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Virtual Reality VS Augmented Reality

When it comes to making use of immersive media in your company’s marketing, recruiting or training efforts, there are two key options which deserve consideration. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).

It can be difficult for a business to fully get to grips with what exactly VR and AR is and what the differences between them are. We’ve put together this brief guide to summarize key characteristics as well as advantages and disadvantages of each, allowing you to get a clearer picture of how and why your business could benefit from immersive technology.

What is Virtual Reality?

Taking a very basic definition of VR, it would come out as something like this:

“a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real way by a person using special electronic equipment.”

While not a bad start, it certainly doesn’t do justice to the power VR has to convey the most amazing narratives to a completely captivated audience.  There are studies like this one that show that 51% of adults said they would be more likely to purchase from a brand that sponsors VR, as well as this study that shows that triage training delivered in VR was comparable to a live simulation scenario. Something that takes a lot more time, effort, money and resources which can now be done routinely with VR.

But what can VR look like for your companies needs?

Virtual Reality

The Advantages of Virtual Reality

If a company comes to us to look at putting together a VR Marketing project, there really is no limit to the way we can transform a space into the exact environment you are looking to invite your audience into.

Are you a medical company looking to convince people of the merits of a new emergency transport method? We can create a full simulation that people can sit through as if they themselves were on the emergency vehicle.

What about a sports team who want to kick off a new endorsement partnership by having fans take part in playing alongside your stars? We can help them step into a training session alongside the best players in the game.

Working with a highly-skilled and experienced immersive tech company – like ourselves here at Laduma – allows you to get the absolute most from your budget and timescale in terms of creating a VR environment that grabs attention and sets you apart from the competition.

There are no end to the different applications that virtual reality can help to elevate, whether you’re looking to launch a product, introduce a service, raise awareness on a vital issue, convince investors to move forward on a project, recruit people to join your staff team, or train existing staff.

But let us let you in on a little secret, that’s only scratching the surface of the way in which VR content can benefit your company, so we’d be happy to talk you through any of these options or even discuss your own original ideas in more detail if you’re looking to move forward with an exciting VR project.

The Disadvantages of Virtual Reality

We’re obviously pretty big proponents of the benefits of virtual reality, but if we had to point out its weaknesses, particularly in comparison to augmented reality, then we would look at issues like:

  • There can sometimes be a significant upfront cost involved, although as we mentioned, we can work with you to ensure that you get the absolute most for your budget and timescale. These costs often translate directly into results though, whether that be increased sales as a direct result of a VR marketing campaign, or the long term cost reduction of moving training to a VR based system. Cutting down on things like time, costs of hiring venues and buying resources as well as the potential risk aversion of putting people in dangerous situations.
  • If there are headsets involved, it can limit the number of audience participants who can take part at any one time, but we can help you plan for this depending on the size of your event. However, with our fantastic CaVRn, we have the ability to create social VR experiences.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

What is Augmented Reality?

If we again look at the most basic definition, we can see that Augmented Reality is:

“a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image onto a user’s view of the real world, with the two providing a composite view.”

What this means, in short, is that we can create a visual environment that interacts directly with the real-world, with the ‘artificial’ environment overlaid on top of a user’s surroundings.

The most famous recent example of this would be the phenomenon that was Pokemon Go, with millions of users stepping out into their local surroundings, accompanied by their smartphone, and then ‘catching’ different Pokemon creatures through their phone screen but overlaid on top of real-life surroundings such as streets, parks and shopping centres.

Augmented Reality

The Advantages of Augmented Reality

The main advantages of augmented reality come in its ability to combine highly-engaging and immersive experiences with really flexible use. The fact that you can use something as small, lightweight and widely available as a smartphone to produce an immersive media experience that engages millions is testament to the power of AR.

Augmented reality options can be as ‘simple’ as an Instagram filter built around your company’s brand, products, services or notable endorsers, right up to an entire augmented world – similar to Pokemon Go – which users can experience anywhere.

Whether it’s a room full of people at a conference or sales expo, or it’s thousands of users in different locations around the world, there’s a host of ways in which augmented reality can be applied, with our AR projects spanning industries such as medicine, sports, film and more. Augmented Reality has had direct impacts for massive companies in a whole host of different sectors as can be seen in the info-graphic below.

Global brand AR successes

The Disadvantages of Augmented Reality

Again, we’re big fans of the potential of AR when it is implemented well, but potential drawbacks of the technology can include:

The quality of the augmented reality experience is somewhat dependent on the individual user’s device, so there are both benefits and drawbacks to putting the experience in the hands of the user, as opposed to using VR at an event where you control the quality.

The cost can be significant if you’re looking at creating an entire world experience, but equally, it can be fairly low-cost if you want a fun and simple AR filter. Either way, working with a high-quality immersive technology agency such as ourselves ensures that you get the absolute most for your money.

Conclusion

We hope that this relatively short overview has been useful in giving you a picture of how these different immersive media solutions could work for you, and possibly giving you an insight on whether VR marketing or AR marketing would work best for your needs.

If you’re ready to discuss your project requirements further, our team would love to speak to you today about exactly what we can offer and be to put some ideas together on what your design could involve.