The Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality Battle Will Be Won By Content

Being with so many leaders and experts in the AR and VR at Augmented World Expo, it’s hard not to imagine an amazing future for the industry .  Many people have asked me where I see the industry going, and though this is by no means comprehensive, here are a few thoughts.

1. AR and VR are here to stay

Oh it’s just a fad. No one wants to walk around with a device on their head.

The rise of new technologies always brings the naysayers. Many of us remember the days we were told that we would never walk around with a calculator in our pockets, let alone a mini computer. Mobile phones put that myth to rest, and smart phones solidified the opposite.

The same things are being said about AR and VR. However, the numbers speak differently. Though the numbers themselves vary, most reputable sources predict the market to reach the BILLIONS, in less than five years.  We’ve already seen the big players like Google and Microsoft in the game, but just this month, we’ve seen Apple and Intel join with their acquisitions of Metaio and Recon, respectively.  With all this money rolling around, and actually useful products coming out, AR and VR are here to stay.

Augmented_virtual_reality  Image from Digi-Capital

2. It will not be a war between AR and VR.

Articles keep proliferating the idea of AR and VR being at opposite ends of the spectrum, soon to charging headfirst into each other, with one coming out as the victor. From a technical standpoint, this is not true, as both are very intertwined in their conception and implementation; and from an industry standpoint, it’s just as untrue, if not more. 

At their core, AR and VR in terms of industry are both visualization tools. They are compliments rather than opposing ends. The experiences that will win out are the ones that continually engage consumers, both in the immersive world, and in the real world.

Both technologies have benefits and shortcomings, and in the end, what it really becomes is a battle of content.

3. Content is King

Just ask Google with it’s introduction of Jump. For the masses, what makes AR and VR cool isn’t so much the technology, but the content. Few people can tell the difference between computer vision recognition and tracking technology, but throw in an awesome 3D and/or immersive demo, and they’re sold. The better demo is the “better technology. For those coming from the tech side of the industry, it’s sometimes a sad truth, but it’s also opening the gateway for some really cool content and content creation tools.

As AR and VR advance, we’re going to start seeing simultaneous advances in 360 panoramic photos, 3D environments, and so much more— which will also translate to advances in cameras and content software (think Autodesk, Adobe etc). Youtube and video were just the start. Creating cool content is going to become so simple that you’ll one day be able to create an accurate 3D model of your room, or yourself, with a single button soon.

So What Does This Mean For Augmented Pixels?

Better yet, what does this mean for you, our clients?

We realize that for most real estate agencies and developers, getting budget for the use of new technologies like AR and VR can be difficult.  It’s a new technology, and new technologies can become obsolete in years, even months. However, we are confident that AR and VR are here to stay, and the movements in the tech world are all supporting that.

After the initial acceptance of the technology, the largest barrier to AR and VR is the cost of content. However, as the technologies for content creation improve, so will the availability of great content, in turn lowering the costs. We are already seeing that with the improvements on 360 picture technology. Add in the rise of better 3D content creation tools and the content cost will be driven down even further.

Great content is at the core of our service.  The improvement on 360 technologies alone has allowed us to make our real estate visualization solution more interactive, at a lower cost, and on  a shorter timeline. Our goal of having a useful immersive VR and interactive AR experience be within every real estate agency and developer’s budget is fast approaching reality.

Of course, there’s so much more to talk about, and this barely scratches the surface of what is at stake. Nonetheless, we’re all in for quite a ride.

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