AR is VR’s Best Friend!
Immersive tech is on the rise and the industry is working as fast and hard as possible to get mass market appeal. With the release of ARKit and ARCore everyone is excited to be able to build immersive experiences for hundreds of millions of users. It is without a doubt great for the XR industry as a whole, but I think it is a mistake to deem VR in trouble or out of the running.
I keep thinking about this tweet from Tony Parisi:
AR: Thanks, VR! Wouldn’t be here without you. #VR: 🙃
VR and AR have more of symbiotic relationship than a contentious one. For a majority of content creators, they have a similar workflow and use the same tools. If you know how to create VR you can create AR, and vice versa. They may differ in use cases and design challenges, but they build off the same principles of physical interaction with digital content.
I think it’s important to remember consumer VR is less than two years¹ old and has already reached some great milestones:
- Many of the largest tech companies working on some sort of VR offering.
- Millions of high-end HMDs sold. Even more millions when you add in mobile VR.
- Several content companies breaking $1 million dollars in revenue.
- Emmy and Oscar winning experiences.
- Breakthroughs in education, healthcare, and journalism.
I’ve spoken to several VR companies that are adding AR to their products. They aren’t looking into AR because they fear VR is dead or doubt it’s momentum. They recognize the opportunity to expand their customer base while still working on immersive technology. Many of these same companies see a future where AR and VR don’t really have a distinction between them. Part of the reason we have so many acronyms (VR, AR, MR, XR) is because different companies are tackling the problem of creating immersive technology from different angles. Eventually, they will all merge back together. There is a good chance that far enough into the future, we will have one device that allows us to interact with all of the realities.
What are your thoughts on AR and VR? Let me know in the responses below or tweet me @ianhirschfeld.
Ian Hirschfeld is a VR Consultant and Developer. He runs office hours every week for anyone interested in learning more or wanting to chat about VR, AR, and the other Rs. Schedule a video chat at https://calendly.com/ianhirschfeld.
¹ I’m counting from the release of the Samsung Gear VR in November of 2015.
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