Do we spend much time viewing screens? Yes, of course. In fact, social media and computers have become an important part of our life in this digital age. But today’s consumers want to step into the world that is way beyond the screen and explore the virtual world by leveraging AR/VR tools and technologies.
AR/VR technologies are there to enhance or replace the real-life environment with simulated ones. These technologies are increasingly becoming important in the digital world.
So, in this guide, you will get to know about types of AR/VR along with its development tools.
Table of Contents
What is AR/VR Technology?
The term augmented reality is derived from the word “augment,” which means to add or expand. Meanwhile, Augmented reality focuses on integrating digital information on top of the user’s physical surroundings in real time.
Instead of transporting the user to the virtual world, AR superimposes digital images in the real world. Anything with a tablet or smartphone can superimpose a computer-generated image into your reality. Think about Snapchat filters you can change or the Pokémon character dancing in your living room. That’s AR.
While Virtual reality completely creates an artificial environment where the real world is hidden, and the user is immersed in digital simulation wherein they can interact with different objects. Users require headsets and gloves to interact with the virtual world.
For Instance – Porshe provides Porshe VR experience to the prospects. Users can take a virtual ride in the latest car and experience the luxury interior, car finesse, and new features.
Types of VR
That said, Here are the 3 types of virtual reality-
1. Non-Immersive virtual reality
Non immersive virtual reality means that the user can control the character (avatar), but the users are not fully immersed in that environment. There is no direct interaction between the users and the virtual world. Here, the user can indirectly interact with the elements in a virtual environment, which is possible through a computer.
This category of virtual reality is used in everyday life. In the case of non-immersive virtual reality, the user relies on a video game console and keyboard devices such as a mouse, keyboard, controller, etc., to interact with such an environment.
For Instance – Various forms of gaming devices provide non-immersive reality experiences to the user, including computers, PlayStation, Xbox, etc.
2. Fully Immersive virtual Reality
Under Fully Immersive Virtual reality, users can feel the realistic simulation experience. In addition, Fully immersive VR is mainly used in the domain of gaming and entertainment. To experience this, users need head-mounted displays or virtual headsets.
This type of reality is completely different from non-immersive reality as the user is physically present in the virtual world to experience the events. It uses special equipment such as helmets, sensors, and gloves to track user’s movements.
Moreover, it is the most expensive form of virtual reality, but it is not widely available yet.
For Instance – In the Virtual Shooter Gaming zone, players will be equipped with special gears, and using that, they can interact with other players in the virtual environment. And, the user would see the game using a helmet, and his/her actions, such as running, jumping, and shooting, would be mirrored in the game.
3. Semi Immersive Virtual Reality
Semi-immersive virtual reality is somewhere between non-immersive and fully immersive virtual reality. With semi-immersive virtual reality, users can get a partial virtual experience. User can explore virtual environment using VR glasses. Here, you don’t have physical sensations to experience the virtual world.
A good example of this type of technology would be virtual tours wherein participants can roam around the place without being there physically.
Types of AR
That said, here are the different types of AR-
1. Marker-based AR
A marker recognizes your face or features of an object to display a certain kind of animation, video, or 3D model. In addition, the Marker must be unique. Any distinguishable feature can be Marker.
Marker-based AR highly depends on QR codes or images (marker) to generate interactive experiences. Here, the user scans the machine-readable code using a smartphone camera, and it activates visual effects.
For example – IKEA app allows users to preview the furniture before they end up making a purchase. It requires a user to use a smartphone to scan the environment, detect the flat surface and then adjust digital objects on the detected environment. Thus, IKEA is making use of Marker based AR technology.
2. Markerless AR
It does not require markers such as images or QR codes to produce visual effects. Instead, it displays content or animation through SLAM (Simultaneous localization and mapping) and places the virtual content on the top of physical view.
Marker-based AR would not work when you want to try clothes digitally and don’t want it to scan a QR marker at a specific height. Instead, you want the app to adapt to the location and provide an immersive experience.
For Instance – Stannah, an escalator company-developed visualization app, is helping potential customers preview how the virtual stairlifts would look in their house.
3. Projection-based AR
In Projection based AR, there is no need for smartphones or gadgets. Instead, one or two projection-based devices immerse light on flat surfaces. Additionally, Projection-based AR does not create fully immersive experiences.
Moreover, Projection based AR is mainly used for creating holograms. It aims to overlay AR content over real-life objects. Thus, users can view AR content without requiring head-mounted displays or AR-enabled devices.
4. Location-based AR
Location-based AR is popularly known as Geo-based AR. In addition, location-based AR uses geographic data to provide digital images at specific locations. It does not require scanning technologies like physical markers to produce digital effects.
These technologies use real-time tracking systems by identifying users’ current location and then transferring information to the technology.
For instance, – The Pokémon Go (geo-based app) allows the players to discover Pokémon in specific areas. Pokémon app can determine users’ location using GPS and deploy Pokémon in that area. Hence, users need not worry about scanning areas to get the digital content.
Popular VR Tools
Here are the popular VR tools-
Unity is a popular tool used for VR development, allowing developers to create games and provide immersive virtual reality experiences to the players. In addition, it is a cross-platform gaming tool compatible with various platforms, including mobile, PC, console, and web.
This platform offers high-fidelity graphics allowing the developers to create advanced VR applications that can work with various VR headsets, including PlayStation VR, oculus, Swift, etc.
Furthermore, this gaming engine allows developers to create robust games using drag-and-drop functionalities without handling much code.
It is a software tool developers can use to build animated effects, virtual reality applications, and visual effects. Moreover, it is an open-source platform that is available to the public. Moreover, this technology has unique capabilities, allowing developers to create 2D and 3D animations.
3. Unreal Engine
This VR tool allows the developers to create interactive, high-quality 3D content which involves games, simulations, and films. It offers extensive features, such as advanced lighting, physics lighting, etc., to provide immersive experiences to the user.
Subsequently, Unreal engine technology supports cross-platform compatibility allowing developers to create VR applications that work across multiple platforms, including PC, mobile, and console.
Popular AR Tools
Here are the popular AR tools-
It is a popular AR toolkit for developing AR applications for Android and IOS devices. If you want a platform that millions of developers have chosen to create AR experiences, then Vuforia is the go-to option for you.
Moreover, this AR tool offers image recognition capabilities by superimposing digital content on physical surroundings. For instance – Placing a robot in your living room.
Additionally, this platform offers free and paid versions for developers. The paid version of it is called Vuforia Studio.
2. Apple AR Kit
It was introduced in 2017, and Apple has been investing in developing AR kits for the last 5 years allowing developers to create AR applications for IOS, Watch OS, and Mac OS.
The Apple AR kit offers various features to create AR experiences, including light estimation, surface detection, etc. This AR tool exclusively depends on camera sensor data to analyze the user’s surroundings.
To access the AR kit, you must have an Apple Developer account.
So, here are some features that the Apple AR kit offers-
2D image detection tracking
Processes 2D and 3D images
Image and video capture improvements
Instant AR placement
It is another popular tool for developing AR applications. An Australian software development company launched it in the year 2008. Wikitude supports various platforms, including Android, IOS, and Unity.
Not only that, around 100 million users in more than 200 countries around the world used this AR development platform.
Like other AR tools, this platform offers extensive features, including geolocation, image tracking, object recognition, multiple trackers, cloud recognition and distance-based scaling features.
To Sum Up
So, you might get an idea about popular AR/VR tools you can use to make your business stand out from competitors. By leveraging AR/VR tools, your business can reach good heights. However, if you are confused about which AR/VR tool to use for your business, contact our AR/VR professionals now.
At BigOhTech, we have a dedicated set of AR/VR professionals with expertise in creating intelligent AR/VR applications using various platforms such as Unity, AR Core, Wikitude, etc. Not only that, but we have successfully handled 10+ AR/VR projects.
AR/VR devices refer to the head worn apparatus for experiencing the virtual world. In other words, AR/VR devices blend the virtual world with the real world to provide immersive experiences to the user. Examples of AR/VR devices include Oculus Quest, Samsung Gear VR, Microsoft HoloLens, google glass, etc.
Q2. Are there any free or open-source AR/VR tools available?
Here are the free or open-source AR/VR tools available, which are as given below- 1. Vuforia 2. Apple AR kit 3. Wikitude But these tools also provide paid versions.
Q3. What are the benefits of the Augmented Reality Development platform?
Augmented Reality Development platform offers various benefits- 1. These development platforms improve user engagement rate 2. It provides unforgettable experiences for the user 3. Businesses can attain a competitive advantage and can stand out from the crowd
Q4. How much do augmented reality development platforms cost?
The cost of an Augmented reality development platform depends on platform features. So, for developing advanced AR applications, the cost of hardware is expensive. Usually, the entry-level subscription price for the AR development platform starts at $100/month. In contrast, the cost of an advanced cloud-based platform starts at $500.