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Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

The edge of new reality, the world is advancing faster than it has ever before and we all are surely spending most of our times looking at screens be it a laptop, TV, or mobile phones and they have become a big part of our life and VR and AR are the two new technologies that are changing the ways we use screen creating new and exciting experiences both in a different ways and its market are growing with rapid speed day by day. Now AR and VR are two different things, let’s dig into deeper information. 

Virtual Reality (VR) :- 

VR (a technology by which computer-aided stimuli create the immersive illusion of being somewhere else ) has come to focus lately but it has a quite long and interesting history of its existence. The concept of VR was formulated in the 1960s and the first commercial VR tools appeared in the late 1980s. By then VR was only used for flight training purposes and by national armies and air force departments, lately in the 1990s its uses expanded to movies like Star wars, 3D videos, 3D Images, 3D maps and Brooks’s laboratory extended the use of virtual reality to radiology and ultrasound imaging.

Virtual reality was extended to surgery through the technology of telepresence, the use of robotic devices controlled remotely through mediated sensory feedback to perform a task. The first telesurgery equipment was developed at SRI International in 1993; the first robotic surgery was performed in 1998 at the Broussais Hospital in Paris.

 The sensorama was a machine that is one of the earliest known of immersive multi-sensory technology which can be considered as some sort of virtual reality. It has screens, you can have smell, you can experience the wind blowing through your hair and much more.

Currently virtual reality environments are primarily visual experiences, displayed either on a computer screen or through special stereoscopic displays, sound through speakers or headphones, seeing the world through virtual lenses that gives a feel of real traveling without actually traveling , it is also used to treat people with acrophobia and mostly used in gamings. 

Some advanced, haptic systems now include tactile information, generally known as force feedback, in medical and gaming applications. Users can interact with a virtual environment or a virtual artifact (VA) either through the use of standard input devices such as a keyboard and mouse, or through multimodal devices such as a wired glove, the Polhemus boom arm, and/or omnidirectional treadmill. The simulated environment can be similar to the real world, for example, simulations for pilot or combat training, or it can differ significantly from reality, as in VR games. 

Some examples of VR devices are,Oculus Rift by Facebook mostly developed for gaming purpose and live streaming, Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR), and the HTC Vive. 

Augmented Reality (AR):- 

Augmented reality was first achieved, to some extent, by a cinematographer called Morton Heilig in 1957. He invented the Sensorama which delivered visuals, sounds, vibration and smell to the viewer. Then in 1968, Ivan Sutherland the American computer scientist and early Internet influence, invented the head-mounted display as a kind of window into a virtual world.

The first properly functioning AR system was probably the one developed at USAF Armstrong’s Research Lab by Louis Rosenberg in 1992. This was called Virtual Fixtures and was an incredibly complex robotic system which was designed to compensate for the lack of high-speed 3D graphics processing power in the early 90s.

The main difference between AR and VR is, VR takes you to a virtual world with the help of devices that feels like a real world Whereas virtual reality replaces your vision, augmented reality adds to it. AR devices, such as the Microsoft HoloLens and various enterprise-level “smart glasses,” are transparent, letting you see everything in front of you as if you are wearing a weak pair of sunglasses. 

The current state of AR is so vastly populated that it’s available in every industry and every possible object such as Hardwares ( the processor, the display, the sensors and input devices etc.), Display (monitors, eyeglasses, contact lenses, the HUD, virtual retinal displays etc.), Sensors (GPS, gyroscopes, accelerometers, compasses, RFID, wireless sensors, touch recognition, speech recognition) and Softwares.

The industries that AR includes are Archaeology, Art, Architecture, Commerce, Office, Construction, Industrial Design, Education, Translation, Emergency Management, Disaster Recovery, Medical and Search and Rescue, Games, Sports, Entertainment, Tourism, Military,Navigation. The most recent and common examples of AR are Games like Pokemon Go, Jurassic World, Harry potter and all those filters available on Social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram. 

Conclusion:- 

The future of these two technologies are going to have a huge revolution for every industry from technology to marketing, Sports, education and every possible industry one can imagine. There are possibilities that in the future a device can have both VR and AR in it and can be used simultaneously like one moment you are totally out of the real world feeling the virtual world and the other moment you are in the real world adding augmented stuff to your surroundings. But if this happens it is expected that AR is going to take over VR.

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