VR and IoT share a similar basic philosophy and purpose but approach the task from different directions. Where VR is about making the digital world seem real, Internet of Things is about transforming real-world objects into digital.
The science behind a lot of today’s hottest technologies are quite old. We are talking about Virtual Reality and Internet of Things. New technology inventions have been happening more frequently for years now, but some of them are actually just a new spin on old beloved tech or concepts.
In the mid-1980s, the term “Virtual Reality” was used for the first time but the attempts to use electronics to develop stimulated environments dates back to 1950s.
Similarly, the term “Internet of Things”, which has become one of the most popular topics in the technology sector today, was introduced in 1999, although the launch of the first connected device was in 1990.
Virtual Reality, in simple words, is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user accepts it as a real environment. On the other hand, Internet of Things (IoT) is an ecosystem of connected physical devices that are accessible through the internet. Although these two are very different concepts, in this article, we will focus on how Virtual Reality and Internet of Things sometimes work together to achieve sheer brilliance.
When VR and IoT Converge
The convergence of IoT with augmented and virtual reality is nothing less than a revolution. The hype around AR, VR, and IoT is undeniable. Each technology lays down an array of advantages for us, individually and together.
VR and IoT share a similar basic philosophy and purpose. Both are about the merging of the physical and digital realms, though they approach the task from opposite directions. Where virtual reality is about making the digital world seem real, the Internet of Things is about manipulating real-world objects in the digital.
However, there is a middle ground where they converge and create something entirely new.
Developments in VR and IoT
Perhaps the advancement in the field of telepresence has been the most important interception between the Internet of Things and Virtual Reality. Telepresence is a technology which allows being virtually present at a distant location. Just like telephone which allows your voice to be virtually present at a distance, telepresence device virtually allows one to ‘be present’ at a distance.
Video conferencing is the result of early development in telepresence, which has been widely used from company boardrooms to every home nowadays.Video conferencing was just a start. By combining Internet of Things with Virtual Reality, innovators are changing the game with their innovation which can be the next step in how we talk to each other over a long distance. With a highly mobile remote-controlled robot and a virtual reality Head-Mounted Display (HMD), IoT robots arethe next disruptive innovation in the communication sector. It creates a very strong illusion of actually being present because of the ability to both navigate as well as experiencewithin a real-world space.
Mixed Reality –The Ultimate Innovation
Post the HMD IoT robots phase, Mixed Reality took over. It is a relatively new concept in the technology sector. It combines virtual and augmented reality technologies with data collected from the internet of things (IoT) to create new environments in which both digital and physical objects and their data, integrate with each other. MR makes it possible for humans to interact more naturally with virtual worlds, and the interfaces will help workers act upon data generated by devices connected to the Internet of Things. Data becomes the differentiator for capitalising on the power of AR and VR.
Mixed Reality can be explained with many examples. Let’s assume that an employee is examining a system in a remote location using smart glasses. Using the diagnostic information which shows up in his field of vision, he found out that the system is not working properly.
Based on the machine’s performance history and service, customised repair instructions pop up on the smart glass. If the experience and skills required to fix the issue is beyond the IT worker’s certification level, it is indicated as well. A skilled technician at a different location automatically connects to the worker’s glass and can see what this worker sees. The off-site technician then guides the IT worker to fix the issue. MR provides the ability to deliver actionable information to
any location where work is done in the office, on the shop floor or out in the field. This example can be applied to similar scenarios across various industries.
Ultimately, mixed reality may transform how we interact with technology. We’ve already moved from “point, click and type” to “touch, tap and swipe.” MR opens the door for “talk, look and gesture”- game-changing communication and collaboration paradigms that operate in concert with humans’ natural behaviour patterns.
Although Virtual Reality and the Internet of Things are quite different from each other concept wise, one cannot progress towards the disruptive innovation without the other. We can say that these are two sides of the same coin.
VR/AR and IoT have something else in common besides their recently accelerated development– they all have the same set of dependencies. Each requires relatively sophisticated devices, excellent network connectivity and robust cloud infrastructures. And none of it works as well as it should without interconnection.
When it comes to Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality (VR/AR), Internet of things (IoT) and even Artificial Intelligence (AI), advances in digital have helped bridge that gap more quickly than ever lately. And since these are intersecting technologies, advances in one have boosted the other. So instead of having to wait a few more decades, we’re all getting a chance to watch the fantastic become routine right now.
The IoT India Congress happening on the 22ndand 23rd of August, 2019 will showcase multiple such use cases that can benefit organisations.