Things which were a figment of imagination or a part of sci-fi movies are a reality today. The result of one such technological boom is Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Recently, Corbin Ball ascertained that they are the major game changers in the events industry. In this blog, I will discuss how AR and VR can make any event stand-out from the rest.
Before we delve deeper into exploring AR features for event apps, let me outline the basic difference between these two forms of altered reality- an umbrella term used for an altered experience of reality.
Tech Insight-Augmented Reality
As mentioned before, AR is different from VR although these both fall under ‘altered reality’. AR is an experience which adds elements like graphics, sound, and video to the view of reality. In essence, it builds an alternative feel of a real-time setting.
Speaking from the point of view of events planners, It offers different opportunities for the participating brands- right from entertainment and attendee engagement to knowledge about companies or services.
A good execution of this is in the automobile industry. For example, Using AR at a trade-show, exhibitors can augment their products and give the exact look and feel of a showroom. Of course, without incurring the huge transportation and handling costs, AR features in the app makes life easy!
Also, another advantage is that AR can help in showcasing things that are otherwise impossible to show- Sound waves coming out of speakers is a great marketing material for a sound solutions company. It is a well-established fact event booths that have such innovative features at their stalls, attract the most number of visitors, in turn, increasing the ROI.
Tech Insight-Virtual Reality
The main difference between VR and AR is the nature of alteration that both can achieve. While AR augments/increases the value of the reality, through VR, one can achieve a fascinating and completely artificial environment. It allows event planners to make mesmerizing, completely artificial and engaging set-ups for the audience.
VR compatible headsets are ideally the only additional investment that planners need to make in order to provide this experience at their meets. VR gamification is a very popular use of the virtual reality technology.
3 Popular ways of using AR at events
1. Wearable Augmented Reality- It is one of the most popular means of incorporating AR in any event. HoloLens by Microsoft is the most popular headset. The difference between an AR headset and VR headset (eg-Oculus Rift) is that, with the former, the person is still connected to the actual reality. According to Brent Turner, senior VP of Cramer, it provides the best feel of AR where the hands are free and it works even when the people are moving around the venue.
2. Device Augmented Reality- As the name suggests, this AR is achieved via a tablet or a device. Pokémon Go is one of the best examples of this kind. The main advantage is that it removes the cost of hiring AR headsets and operated perfectly through personal devices.
3. Mirror-based Augmented Reality- Using this type of AR, one can see a reflection of the self on a screen and add imagery or content on top of it. The retail industry is the biggest segment utilizing this to provide real-time results to their customers. For example, salons use it to show how a particular hair color will look or a dress supplier shows how a dress will fit! At any event, mirror AR can be done on a big screen or small scale inside the booth.
Summary: With immense growth in technology, it is touching upon the core aspects of our lives. AR and VR are two very popular technologies used at events. The former gives an augmented view of the reality while the latter can create a completely virtual set-up. The most popular ways of using AR are- using headsets, device-based AR systems like Pokémon Go and mirror-based AR.
Author Bio – A systems engineer by education, Kevin is an extremely engaging conversationalist. He specializes in chatbot development strategies. He works with event2mobile and plans and implements new event technology.