Virtual reality, first and foremost, is an avenue for gaming. Engrossing players in an entirely digital world has been an enticing prospect for decades at this point. Yet that’s not to say that practical and diverse uses haven’t been found. Pilots, for example, have started to use VR to test their skills before flying a real plane. Generally VR offers a great avenue for testing things in a safe and creative environment.
Augmented reality and mixed reality, on the other hand, work by integrating the digital into the real. They superimpose digital aspects and information onto physical reality. While this has been used for gaming purposes as well, perhaps the most common use is in the realm of art. Displaying art onto the environment instead of a canvas has become incredibly popular incredibly quickly.
At the same time though augmented reality has seen niche use in the medical field. Augmedics allow surgeons to display correct spine positions onto their patients during surgery. In the past even looking at a spine patient during surgery was impossible, surgeons having to refer to screens instead. Mixed reality on the other hand represents the mix between virtual and augmented reality. An interactable interface is the most obvious example, and this can exist across a range of industries.
These are just a few examples of each form of spatial computing. The key takeaway of this all being that they’re not as one dimensional in use as gaming. Slowly they’re expanding from industry to industry, making professionals and consumers’ lives alike easier. By 2024, there are going to be an expected 1.4 billion active AR devices alone. With many more innovations to come, that number will only continue to grow. So be prepared for a world more integrated with technology than ever.