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Blurring the boundaries between AR and VR

Blurring the boundaries between AR and VR


In recent months, OVER has been intensely focused on its 3D mapping campaign, developing tools and designing incentives to achieve the goal of creating the latest 3D map of the world. You’ve probably already seen some of the incredible OVRMaps created by our community members. These aren’t just point clouds or fly-through videos; they are real-time 3D environments you can freely explore from both mobile and desktop devices.


But why are we doing this, you may ask? Where is the AR component in it?


The Power of OVRMaps in AR Experiences

The first simple answer is that once an OVRMap is created for a location, it becomes possible to create AR experiences that are simply not achievable using only GPS to contextualize assets in space. These AR experiences are seamlessly integrated with the physical space using a technology called VPS (Visual Positioning System), which enables centimeter precision in re-localization, both indoors and outdoors.

However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. OVRMaps enable much more; they create portals between the physical and virtual worlds, breaking the barriers between AR and VR experiences.


Bridging the Gap Between AR and VR

To better understand this, let’s dive into the specific characteristics of AR and VR. Traditionally, we can draw a clear line between AR and VR experiences. AR blends digital assets with the physical world, while VR offers a completely virtual environment detached from the physical world. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

The main drawback of VR is that it completely detaches you from the physical world. While this can be desirable, we must remember that we are, at least for the moment, physical beings, and there is only a limited amount of time we can spend in such an alternative reality. The recent launch of Apple Vision Pro addresses this issue by emphasizing AR over VR. “When you first put on Vision Pro you see your space and everything in it,” was a key statement in the much-anticipated keynote.

Conversely, VR’s clear advantage over AR is non-locality or accessibility: visiting or meeting in a virtual environment is effortless, while sharing a localized AR experience is currently impossible. Imagine you create an amazing AR experience, like a reconstruction of a gladiator fight inside the Colosseum, which can be experienced locally with AR. How can you share it with people who are not physically there? OVRMaps is the solution.


Combining the Best of Both Worlds

OVRMaps blend the strengths of AR and VR into a unique experience. A mapped OVRLand enables precise local AR experiences in the physical location while adding the non-locality component of VR. This means that AR content can also be experienced remotely inside the digital twin of the location.

This combination of AR and VR strengths creates a unique experience and represents a giant leap in the accessibility of geo-localized AR content. It offers a new means for AR creators to share their content with the world, blending the tangible with the virtual in unprecedented ways.

Experience the future of AR and VR with OVRMaps, and see how this innovative platform can transform the way you interact with both the physical and digital worlds.