Modern mobile apps leverage multiple cutting-edge technologies to deliver a fantastic experience to the end user. Two of these technologies you may have heard of are Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). While the two applications seem similar, they have vastly different applications in the mobile app world.
A good app developer will have expertise in at least one of those technologies, as well as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), and more.
VR is a simulated experience that replaces the real world with a virtual one. Typically, VR hardware covers our vision with a special screen that uses graphics to create a convincing illusion for the brain.
Although you can buy an expensive headset to experience VR like a Meta Quest, HTC VIVE, or PlayStation VR, you can also use your mobile device as a VR headset with special add-ons. For example, the Samsung Gear VR carries an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and proximity sensors and uses a Samsung smartphone to derive content.
This is where mobile app developers with expertise in mobile VR come in. They can craft native apps or web apps that offer VR experiences.
Applications of Mobile VR
- Movies: The catalog of VR movies is growing. You can stream these through platforms like YouTube with special VR apps that take advantage of your phone’s hardware and software to create a virtual setting.
- Games: Some VR apps allow mobile gamers to experience popular games in virtual reality.
- Therapy: Several apps offer therapeutic VR experiences. For example, they allow users to paint in virtual reality or travel to far-off destinations virtually. Many facilities use VR to help seniors reminisce and improve brain health.
- Real Estate: Interestingly, the real estate industry has also adopted VR. During the COVID-19 pandemic, homebuyers and home sellers struggled to meet due to lockdown orders. Here, enterprising developers capitalized on the market need by creating VR experiences that allowed buyers to tour properties unseen.
Like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality also enhances our visuals. But unlike VR, it doesn’t replace our vision. Instead, it augments it with graphics.
AR caught everyone’s imagination after the success of Pokémon Go.
The mobile AR game had players hunt for pocket monsters hidden throughout the real world. Gamers saw these pocked monsters in their surroundings through their mobile phone screens.
Since then, investment in AR has skyrocketed. In fact, companies such as Snapchat, Facebook, and Apple have significantly boosted their investment in AR technology. Experts say AR could scale from $1 billion to $1 trillion market cap by 2030.
Of course, AR isn’t only for games. The technology powers sophisticated filters on Snapchat, photography and editing tools, sports apps that offer users unique perspectives, and even neurosurgery training applications.
Another popular application of AR is in the home decoration industry, where users can use AR to impose virtual products over physical objects at home to see how they look before making a purchasing decision.
VR and AR are both exciting technologies that power mobile apps from different industries. With investment in VR and AR apps increasing, we expect to see more exciting and unique software in the future.