AR vs VR – Three key factors to remember
Eoin Buckley, account executive
They said this would be the year of VR. With the release of hardware such as the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and Playstation VR, virtual reality technology has never been more available for consumers and brands alike. Then came Pokemon Go, and suddenly the slow burner that was augmented reality shot into the limelight, with marketers quickly waking up to the potential of this new technology. Now, as the weeks have passed and the hype has settled around both technologies, it’s time to evaluate. How do AR and VR stack up against each other?
- The Hype Factor
While the industry is beginning to think pragmatically about these technologies, new and innovative ways of using VR and AR are still being invented almost weekly. From apps that use AR to help you decide which tattoo to get, to using VR in mental health treatment, this is a space where the boundaries haven’t yet been discovered. Your idea may just be the next big breakthrough in what is still an incredibly young field, and the world is still interested in hearing your take.
- Cost of development
As is always the case with the latest innovation, the cost of creating anything half decent in AR or VR is still high. This is especially true in virtual reality, where the resources necessary to develop content are still very expensive. On the other hand, some companies offer do-it-yourself augmented reality tools and applications free of charge, allowing for simple implementation of this technology without having to burn through your budget.
While these new reality-related technologies are still hot off the press, it’s easy to forget that what we’re seeing today may not be the finished product. It’s possible that in a year’s time we’ll be able to produce virtual reality images that are far more realistic than we’re capable of currently, making our current investments and VR projects seemingly redundant. Just look at how far the Oculus Rift has come in the past three years.
On the other hand, AR seems to have less room (or need) for further technological development – processes may be upgraded and perfected, but there is a feeling that today’s AR technology is more future-proof than its virtual counterpart. I personally agree with this.
It’s tough to compare these two technologies, particularly when it comes to sifting through the hype. From the point of view of marketing applications, we can let our imaginations run wild, but rest assured – commercial and marketing opportunities will undoubtedly be just around the corner.