Virtual Reality can be defined as a 3D image or environment created by computer or special electronic equipment that can be interacted by the users. Virtual reality hardware includes electronic glass, helmet that have screen that portrays the image as well as sounds and also interactive gloves.
Augmented reality can be defined as technology that underlays a computer generated image and information on a user’s view of the reality and therefore providing an alternative view of the real world that is assisted by the underlay of computer generated information. Even though the virtual reality technology and augmented reality technology is not something new, the past couple of years have shown that the environment for this kind of technology is starting to rise rapidly.
The infrastructure to support this technology has finally arrived and we will see a lot of new apps will be developed to support this upcoming platform.
According to Digi-Capital, the augmented reality market is expected to generate up to $120 billion in revenue by 2020 compared to just $30 billion for the virtual reality market. In virtual reality hardware, the three main players are Samsung, Oculus and HTC. Samsung with its popular Samsung Gear VR, Oculus with its Oculus Rift and HTC with its HTC Vive is all set to clash head on for a piece of the market in 2016.
Since Facebook have bought Oculus VR for $2 Billion last year, it shows that the virtual reality hardware market will get more and more intense. However, Samsung Gear VR will also have its advantages as the hardware can be paired with its Samsung mobile devices such as Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Samsung Gear VR also have a much more competitive price compared to the other virtual reality hardware gear.
In terms of the Augmented reality area, the war for market share is more towards the software and applications. Augmented reality is basically the idea of combining reality with digital images or digital information overlaying in one single perspective. Some of the top players in the Augmented Reality application development is Qualcomm, Layar, Aurasma and even Microsoft. Another very secretive startup called Magic Leap is also set to become a prominent player in the Augmented Reality world. It even have a large investment of $542 million from Google last year.
We can only see more and more innovation will come out from this ‘reality’ war and benefits the end user. As the user base Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality increases, there will also be an increase of demands for these type of technology. This demand can come from innovative applications that is based on AR and VR and can range from film, advertising, consumer apps and much more.