Augmented Reality

Why Augmented Reality (AR) May Ultimately Outstrip its Virtual Counterpart

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If you were to believe everything that you read, you could be forgiven for thinking that virtual reality (VR) was set to take over the world during the next decade. While it may be true to say that 2017 is set to be a seminal year for the technology, there is an argument that its potential dominance in the worlds of gaming and entertainment has been grossly exaggerated by experts.

Whisper it quietly, but it may not even emerge as the dominant technology within its own sector in the years ahead. In fact, there are data sets which suggest that its near-term growth is likely to be outstripped by augmented reality (AR) between now and 2020, while the latter has already begun to enhance certain gaming and overarching, entertainment experiences.


The many form-factors of smartphones and tablets


In Real Terms, Why Might AR Supersede VR in the Years to Come?

In factual terms, there are subtle but ultimately decisive differences between AR and the lauded, VR alternative. While they are essentially variations of the same, underlying technology, AR combines elements of the virtual and corporeal worlds within a single space, creating an environment where individuals can interact with both fabricated and real-world contents simultaneously. In contrast, VR offers an entirely fabricated realm that visitors can explore and interact with, creating a greater scope for developers but less well-defined applications.

This offers us an insight into the greater accessibility boasted by AR, which has already been applied to revolutionise online gaming experiences such as Minecraft. By offering a tactile experience to players, it has elevated the game to a brand new level, while leveraging relatively accessible and affordable technology that appeals to both developers and gamers alike. This instantly earmarks AR as a potential growth vehicle, and one that has more tangible and relevant value than VR in the current market.

So how does this translate into growth and profitability? In sheer numerical terms, the AR market is expected to outstrip the virtual alternative by a staggering $90 billion by the year 2020, which is quite incredible when you consider the media coverage that is afforded to each concept. It reflects that basic fact that AR represents less of a leap for game designers and customers, while from a wider market perspective it is fair to say that the technology enables images to be integrated with the physical world and offers far greater relevance outside of the gaming industry.


Augmented Reality


The Near-term Future for AR and VR

While VR has immense potential and may ultimately have a greater impact on niches such as gaming and entertainment (and while it may enjoy a breakthrough year in 2017) for now there remains a noticeable disconnect between theory and practical application. In contrast, AR already adds tangible valuable to immersive gaming experiences, while it also has a wider range of near-term applications including education, enterprise, e-commerce and more. This is reflected by its projected growth through to 2020, which supersedes the numbers forecast for VR and hint at the natural advantages that drive AR in the current technological climate.

While VR may have taken the technology market by storm in 2016, augmented reality appears to have slipped silently under radar. Make no mistake; however, augmented reality has many potential applications for your business, and at we can help you to understand these in further detail.

With this in mind, why not give a call today to find our more?

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