats or approaches locked in a battle for supremacy. Most recently, the word on the street is that it’s VR vs AR. All the while, Apple continues to fight Samsung for domination of the smartphone market. Both VHS / Betamax and Blu Ray / HD-DVD duked it out in the media format wars. The combustion engine and the electric platform vs the hydrogen cell all remain hot topics in the automotive industry.
When it comes to the leap forward that we at least believe Virtual Reality is, the pace of change has possibly resulted in multiple battles being fought at the same time, depending on how you look at it. We found ourselves interested in the VR vs AR debate – are the two really different?
VR vs AR would at first glance seem to be two sides of the same coin, but actually aren’t. We actually think that despite the similarities in technology, the applications for each are quite different.
The first major barrier to adoption in either space is found in the miniaturization of technology, and the ability to process the graphics required for an experience onboard the headset. This is a part of the tethered vs untethered debate in VR, as some experiences still require high-spec PCs to render the required graphics. Other areas of the industry focus on mobile devices and untethered experiences, designing their content around the restrictions of the hardware. On this basis alone, AR scores a point, as less 3D content must be rendered, relying instead on a combination of spatial processing and live action video. Whether the experience is as immersive or not is another matter, and VR headsets continue to develop additional processing power and display resolution. We don’t think it’ll be long before they catch up.
There will always be the argument that to see the physical world around you is key to mass adoption and extended use. In theory Augmented Reality that isn’t distracting could and should enhance any experience of the world around you whether its application is entertainment, research or task-based. And this is all without bumping into people and objects while remaining a functioning part of the world around you.
The theory is fairly sound, but while AR is typically seen as an outwardly looking platform, more open to a shared experience, VR enjoys a much greater degree of immersion that is developing towards shared in-person and remote experiences that VR will struggle to deliver.
Ease of use
The bread and butter of the film industry has always been immersion, and there aren’t many who could claim not to occasionally carry on with their daily tasks while engrossed in a film. The key to any story is its power to dissolve the frame of your surrounds and take you to worlds beyond the confines of your physical location, but accessibility – provided by players like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video – has played its part. Immersion is part of the human condition and always will be. There is quite clearly a place for full immersion which VR proves to have in abundance, as market penetration continues to grow.
We believe the lines will blur as development continues and we at Holosphere VR relish the journey as we craft world-class experiences using both VR and AR technologies – because in this case there is no format war, vs or battle – both have defined and exciting roles to play.