Realities: Why AR over VR

In the past, I’ve alluded to why I like Augmented Reality (AR) over Virtual Reality. And in a conversation this past week, I talked about realities a bit more, and I thought I’d share. Don’t get me wrong, I like VR alot, but I think AR has the bigger potential impact.  You may or may not agree, but here’s my thinking.

In VR, you create a completely artificial context (maybe mimicking a real one).  And you can explore or act on these worlds. And the immersiveness has demonstrably improved outcomes over a non-immersive experience.  Put to uses for learning, where the affordances are leveraged appropriately, they can support deep practice. That is, you can minimize transfer to the real world, particularly where 3D is natural. For situations where the costs of failure are high (e.g. lives), this is the best practice before mentored live performance. And, we can do it for scales that are hard to do in flat screens: navigating molecules or microchips at one end, or large physical plants or astronomical scales at the other. And, of course, they can be completely fantastic, as well.

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