Friday, July 22, 2016

AR and VR Adventures

Today on the blog I am going to be comparing apples and oranges. While this is not always advisable, I am still doing it anyway. Recently, I shared with you the products of my work in Tilt Brush, the VR (Virtual Reality) painting program from Google. For the last couple of weeks I have been playing around (a lot) with an AR (Augmented Reality) app for smart phones, Pokémon Go. While very different, they are examples of where the VR and AR technologies are heading. Here is a look at some of my experiences with Pokémon Go and a reminder of what I am doing with Tilt Brush...

Pokémon Go gives me a world full of monster.
Which is very much like the world I try to make for myself.

Tilt Brush allows me to make virtual 3D marks to paint a monstrous form in space.

Now for the apples and oranges. These are two very different experiences and these technologies are really in their infancies. Both offer up a lot of potential and they are going to change and evolve in ways we can not yet imagine. All that said, give me more AR! I know VR will be powerful and will provide experiences vastly different then AR, I really am happier and more inclined to use AR. The VR I am using is limited by the physical space we have in the room where all the expensive equipment is set up and the user is tethered to said equipment by a cord. I know this will change in time, that is a given, but for now, I really don't enjoy the isolation of the headset and the disconnected feeling from the environment around me.

The current, and limited, AR experience that Pokémon Go is VERY inviting to me. I already walk a lot so the fact that I can walk around and see, capture, and collect various monsters is a win/win for me. AR can and will provide so much more in the future, but this little taste leaves me wanting more. There are exciting things on the horizon for both VR and AR, but the glimpses of AR's future is really exciting. It has already been done with Pokémon Go, but using this app makes me want to make my own experience where you can go around and interact with my monsters in the real world. Not necessarily getting that same spark of creativity when I use the current VR system. Tilt Brush is a tool and I can create with it, but I don't feel like it is a gateway to world building. AR feels like it can lend itself to building fantasy worlds that will mesh with our own in a new and unique way.

Of course, right now my interaction with VR is as a creator and my interaction with AR is as a user. These provide very different experiences, one is work and one is play. This can greatly effect opinions, and I am aware of it. But I still really enjoy the idea of AR.

VR and AR are both going to be useful tools and will allow different and equally useful experiences, but I think people will lean toward one or the other. I see it happening already. I am very much in the AR camp while some of my coworkers have built homes in VR town. I look forward to seeing what the futures holds for both technologies, but as long as I can run around and catch monsters in the real world I will be AR's biggest fan.

Say what you will, the gamification of activity goes a long way and for me moving around in the real world is by far the preferred place to be.

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then..

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

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