Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are Power Tools for Telling Stories
June 12, 2020
Improve learning, bring distant world experiences, both real and imaginary, into your hands and brain with Virtual and Augmented Reality.
Virtual Reality (VR) is powerful because it enables us to feel physically immersed in realities we could never otherwise experience. This visceral sensation of believing that we’re somewhere else is called ‘presence’. It opens up new possibilities for storytelling, deeper ways of understanding ideas and experiences.
Augmented Reality (AR) experiences are powerful because they keep you in the real world but alter that environment in unique ways. The choice of which technology to use depends on your objectives and your audience.
VR and AR are already being successfully deployed for remote training and education, for image modeling, therapy and tourism. They can also bring you to a museum exhibition, place you at a historic event or an archeological site, immerse you in a theatrical production, take you to a vision of a future park or cityscape, or a dreamscape.
Producers, directors and artists interested in how to tell these kinds of stories and make art in VR have already learned some techniques and considerations to keep in mind.
One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is: Virtual or Augmented Reality, which technology to choose? The answer is always: It depends on the experience you want to offer.
Slip on a VR headset and you’re suddenly transported to a virtual place that feels as real as the physical space you’re in. That’s called presence. When the experience is over you can feel as if you’ve physically participated in the virtual world, and that memory can last for months. In part that’s because you have agency to direct your gaze and see everything that’s happening around you in every direction.
Pick up an Augmented Reality enabled mobile device and suddenly you can see people and objects in your physical space that aren’t actually there. Yet you can move up to them and around them – you can interact with them as if they were real. And you can interact with sounds too, just as you would in real life – moving toward them to hear them more clearly, or away from them until they disappear. This mix of real and virtual is informative, uncanny, and captivating.
The primary differences between the two technologies are that VR is immersive but isolating (though that will change). AR, or MR (Mixed Reality), on the other hand, locates people firmly in the real world where they can share information and reactions and reveal things they can’t see, but it’s not as visceral an experience.