Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality

Virtual reality is a form of technology which creates computer generated worlds or immersive environments which people can explore and in many cases, interact with. It refers to a high-end user interface that involves real-time simulation and interactions through multiple sensorial channels. Virtual Reality is often used to describe a wide variety of applications, commonly associated with its immersive, highly visual, 3D environments. The development of CAD software, graphics hardware acceleration, head mounted displays; database gloves and miniaturization have helped popularize the concept. Born of technology, virtual reality at its core is an organic experience. Yes, it’s man meets machine, but what happens is strictly within the mind.

Augmented reality is a similar form of technology in which the lines are blurred between the real world and computer generated imagery, e.g. video. Sound, video or images are overlaid onto a real world environment in order to enhance the user experience. On the spectrum between virtual reality, which creates immersive, computer-generated environments, and the real world, augmented reality is closer to the real world. Augmented reality adds graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists. Both video games and cell phones are driving the development of augmented reality. Augmented reality is changing the way we view the world - or at least the way its users see the world.

Global dedicated devices augmented reality market is expected to reach $659.98 million by 2018, whereas the immersive virtual reality market is expected to reach $407.51 million by 2018. The major driving forces of augmented reality technology and virtual reality are the advancement and in computer technology and internet connectivity. The major companies included which offer AR & VR technology in various applications are Total immersion (France), Qualcomm Inc. (USA), Metaio GmBH (Germany), Vuzix Corporation (USA), Layar B.V (The Netherlands), Wikitude GmBH (Austria) and so on.

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