Updated: Mar 16
You’ve probably heard at least one of these acronyms floating around your office lately but what do they mean and how are they different? In this blog post I will explain VR, AR, MR, and 360 Videos and what each of those acronyms means, how they are different, how they are being used now and how they will be used in the future.
At this point you have probably seen a few 360 videos on social media, but if not check out this video we made for the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario. (https://youtu.be/jb-vbvEynhg) Unlike regular videos, 360 videos allow you to look around in every direction. This means that you can take in a whole scene as if you were actually there.
A good example of 360 video usage can be seen with Niagara Falls Tourism (https://www.niagarafallstourism.com/vr/) and other tourism boards. They have been able to use 360 video to capture the tourist attractions they are trying to promote and then immerse potential tourists, tour guides, and travel agents in the attraction. Because of the increased control and immersiveness people have in 360 videos, companies have seen an increase of 46% in views and other video interactions. (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/advertising-channels/video/360-video-advertising/).
With that being said, the quality of 360 videos is still behind regular videos. This is because 360 videos put together multiple regular videos into a sphere and then zoom in on a part of that sphere to create the 360 effect. To solve this problem there are higher quality cameras continuously coming to market that capture much sharper images. Once 360 videos hit a level of quality on par with regular videos today then the 360 video trend may become widely adopted. We are already seeing 360 cameras at sporting and entertainment events being used to live-stream to viewers at home. Beyond entertainment, 360 videos will also be used more widely to capture different work environments so that new employees and investors can quickly picture where they will soon be working or what they are investing in.
Although 360 video can capture a live environment it is limited in the amount of interaction someone can have in that environment. If you want to do anything more than looking around you need to recreate that environment in VR. So, what is VR? VR or virtual reality is a completely virtual world that separates the user from the real world. These worlds are created through 3D modeling and game development software. Like in 360 videos, you can look around and experience what a new environment is like. Unlike 360, you are able to walk around in the virtual-world and actually interact with objects through the use of controllers. In a good virtual world the whole environment and all the items in it react just as they would in real life. This allows for the people in the world to feel as immersed as possible.
VR has seen success in entertainment, workplace training and in research. As an example Brock University is constructing a VR Sensory Lab for consumer behaviour testing. One of the functions of the lab will be to recreate retail stores like the LCBO for consumers to walk through and test how they react to specific changes. This kind of lab saves researchers time and money in regards to having to rebuild or close a retail store for consumer testing. Because of the tracking capabilities of VR, a researcher is also able to collect better data to support their findings.
In the future the quality of VR simulations will only continue to increase, as the software and hardware capabilities increase with it. As new VR accessories are released we will also see more immersive simulations because of the enhancement of full body tracking and simulating other factors like temperature and smell.
VR may be great for training and fully immersive experiences but AR or augmented reality is the go-to when interacting with the real-world. AR puts a layer of the virtual-world on top of the real-world. To understand the idea of AR imagine putting together a new piece of furniture and instead of having to look at the instructions every 30 seconds they are floating on the right-side of your glasses. This may seem like a simple use case, but the applications of AR stem much farther than that. Picture having the same helpful instruction sheet but you are installing a complicated electrical unit into a million dollar device for your company. If you needed additional assistance you could contact a superior technician via video call providing them with your exact field of view providing a much better communication method to more efficiently solve the problem. Other use cases include augmented product demos allowing a potential buyer to view a product in-home prior to purchasing. Advertisement companies have also started incorporating AR pop-ups in news papers and billboards.
Even though these uses are great I believe that as AR grows it will eventually move towards mixed reality or MR.
So, what is MR? MR is similar to AR as it is putting a layer of the virtual-world on top of the real-world. The only difference is MR objects react to the real-world just like they would if they were real. This means that you could drop a virtual bouncy ball and it would bounce just like a real one would. Or you could put the same ball on a table and by swiping your hand across it, the ball would roll off of the table as if it had real-world physics.
This becomes useful when you want to see exactly how pipes are supposed to be put in at a new construction site and how those pipes would react if you were to change their positioning a little bit one-way or another. At the moment MR is being used for many entertainment ideas, bringing your real-world workstation into the virtual-world and helping people better understand paper blueprints when they can be mixed over top of the real world.
In the future I can see a majority of people having MR glasses that do everything from give you heads up directions while driving, to instructions on how to repair your car, to eventually replacing all the screens and pictures in our world.
For more questions and to see how any of these concepts may affect your business in the future please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more video tips and tricks please check out: https://bitdownloader.com/blog/best-video-statistics-marketing