There are lots of ways to cut, define and organise immersive technologies. The two most popular terms, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), are distinct technologies that we often group together. The former, which places you in a virtual world disconnected from reality, is all about immersion; the latter, which presents an overlay on the real world, is all about information.
Both technologies have incredible potential to transform the way we live and work. Currently, the video games industry is driving a lot of the innovation in virtual reality but enterprise will have its day in the sun soon enough with both VR and AR predicted to be in mainstream use in five to ten years’ time. Sectors as diverse as healthcare, retail, education and engineering stand to benefit tremendously.
In the future, we will see the form factor reduce to a single device that’s capable of both VR and AR output. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who acquired virtual reality system Oculus in 2014, has predicted that the next ten years will bring “what looks like normal-looking glasses that can do both virtual and augmented reality”.
Learn more about AR, VR and Extended Reality (XR) in The XR factor: The incredible potential of extended reality.