Technology advances. Practically every day we get news from the technological world about innovations, new ideas that someone wants to develop or another big player on the market investing in a tech startup whose product is supposed to revolutionise the business.
Not so long ago, we wrote about VR taking over Real Estate market. The primary cause is that people want to experience the product online and VR enables to make that as real-life as possible.
Now, though, it seems that AR and MR get all the attention. It may be because of all the hype about Magic Leap’s MR Goggles whose launch is to take place sometime this year. Then, it can also be because of what this technology has to offer, as well.
AR AND MR – SO DIFFERENT…
Let’s start with Augmented Reality. This technology layers the computer-generated information over the physical world. However, it doesn’t mean that the information becomes an extension of the real world. It is just a digital element projected on your environment.
You probably heard or even dealt with QR codes. After scanning this code with the camera of your smartphone, it can either take you to the website or display digital elements like 3D models or digital information on your phone. The latter is a typical feature of AR technology.
Another example can be the IKEA Catalogue app. It takes the live view of your surrounding from the camera of your smartphone. You choose the furniture that you consider to buy, and you can see how it will look with your interiors.
Whereas Augmented Reality projects the digital elements over the physical environment, Mixed Reality combines real and virtual worlds. That means that the holograms can exist in harmony with physical objects and we can smoothly roam through both realities in real time. Unlike AR, MR enables you to interact with the holograms – they react to your voice, gesture and touch, hence being just as real-life and tangible as the real items.
Take for example the device that projects the light keyboard on any surface. Many say that it is one of the uses of AR technology. Though, it already is a Mixed Reality because the keyboard reacts to your touch.
Our solution for Skanska is one of the more complex implementations of Mixed Reality. The application developed for Skanska enables you to not only look at the 3D models of the investments but also interact with them by touch and voice. Also, you seamlessly navigate from the holograms projected on your environment to the CGI 360 panoramic view of the buildings that allow you to take a virtual tour through the property.
Want to get an AR or MR solution for your investment?
… YET STILL ALIKE
Not without reason, many of us use those terms alternately. Despite all of those differences, AR and MR are still alike. You’ve probably already noticed those similarities. Both these technologies give you a live view of real world merged with the digital elements. Also, they enhance the physical world. Although in different ways, they work on the actual environment and are based on the digital models and information.
AR AND MR SUPERIOR TO VR?
Last November, Forbes published an article about top 10 trends for 2018, listing AR as one of them. Why? Presumably, it is much cheaper and easier to use in comparison to Virtual Reality. Whereas the latter is quite right, the former can be misleading. The costs of the production of the digital models differ depending on the project. Sometimes it can be cheaper than preparing VR content, but otherwise, the cost of one AR app can be equal to the charge for, i.e. ten CGI panoramas. Also, we need to add the price of the equipment (i.e. HoloLens, Google Glass or Magic Leap’s MR Goggles).
No matter the costs, the experience provided by AR and MR is more real-life and tangible. Of course, there are situations when Virtual Reality is the required technology to use because otherwise, the experience won’t be as memorable and efficient as it should be. Still, in the times when the customers crave authenticity and look for extraordinary and distinguishable experiences, Augmented and Mixed Reality can be the one technology that will overshadow Virtual Reality. Or… they could always go together.