There are two major halves to spatial computing – augmented reality, and virtual reality. Virtual reality is a world experienced entirely in the digital space. Today this has meant, in practice, gaming experiences. People are able to be entirely engrossed in the game in a way that simply wasn’t possible before. Year after year this has become a more and more advanced concept.
Yet VR isn’t just used for play anymore, today being a major avenue for pilots to practice flying, for example. While the concept was tried out decades ago, only today has it really become something useful as well as interesting. Augmented reality, or AR, has followed a somewhat different path.
Augmented reality is the practice of integrating the digital world into the real world. Google glass and other glasses that display digital graphics are obvious examples. Yet AR has been progressing extremely quickly. Art museums displaying AR art exhibits, surgeons using AR for exact locations, and teachers using AR for interesting lessons.
AR, due to its cheaper and wider range of uses, is predicted to have 1.4 billion devices by 2024. In contrast to the struggle to make VR usable, AR has found niche applications quickly and broadly. These two forms of spatial computing aren’t entirely separate though. Mixed reality representing the combination of the two, digital reality interacting with physical reality. Technology continues to become a bigger part of the human experience year after year, and slowly the distinction is fading. This is the power of spatial computing today.