Virtual and Augmented Reality

Submitted by Mark Ferro on Tue, 02/02/2016 - 10:33
Virtual and Augmented Reality | HTR

Technology continues to move full steam ahead in immersing users in alternate realities providing for an engrossing total environment. Video games were the pioneers that most people are probably familiar with. These were designed to give the user the experience of being in a different world through imagery and sound. Later, these video games included sensors in the game pads to provide feedback to the user. Today, it’s gotten even more immersive with current approaches. First, let’s explain the different types of technologies.

Types of Immersive Technologies

Augmented Reality (AR): is a live direct or indirect view of the real world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video or graphics. Essentially, the user sees a layer or screen of data that overlays the real world.

Virtual Reality (VR): the user is completely immersed in a computer-generated reality or virtual world.  VR artificially creates sensory experiences which can include sight, hearing, touch and smell.

Holographic: Like AR, holographic experiences deliver a mixed reality that lets you enjoy your digital life while staying more connected to the world around you, transforming the ways you create, connect and explore. Holograms appear life-like, and can move, be shaped, and change according to interaction with you or the physical environment in which they are visible.

This past year, major tech companies including Samsung, Oculus VR, Google and Microsoft have introduced different approaches to AR.

VR Player

Oculus Rift uses a headset tethered to a PC and the PC needs to be have specs similar to those found in a gaming PC. The headset houses a 2,160 x 1,200 pixel display, lenses, removable earphones with positional 3D audio and sensors to monitor motion tracking via an IR camera that sits on your desk. It also ships with an Xbox One controller. Outside of some basic motion, the Oculus doesn’t allow users to roam rooms freely. The Oculus is clearly focused on gaming at this time.

Google Cardboard is an inexpensive approach to VR as it uses a cardboard box fitted with glass lenses that houses your smartphone (Android or Apple). This approach means the experience is only as good as the phone you’re using. Now this isn’t meant to compete with other higher-end VR units like the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard is a great inexpensive way to introduce and share with people a VR experience.

How are companies using VR today?

We’ve worked with major media outlets who are introducing a new way to experience the news by incorporating VR news articles that are designed to give the users a more immersive experience in news stories.  For example, instead of reading a news article about war in the Middle East, imagine being immersed into the article through the use of VR that almost makes you feel like you are there.

We’ve also worked with marketing and branding companies who are promoting their client’s products and services by using VR to immerse their audience in the product or service. For example, a company sells vacation packages. Instead of reading about the island, connect using VR and be magically transported to the destination where you’re able to walk around the resort and take in the views.

Hartford Technology Rental Helps Create Augmented Reality

Are you interested in using augmented reality to showcase your products or services and don’t know where to begin?  Give Hartford Technology Rental a call today at 888-520-5667.  We’d be happy to share ideas we’ve been involved in and help make your idea and vision become a virtual reality.