Convergence of Realities: Virtual, Augmented, Mixed

“The unreal never is; The real never is not. The truth about both has been seen by the knowers of the Truth (or the seers of the Essence).” — Bhagavad Gita 2.17

What is real? Is it the world we see when we are awake? Or is it the world we dream about in our sleep?

Reality has become more sophisticated than ever before. Virtual reality (VR) has been hyped about for a very long time now. Augmented reality (AR) has been around since the sixties but now seems to be closing in on VR in the Gartner hype cycle (see chart below). The Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies provides a cross-industry perspective on the technologies and trends that Organisations should monitor.

Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2015

Hype Cycle 2016

And with the advent of the company Magic Leap, termed as the world’s most secretive start-up, we are talking about Mixed Reality (MR). More…

Wait, wait, wait what were those realities again?

Virtual Reality (VR): Completely immerses a user inside a synthetic environment and disconnects the user from the real world around.

Augmented Reality (AR): Overlays digital or computer generated information: text, images, 2D/3D graphics, audio or video over a real environment. Unlike VR, AR allows the user to see the world, with virtual objects superimposed with the real world.

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Mixed Reality (MR): Virtual Reality weaved into the real world. Virtual objects are integrated into—and responsive to—the natural world. A virtual basket under your desk, for example, would not be visible unless you bent down to look at it.

Virtual reality though around for a long time, has been accessible only to a few who could afford or access the costly head gear and accessories it required. That has changed thanks to Google cardboard and similar devices that enable the curious layman to experience VR.

However with the increasing smart phone penetration in the global markets, it is Augmented Reality that is believed to have a greater advantage. According to Industry reports, the total mobile augmented reality market is expected to reach USD 79.77 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 69.85% between 2016 and 2022.

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Source: http://www.digi-capital.com/

The global augmented reality market is expected to reach USD 117.40 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 75.72% between 2016 and 2022. Meanwhile the global virtual reality market is expected to reach USD 33.90 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 57.84% during the same period.

The Pokémon Go game by Nintendo which has taken the world by storm is a classic example. It recently topped Twitter in terms of daily active users, and has people spending more time on it than in Facebook, according to reports from various sources.

pokemon

In simple terms, Pokémon Go is a game that uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect where and when you are in the game and make Pokémon “appear” around you (on your phone screen) so you can catch them. As you move around, different and more types of Pokémon will appear depending on where you are and what time it is. More…

The big players like Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung have entire teams dedicated to AR/VR technologies. More than 200 other companies, such as Meta, the Void, Atheer, Lytro, and 8i, are working intensely on hardware and content for these new platforms. It is believed that Facebook alone has over 400 people working on VR.

Baidu, sometimes referred to as China’s Google, has announced a new augmented reality platform for smart phones. It is called DuSee, and claims to use existing smart phone hardware to recognize real-world 3D environments and allow computer-generated characters and objects to interact with the real world.

One of India’s leading alcohol-beverage service chain, The Beer Café, has reportedly associated with London-based Blippar, an image recognition and augmented reality platform. The goal is to use AR to help its consumers know their beer better.

Meanwhile our journey with AR started with a mobile app development project opportunity in early 2015 for a start-up client trying to help the more than 3000 craft breweries in the US connect with their end users, the beer drinkers, using an AR enabled marketing platform to help build brand awareness and increase brand engagement. More…

Through the second half of 2015, we explored the Vuforia and Unity 3D software’s to build prototypes on Android and IOS for various practical use cases of AR including medical, movies & events, F&B and Retail. We rolled out our first AR app, SMACAR, in September of 2015. We were convinced that these are the technologies that will rule the future and we were keen to become an integral player.

arsmacar

Enter SMACAR Solutions. We are now digging deeper into the AR tool kit, Open CV libraries, Google Vision API Vuforia Studio, exploring context-aware beacon integrations and building connected solutions with Internet of Things. More…

This Matrix of converging realities is just a few years away from the “plateau of productivity” and gaining acceptance in more areas than marketing and gaming. As we try to develop our own product further, our focus is also on developing a talented team with exposure and skills in as many of these technologies and tools as possible.

Wake Up, Neo. The Matrix has you. Follow the white rabbit. Knock, knock.

 

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