Neither virtual nor augmented reality are especially new concepts, both have been finding niche uses across a variety of different platforms for a number of years now and some to great success – 2016 for example saw the release of Pokémon GO on mobile devices and a huge widespread adoption of augmented reality in gaming, although this had largely seemed like more of a gimmick feature – but there are a growing number of much more practical uses finding their way in to our daily lives, and VR and AR could both certainly be on the brink of changing our increasingly mobile world.
Sporting and gaming – We’ve seen how successful platforms like AR can be in gaming with the previously mentioned 2016 title, but it has found other uses too. Earlier this year augmented reality was used in a few NASCAR races to allow fans to drive a miniature NASCAR around wherever they were and submit this to win prizes, and with a rise in similar services despite adjustments to initiatives such as Gamstop, different platforms where betting sites are available here may start to introduce these features as a way to encourage more users to play. It has certainly shown promise in both sporting and gaming, so may be utilised most in this space.
There have also been suggestions that VR could be much closer too – although there are some restrictions as hardware remains a little clunky and expensive, mobile device are well equipped to be able to utilise the tech and gaming could certainly be the target here, much like it has been on the more dedicated platforms.
Daily utility – Examples of where AR in particular can be used from our day to day have been seen too – mock-up examples of a Metro card embedded with AR features so when scanned show a 3D map of the underground network for travellers for example have been theorised, with our current understanding features like this may not be too far off either. Particularly in busy hubs for new travellers, these changes could help save a lot of time and confusion whilst also crossing barriers such as language with a simple display for navigation. Whilst VR isn’t necessarily as easy to represent in this space, things like virtual tours have been used throughout the year in schools and museums for instance, and will likely remain a well-used feature over the next year or two whilst the pandemic continues to slow – it may also allow for apps or sites to include virtual tours in a more robust way before any face to face meeting.
Both platforms have a lot of potential, and unlimited space to expand, with further investment as the tech improves and growing interest it may not be long before both are more widely represented – a few more hurdles to cross with price being a main one, and accessibility on a wider scale will be much easier to come by, and a more futuristic looking future comes ever closer.