Getting started with AR/VR
In a time when several traditional industries like tourism and retail faced massive losses in revenue, the COVID 19 pandemic brought unforeseen growth to a few emerging industries, among which were Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
With the boost in the online gaming and entertainment sector, adoption of HMDs, and such, a trend-defying growth has occurred in these industries and consequently, there has never been a better time to learn these technologies.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive right in.
What are AR and VR?
To begin with, we should first understand what the terms Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality actually mean.
The integration of elements from the digital world to the real world to create an interactive experience is known as Augmented Reality. Virtual Reality, on the other hand, is a computer-generated 3D simulation that a person can interact with, using electronic devices.
Confused? Well, to put it simply, applications such as Pokémon Go where you can see virtual elements (in this case a Pokémon) and information as if they were in the real world come under the category of AR. On the other hand, applications such as Beat Saber in which you immerse yourself in a virtual world (such as the world of the game), leaving behind the real world, come under the category of VR.
Although we just tried to understand AR and VR using the cases of popular games, we would be sorely mistaken if we were to label these technologies as merely existing for entertainment. Today, AR and VR are causing waves in several industries and we’ll explore some of these in the next segment of our guide.
With the recent developments in the field, AR and VR have found their way into our everyday lives.
These technologies are being used by the retail market for online shopping purposes. This way, you can try on a dress without actually putting it on! In this way, AR and VR are bringing about a boost in sales in the retail industry.
AR and VR have also found applications in the military for training soldiers, helping them get a better awareness of the battlefield, and so on. In fact, Microsoft has reportedly been awarded a ten-year contract worth close to US$22 billion, to provide 120,000 military-grade AR headsets to the US Army.
Furthermore, it helps in making viewing sports events more immersive by giving the audience the best view possible. It helps in bringing the viewer closer to the event than ever before!
AR has also found its way into the field of remote education. It helps students get a better understanding of different models and their spatial structures.
• Did you know that the first VR headset came out in the 1960s! It was called the ‘Telesphere mask’ by its inventor Morton Heilig. The device used a stereoscopic television, wide vision, and a true stereo sound.
• Virtual Reality technology is not all fun and games. In fact, it finds its uses even in the field of medicine. In fact, VR is used as a treatment for anxiety, depression, autism, and PTSD.
• The AR Smart Glasses with a camera fixed in the frame can be used in security operations to identify individuals in less than a second just by scanning the faces even in a crowd.
Still interested to know more? Quench your curiosity by looking at some of these courses!
● NPTEL VR Online Course by Professor Steven LaValle
● Introduction to Augmented Reality and ARCore by Google AR & VR
o This class will teach you the fundamentals of augmented reality (AR), and how to build an AR experience using ARCore.
● Unity Tutorials and Resources by Unity
Events and Competitions
Finally, you’re all ready to set off on your adventure into the world of AR and VR. However, before we bid you adieu, we’d like to give you a bit of advice.
As you learn this new technology, you might feel like you know very little or feel unsure of how much you know. This is, in fact, quite normal and a solution for this can be participation in competitions and other events related to the field. Although this may seem daunting at first, they are a great help to get a good idea of where you stand. In addition to this joining events can also help you get to know the community better and stay updated about the latest goings-on in the field.
With that, we come to the end of our guide. After reading through all that, we hope that we have been able to instill in you a bit of confidence as you set off on your own exploration of the world of AR and VR. Goodbye and all the very best!