Ryan Andal, Technical Director, Partner, Secret Location; Keram Malicki-Sánchez, Executive Director, VRTO; and David Nalasco, Senior Technology Manager for Graphics, Radeon Technology Group at AMD, speak at Techweek Toronto Summit 2016 on how augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are evolving to rule the future. The session has been moderated by Alan Smithson, Co-founder and CEO, MetaVRse.
In simple terms, the panel defines augmented reality as “augmenting what you are looking at,” and virtual reality as “completely virtualizing what you are looking at.” Most of the tech companies have been incorporating virtual reality in video games. But, it has a much wider use to improve resolution, quality, and comfort. David feels that Facebook has acquired VR startup Oculus VR for $2B because it believes VR could be the next big thing after mobile. Keram is quite optimistic towards development of VR as a field and he claims it to be “highly addictive, powerful, and dangerous.” A case in point is Pokemon Go’s ability to surpass Twitter within the first week of its launch.
At present, VR firms are encountering issues around content creation and distribution. Karem highlights that AMD and Nvidia is currently in a healthy competition, which has led to the creation and shipments of large amounts of graphic cards. The panel feels that there are a few areas which VR can explore in the coming years including education, telerobotics, travel, real estate, and retail. Moreover, wearables can also be included to function along AR and VR.
To conclude, the panel feels that there shouldn’t be an increasing focus on virtual reality, instead, the tech companies need to have a holistic view of both AR and VR. In future, there needs to be a seamless swap from AR to VR and eventually, creation of a world of ‘Mixed Reality’ which merges the real and virtual world. For instance, Microsoft has designed its HoloLens as a self-contained, battery-powered 'mixed reality' platform.