Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality vs 360 video
Virtual Reality is becoming a big buzz word these days. I thought I’d create a post this to clear up some misconceptions as to what it is and what it isn’t.
|Virtual Reality is immersing yourself into a new experience that you control. It’s a stereoscopic experience. You put on a pair of goggles, turn on a flying simulation, look around, see the sky, ground, etc. You’re also in control of the experience so you can dictate where you fly and what you do.|
|Augmented Reality is augmenting your current experience. Think Google Glass. Wear Google Glass and you can see a screen floating in the air in front of you.|
|360 video is non-stereoscopic Virtual Reality without control. Someone else records an experience with multiple video cameras in all directions. When playing back the video, you have the ability to look in all directions and no control over where you move.|
GoPro recently bought a company that provides VR experiences. In this case, GoPro’s VR experience is a video shot in every directions that you can replay. Currently, most of these videos are non-stereoscopic. They’re equivalent to going to a movie theater with a screen in every direction. It’s a good experience that would be better with 3D.
Earlier this year, Oculus seemed like the untouchable gorilla in the space and now other companies are chipping away at that expectation. Valves Vive HDM surprised a lot of people with experiences that are arguably better than the Oculus (so far). Both the Oculus CV1 and Valve Vive are expected to be released late in 2015 and we’ll see how those devices compare at that time.
A sleeper worth watching in this industry is CastAR. This seems to be the only Augmented Reality headset that has a product ready for the public to use. I demo’d CastAR in 2013 so I know it works. Other companies like Magic Leap say they have an AR experience. Could be Magic Leap is a ponzi scheme or the best AR we’ll see in a while, who knows. Lastly, earlier as this week Microsoft demonstrated their Hololens product. This is a cool video of it.