The significant advances made by technology have ensured that terms such as virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR), are gradually becoming an integral part of our day-to-day vocabulary. No doubt, both these innovations have revolutionized the way we live and think. But, with a very fine line separating these two terms, it can be confusing to distinguish between them.
Difference Between VR and AR
Simply put, VR is a fully immersive experience wherein there is no interaction with the physical world around us. In VR, the user interacts with a variety of computer-generated 3-D images in a realistic manner (with the help of a headset or gloves, or a combination of the two). VR experiences tend to be isolating as they literally cut you off from the real world. Video games are a classic example of VR in use.
Meanwhile, AR makes use of actual objects and existing reality to come up with computer-generated images. It combines the virtual and real world by replacing real features with virtual ones. These virtual features are usually in the form of 3-D models or videos. AR can be designed and used in different ways. Smart phones, tablets, PCs, and headsets can all be utilized for AR experiences. The popular app Pokemon Go is an excellent example of AR in use as is Google Glass.
AR in Interior Design
While AR has been used in fields such as gaming and education, it is now gaining popularity in areas such as architecture, real estate, and interior design. Projects using AR experiences to stimulate students and curious minds to learn have garnered significant success across the world. Similarly, interior design is no exception and those in this field have been quick to adopt the technology to enhance user experiences.
Here are some reasons why AR technology is poised to be the future of design:
1.) Empowering With Choices
Picking the right kind of furniture for your home or office can be a daunting task. AR in interior design gives you a range of options and the power to choose what you want with ease. Designers are now offering interactive tools that give you the option of picking all you want to include with just the click of a button. Thus, you can now visualize how a certain color of paint or specific furnishings will look in the room before you actually buy them. This method helps prevent wastage of time, money, and resources. For instance, Loop Phone Booths let you build your own customized privacy booth to suit specific requirements. The customizer tool gives you a choice of exterior and interior finishes to design a stylish pod that seamlessly blends in with your space. You can pick the color for the exterior and interior walls, the material for the seat, the number of USB or power outlets that you want, and so on.
2.) Real-Life Visualization
There is nothing like being able to visualize your room or office as it will appear when the design is implemented. It eliminates the need to imagine things as they might be and instead gives a clear picture of how things will be. Far more effective and realistic than digital renderings or drawings, getting clients to see and approve designs before actually implementing the project will simplify things manifold all round. AR in interior design will also prove invaluable when working with a client who is unable to make up their mind or someone who has no clue as to what they want.
3.) Easy Accessibility and Reach
With AR, it is not necessary for the designer to seek out their client personally each time something comes up for discussion. Irrespective of where the client or the designer are physically located, they can access the interactive tool on their device to propose or approve changes to an existing design. This does away with the need for repeated phone calls or a volley of emails to get the point across.
The competence of AR in facilitating this level of customer service is largely why it will continue to consolidate its position as an asset in design arena over. Given the rate at which technology is advancing, this seems to be just the beginning of what AR can achieve. As AR devices also become more powerful, user experiences are set to become much more in-depth and accessible.