#Techtrends: Enrich the experience with VR and AR

You have them in music as well: promising acts that never break through. So far, in technology the same has been the case for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). But is that about to change?

With VR you put your special glasses on and you can enter a different world. That can be a realistic one or it can be a fantasy one. Or a combination of the two. It can be really valuable for people that have agoraphobia, it can help them train to overcome their fear for public spaces. Or it can make a buyer of a house enter his property even before it's been built. And there are lots of gaming examples of course. Have a look at some examples.

With AR you enrich the real world. AR combines online and offline. For example, recently Pokemon Go brought Pokemons in our cities and towns. And Augment makes it possible to 'place' a table that you haven't bought yet in your house. Have a look at some examples.

Let's take a look in the world of music. Thanks to VR you can now play drums on hot dogs, you can enter new musical worlds in VR clips and join bands on stage. And thanks to AR you can enrich a cd or vinyl album, see the band play on its cover. Or you can learn to play an instrument.

Earlier in the year we organised a so called Augmented Reality Content Jam with VRBASE, read our report. In this weekend teams started exploring future ideas with AR and VR.

So what can AR and VR mean for a club?

Enrich the experience

We don't see people walking around with VR glasses in a club yet (but who knows about the future ;-) but with AR you can add layers of information and content to a location. So you can for example tell the story of the club or concert only if people want to hear it. If they point their phone to an object they get info on the present or the past. They see pictures of old gigs, or get messages from upcoming artists. And if artists want to, they can sync extra visuals to the concert.

Expand the club

A club is limited. When all the tickets are sold, that's the end of the story. Of course you can stream audio and video to the homes worldwide. But that's not the same as a live gig is it? With VR it could become almost the same. Because thanks to VR you can have the feeling that you are in the club. You can even go on stage, you can even join the dressing room. Some people think this can become an important revenue stream for artists. But are you going to sit with VR glasses on for two hours? We're not sure yet.

Summarizing, VR brings you in another world, AR enriches your present world. Like we stated in the beginning, both techniques have been a promise for years. But it looks like we're still waiting for the killer application, the tool or use case we've all been waiting for. It feels like we're still in the 'nice to have' phase and that we're looking for a 'need to have' example.

Read the whole series of #techtrends

Andrew Robles