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Augmented and Virtual Reality

By Elena, Customer Support Specialist at Flat Rock

Technology is all around us and with its rapid development everybody has heard about Virtual reality (VR) – there are tons of movies that feature or show a computer-simulated reality. This is basically an artificial, computer generated simulation of a real situation or environment. Emotions and different situations can be simulated or experienced by the user mainly by stimulating their vision and hearing. One of the first simulators is the well-known Sensorama – a machine from 1962 that played a 3D film with stereo sound, aromas and wind. VR is usually achieved by wearing a headset like Facebook’s Oculus, equipped with VR technology. VR usually demands a specific coding language – VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language).

VR is not something new, it is just the beginning of a technological revolution and today we have the opportunity to experience virtual reality in the real world with the so called Augmented Reality (AR). During the last few years, augmented reality went from being a science fiction dream to a modern and practical part of our everyday life and it’s getting more and more popular. Here is a Short video demonstration of what Augmented reality is.

The difference between Virtual reality and Augmented reality is that in the first case your “here and now” is replaced with a computer simulated environment. It is an unreal artificial world, which is created by computer technology and special audio-video equipment. It is an environment which physically does not exit. However, in AR we stay part of our current real-world, where different objects and elements could be added with the help of computer technology (video, graphics, sounds and other). This is really an amazing experience. It’s a technology that layers information and imagery on your current, existing environment by using viewing devices which you can wear at home, on the street or in the office. For example, if users wear a pair of special equipped glasses they can see the surrounding real-world in combination with computer generated elements projected over the real world. Their existing reality becomes more meaningful through the ability to interact with it. Augmented reality blends digital components into the real world in a way that they complement one another. It offers a unique user experience and makes everyday life a lot easier and joyful. There are three main components that define augmented reality –  a combination of reality and VR, interactivity in real time and three dimensional capabilities. Augmented reality has already developed in many ways and can be experienced using different software (already developed applications) on various mobile devices such as laptops, smart phones, tablets or glasses. In order to be able to fully understand and actually feel the magic of AR and VR reality the user needs to be equipped with proper wearables, headsets, viewing devices, head-mounted display (HMD) or special glasses.

In our next blog post related to the topic, we will take a look at some of the most popular VR and AR headsets and devices. Stay tuned!

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