Why Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) Favor AR Over VR?
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may not be the best of friends, but it recently emerged that there is one area the two tech giants completely agree – the future of augmented reality (AR). It has long been argued that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) could be revolutionary technologies in the fashion smartphone is. However, Alphabet and Microsoft have seemed to put much more emphasis on AR than VR.
Why are Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft pumping more money to AR project almost at the expense of VR? It is because they believe that AR has much greater potential than VR. Nevertheless, unlike Microsoft, Alphabet’s Google has been experimenting with both. You remember Google Cardboard and Google Glass? These are VR and AR projects, respectively. But there is no doubt that AR has been gaining much more attention at Google in the recent times.
What’s augmented reality?
This is the technology that overlays a virtual world over the real world. Think about a headset that makes you see computer-generated images on top of your living room furniture. That’s what AR technology does.
What about virtual reality?
VR replaces your real world with a completely virtual world. For example, a VR headset will make you feel like you are a character in the movie you are watching or video game you are playing. VR completely immerses you into a virtual world.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s Oculus Rift, Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)’s PlayStation VR and HTC’s HTC Vive are perfect examples of VR devices.
Microsoft’s AR play
Microsoft is seeking to lead the AR front with HoloLens. The headset was initially unveiled in January 2015 and has been made available to developers. Microsoft continues to improve the device.
Alphabet’s AR play
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s most prominent AR project yet is Google Glass. The device flopped in the initial launch, but Google has been improving on it, particularly seeking to first make it an enterprise tool.
VR and AR are projected to be a multibillion dollar industry in the coming years.
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