Immersive Technologies are revolutionizing the present and the future. It comprises Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR). These are among the fastest-growing and fascinating technologies today. Immersive Technology creates or extended reality and this is done by immersing a user in a digital environment having applications in different domains. This technology is gaining importance every passing day and hour, transforming and helping us reimagining the longer term.
Virtual Reality uses VR headsets to make a stimulated environment and helps a private to immerse into it to experience a completely different reality. The historical journey of Virtual Reality started as early as the 1800s. This marvellous idea has been evolving from the time practical photography came into existence. Morton Heilig invented the first VR device named Sensorama in 1957. His multimedia device is considered one of the earliest VR systems. However, the term Virtual Reality was coined later by Jaron Lanier in 1987 during his intense research on this evolving technology. Companies are investing billions of dollars in the VR sector. Some of the best VR devices are- Oculus Quest 2, Playstation VR, Lenovo Mirage, Nintendo VR kit and others. The potential of VR does not stop at gaming only. It is revolutionizing several other industries like education, military, medicine and sports to name a few. Facebook is coming up with a new idea called Facebook Horizon which is an ever expanding VR community where we can explore play and create. It helps you to defy physics and reality and knowledge the impossible. The VR 360 is a 360 degree audio visual stimulation. It allows the user to look around at any direction like reality. We can now enjoy everything right at sitting at home. Steven Spielberg’s movie Ready Player I, 2018 is a great fit for the discussion of VR. The movie is about within the year 2045 when the earth is on the brink of chaos and collapse, but people find salvation within the OASIS: an expansive virtual reality universe.
Augmented reality (AR) is the real-time use of data within the sort of text, graphics, audio, and other virtual enhancements integrated with real-world objects. It is a technology that projects computer-generated augmentations on top of reality, helping to perform tasks better and efficiently. Augmented Reality which falls in between reality and virtual reality is a method used to render real-world data and present it intuitively so that virtual elements can resemble the present reality to some extent. Xerox even uses augmented reality to connect field engineers with experts back in the office- this increases their efficiency by 20% and their first time fixed rates by 67%, leading to the customer satisfaction rates rising to 95%. By 2025, augmented reality will be a $110 billion industry. Retailers know that 40% of customers will pay more for a product they can experience in augmented reality and 61% of shoppers prefer to shop at stores that offer augmented reality experiences. In fact, 71% of shoppers will shop more often at stores that offer extended reality. Online shoppers now use XR to download holograms of furniture and others and show them in their real homes. Applications like Pokemon Go, Snapchat, and others bring Augmented Reality into the mainstream.
Extended Reality is the ability to explore imaginary worlds as if you’re actually there and convincingly share parts of these worlds in the real world. Put on a virtual headset and the world disappears as you see a completely new one or use augmented reality to bring characters or objects into the real world. The places you have a visit and the things you see are digital creations. Your mind convinces you that they exist. This level of realism or emergence enables us to experience things in a way that was never possible before.