I was recently asked to give my thoughts on lighting in VR, AR, and how I see the overall VR and AR markets developing over the next few years.
This paper was compiled by Geomerics, part of Arm. They develop the excellent lighting solution Enlighten, which is included inside Unity 5.
AR and VR tackle very different problems, and there is some overlap. There are some games that will work very well in AR. For example the Minecraft demo on Hololens is pretty awesome. I can imagine seeing certain games appearing on my coffee table using AR.
At the same time, a lot of VR games won’t work in AR. I want to be immersed, and you can’t get that through an AR headset.
Both of these techs need a lot of image processing and pumping graphics to a very small device on your head. Because of that, both AR and VR are going to evolve alongside each other at a similar rate. As soon as VR has picked up pace and started to get a lot of consumer attention, you’re going to get AR picking up alongside it.
Ultimately I think there will be an AR/VR crossover headset maybe five or six years down the line, but in the mean time I can see these both taking similar spaces in the market, targeting different audiences, but still sharing a lot of the same tech.