While ?virtual reality? (VR) was touted as the next big thing in the tech world, the ?augmented reality? (AR) just crashed the party in a spectacular fashion. Thanks to Nintendo?s Pok?mon GO, AR is set to become the numero uno technology. Not to forget, this game has catapulted the gaming industry within a week from its launch. In this post, we have compared AR vs. VR, and explained why the former has an advantage.
With the astounding popularity amassed in a short period, one would think this game would be placed somewhere in the Top 5 of the app rankings. But, guess what, portal?Inverse, citing?SensorTower, says Pok?mon GO has already trumped other apps and it is comfortably sitting at the No. 1 spot in the app store.
What is AR?
The textbook?definition is that the augmented reality, also known as mediated reality, is a place where the reality is modified by a computer with the help of sensory inputs like visuals, audio, graphics or GPS data.
How is AR Different from VR?
With AR, gamers? current perception of reality gets enhanced. The VR technology, on the other hand, substitutes the ?real world? with a ?simulated one.?
AR vs. VR: Key Differentiating Factors
All of a sudden, the entire world is talking about AR-based Pok?mon GO. So what is so special about Pokemon Go? After all, there are many augmented reality games and virtual reality headsets that work in tandem with high-end devices available in the market. The answer is four-fold:
- Curiosity factor — as the whole world is going gaga over it.
- It brings the 1990s alive with the retro-styled game.
- The obvious point: It?s very social and doesn?t isolate the gamer from the real world.
So far, very few companies have been able to bring out a wholesome product with AR in tow. When it comes to VR, many companies tried to show off the new technology with the help of various gadgets.
For instance, the Google Glass is the first one to show off what is possible in the VR world. Following this, Microsoft demoed HoloLens. When the final shippable product came out, it was good and promising. But the expectations surrounding the VR technology had double-folded by then, and the new gadgets could not live up to them.
To crash the VR hope further, the VR-focused devices cost an arm and a leg. For instance, the popular Oculus Rift comes for $600, while the HTC Vive will set the buyers back by $800. In addition, VR users will also need a compatible system which will cost about $1,000 to get a glimpse of the virtual reality.
Some might argue that virtual reality is a new technology and hence, the price is justified. However, OEMs had marketed way too much to raise the expectations of tech enthusiasts only to crash it later by releasing an ?evolving device.?
This is where Nintendo made an impact. With the augmented reality-based Pok?mon GO, Nintendo showed the world that futuristic technology like AR need not rely on a seriously-bad-looking headset. Instead, a decent smartphone would do the job. Not to forget,?Pew Research says ?two thirds of Americans? own a handset. This also says why the clever folks at Nintendo didn?t create a VR-based Pok?mon GO.
Meanwhile, the portal Inverse pointed out an important aspect?of?networking and social life, which might have ultimately led to the success of Pok?mon GO. Gamers/Players in virtual reality are detached from the ?real world,? where people hang out with friends and family, to a separate ?VR world.?
Pok?mon GO, on the other hand, allows people from an individual?s social group and also outsiders to play the game together. This is precisely where VR failed and AR gained. We live in a connected world, where social life and sharing have become basic needs. For instance, a?report filed by United Nations University infamously said more Indians have access to cellphones than toilets. Needless to say, Nintendo got it right.