There’s no doubt these two technologies will start to intersect our lives and therefore business. Startups and big tech co’s are manoeuvring to find ways to plug the technology into how we work, live and entertain ourselves. But Virtual and Augmented Reality sound more complex for a consumer perspective than they really are. Here’s how I like to think about these two technologies to simplify how they can be used.
Virtual Reality: Takes me to places where I am not.
Augmented Reality: Helps me understand and interact in ways I cannot.
They help us do more than we can on our own. Virtual helps us escape and hide. Augmented helps us interact and create more efficiently. Neither is about replacing us.
Virtual Reality isn’t that much different to TV – taking us to another place, it’s just far more immersive. We could even compare it to a novel or a movie – it’s just that more senses are involved.
Augmented Reality could be compared to signs and instruction manuals. Our smart phone is also used this way, like when we use google maps. Augmented reality is about telling us more about our immediate environment than we could guess on our own. But it can be far more personal, immediate and immersive.
Sometimes the best way to understand new technologies is to compare it to technology we already understand and use. It is very rare indeed for new technology to be more than an evolution of what we already have.