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Augmented Reality is Gaining Ground on Virtual Reality and the Metaverse

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While virtual reality (VR) has taken center stage in recent years, its technological cousin augmented reality (AR) has been busy perfecting out of the spotlight.

The birth of the Metaverse, a fully immersive VR experience where avatars can interact and play games, was a paradigm-shifting innovation that rightfully caught the attention of the tech world.

Throw in the charm of NFTs available for purchase within the metaverse, and you’ve got the technology to invite developers and media outlets to flood consumers with an onslaught of buzzwords.
All the while, augmented reality has taken a step forward and two steps back alongside its celebrity cousins.

AR app

Despite its ill-conceived debut, technology has come a long way. In 2022, social media users are subconsciously incorporating AR into their lives.

Snapchat and Instagram filters, which change a person’s face from happy to sad, or layer bunny ears on a user’s head, are early forms of AR.

Pokemon GO is probably the best-known use of AR. In the game, players seek out virtual Pokémon in real-world locations. When a Pokémon is found, it appears in the app overlaid in front of the real environment captured by the phone’s camera.

A seamless transition into our lives

The Snapchat filter and the AR tech used in Pokemon Go are fun and moderately impressive, but only the first step in a larger paradigm shift. The lens through which we view the world is changing, both figuratively and literally.

Humans and technology have become inseparable. We live in an era where instant access to news, information and entertainment can be overwhelming. Imagine trying to navigate to a new restaurant without GPS. You’ll see real-time traffic updates on your dashboard. Imagine having to split a check and calculate a tip. I don’t have a calculator at hand. It’s a nightmare.

The progression from handheld smart devices to AR experiences that take you around the world is a logical one. AR contact lenses, glasses, or even Neuralink-style chips implanted in our brains can project virtual worlds that we’re already integrated into our physical reality.
While walking down the street, users can simply point to someone’s social media profile for access. If he stares at a cafe or clothing store for more than 3 seconds, an ad will appear in his vision.

More practical applications include apps that calculate the trajectory of falling objects and the dimensions of door jambs.

The technologies embedded in AR in the near future can encompass everything from AI and facial recognition to the power and knowledge of the mighty internet itself. And here’s the kicker: Its radically revolutionary nature picks up momentum well beyond VR’s status. Think of Elizabeth Olsen and her once-famous twin sister.

VR will always be positioned as an immersive gaming and online social experience. AR, on the other hand, is about to change the way we perceive reality every day.

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