Tag Archive for: virtual reality

Augmented Reality Vs. Virtual Reality: What Are The Differences?

With recent tech developments, it’s common to get involved in heated augmented reality vs. virtual reality debates with peers. After all, both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have made significant strides in recent years. And you’ll often come across those that have picked their favorite between the two.

But is one truly better than the other, or is media hype affecting our opinions? The hard truth is that neither technology is better than the other. And while they may seem similar on the surface, they have entirely different use cases.

A user that puts on a pair of AR glasses has completely different needs and expectations than someone that dons VR goggles. Even the technologies themselves have specific features and limitations that set them apart. The keen observer will discover many benefits of augmented reality, which are missing in virtual reality. On the flip side, an avid gamer may become one of the VR faithful due to the abundance of virtual reality games

Therefore, we decided to point out the most significant differences between augmented reality vs. virtual reality in this handy guide. Here, you’ll learn what each technology brings to the table and where and when you should choose one over the other.

Augmented Reality Vs. Virtual Reality: A Brief History Lesson

The first known example of augmented reality dates back to 1957. Morton Heilig — a cinematographer — created the Sensorama, capable of delivering visuals, sounds, smells, and even vibrations. Computers were very bulky and expensive during that period, so the Senosrama didn’t use them at all. Instead, it offered viewers a rudimentary analog experience. 

But over the next few decades, this type of technology evolved considerably. In 1975, the American computer scientist; Myron Krueger created the first interface that allowed users to interact with virtual objects in real-time. And in 1980, the Canadian engineer and transhumanist; Steve Mann invented wearable computing devices, such as the EyeTap Digital Eye Glass, Smartwatch, and the Sequential Wave Imprinting Machine (SWIM). 

In contrast, the first example of virtual reality dates back to the early part of the 1800s. And that’s not surprising, as this was a period when photography was gaining traction. Inventions such as the stereoscope, which used twin mirrors to create a single image, captured peoples’ imaginations back in 1838. 

Then, the stereoscope was developed further and became the View-Master. It was patented in 1939 and became a popular kid’s toy due to how well it displayed 3D images.

And in the mid-1980s, former Atari employee and VPL Research founder; Jaron Lanier coined the term “virtual reality”. His company was also the first to sell VR goggles and the accompanying wired gloves. 

However, Virtuality Group was the first company to bring VR to the masses in 1991. They produced various products like the Virtuality 1000 series, powered by an Amiga 3000 computer and capable of delivering virtual reality games. These Virtuality machines made their way to arcades, expos, techno raves, and shopping malls during the ‘90s.

Which Companies Are Involved In AR & VR?

Several big players, startups, and studios understand the benefits of augmented reality and are actively involved in bringing forth AR experiences and technologies. These include Apple, Facebook, Gravity Jack, Groove Jones, Google, Microsoft, Next/Now, Niantic, and VironIT, to name a few. And many of the same entities are also involved in VR.

But it’s not out of the ordinary for studios to offer AR, VR, and even mobile app development services, similarly to NS804. And that makes sense since development methodologies, technologies, and skill sets overlap comfortably on both AR & VR projects. 

And then, there’s Valve Corporation, the famous game developer and owner of the PC digital megastore — Steam. For a while, Valve seemed to focus more on the VR side of things with their Valve Index headset, even though it’s more than capable of doubling up as an AR system. But in 2021, a Valve patent revealed that the company plans to bring a unique AR technology to PC gamers.

What Are The Differences Between AR And VR Headsets? 

One of the benefits of augmented reality is that users don’t need to wear headsets for specific applications. Many popular mobile apps and games utilize the phone camera to display the outside world to viewers — but with a twist! Instead of the same mundane world that users see in real life, they see a more colorful and imaginative world on their phones. 

AR development studios utilize striking user interfaces (UIs) and graphics, which they overlay on the imagery feeding through the camera. Now, users can interact with the onscreen UI and graphical assets, enjoying unique experiences that were not possible before the advent of AR. 

Of course, some users may prefer to wear AR glasses, as these enhance immersion. But their view is not obstructed like would happen if they were wearing VR goggles. 

And on the subject of VR goggles, they’re essential for enjoying any virtual reality experience. The user is closed off from the surrounding environment and has no view of the outside world. For some, this may seem like a scary, claustrophobic, or even downright anti-social technology.

But it’s worth overcoming these concerns and fears, as nothing matches the immersion that VR offers. Furthermore, the design choices of modern VR goggles account for the comfort, health, and safety of users. 

In a nutshell, AR glasses or headsets closely resemble ordinary reading glasses. And VR goggles still retain some bulkiness and wiring, mainstays from yesteryear’s Virtuality headsets. But as VR technology evolves and matures, we can expect headsets to get lighter and smaller in size.

What Do Users Expect From AR And VR Experiences? 

AR users feel more comfortable interacting with the outside world. Moreover, they’re avid smartphone users and utilize a variety of helpful apps for their daily tasks. So, an AR user that travels regularly will use an app such as World Around Me to pinpoint landmarks and tourist attractions. 

Another way such a user would utilize an AR app is when deciding on future purchases. For example, they may use the IKEA Place app to see what a true-to-scale wall unit from IKEA looks like in their apartment. And with more clothing brands releasing AR apps, it’s a convenient way to try out those nice pair of jeans without having to go near a changing room.

Alternatively, VR users feel more comfortable with bleeding-edge technology. These users crave the VR experiences promised by cyberpunk movies, novels, and video games over the past four decades. They want to feel like one of the protagonists in a William Gibson novel or Neo from the Matrix films. 

Many VR users also own powerful custom-built PCs to run the latest and most graphically demanding virtual reality games. They’re the epitome of the power user that always stays ahead of the curve. 

However, VR does not only benefit gaming. It also plays a role in architecture and design, medical training, military training, and real estate tours, as just a few noteworthy examples. So, VR brings forth several tangible real-world solutions to any market or discipline that requires a powerful simulation tool.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, we’ve addressed the most crucial augmented reality vs. virtual reality differences and arguments. Both AR and VR are continuously evolving, and we’ve yet to see their true potential.

In the case of AR, it’s the more approachable technology since there’s no need to purchase an expensive headset, and it doesn’t shut off the user from the outside world. But VR is the more bleeding-edge and immersive technology and ideal for gaming and simulations. 

But one thing’s for sure, the tech industry’s big players and forward-thinking studios are heavily involved in both AR & VR.

Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create phenomenal AR & VR apps that will amaze your users. We have offices in Charlotte, NC, Richmond, VA, and Denver, CO to assist you in building the app you need.

7 Tips For Better Android App Development

Android app development remains a promising path for appreneurs and developers seeking new opportunities. And with recent announcements regarding Android 12, Material You, and the latest foldable phones, these are exciting times. 

If you are an experienced Android developer or simply sitting by the sidelines, there’s never been a better time to hop on board. Even if you’re an ardent iOS developer that has steered clear of Android, it’s time to give the platform another look. Below, we reveal several handy tips to enhance your Android app development experience in 2022 and beyond!

1. Read The Developer Guides Thoroughly

Set up your Google developer profile, then go through the developer guides. These are well-written and informative, so you should find everything you need to get started. Furthermore, there are training courses for beginner and intermediate developers. And if you plan on studying further, you may want to sign up for the certification and degree programs.

2. Download And Install Android Studio

Android Studio is the official integrated development environment (IDE) for Android development, so you should use it. It’s a powerful suite that’s indispensable for native Android app development. Moreover, it’s a better option than the Eclipse IDE since it’s a more focused tool for Android development. But if you’re developing for multiple platforms, you may want to go with Visual Studio 2019 or 2022.

3. Choose Kotlin Instead Of Java

If you’re starting your Android development journey today, choose Kotlin instead of Java as your programming language. Kotlin is a more modern yet less-verbose language than Java, resulting in a faster and smoother coding experience. The only reason to choose Java is to maintain existing apps written in that language.

4. Learn Material Design

Google has created Material, a design system for creating eye-catching user interfaces (UI) and themes. It consists of component libraries and a states system, allowing designers to build interactive UIs efficiently. Learning the Material design system is worthwhile because it supports Android, Flutter, iOS, and the web.

5. Use A Game Engine For Immersive Experiences

While Android Studio is great, it does have a few shortcomings. For example, it’s not the most effective tool for creating the immersive experiences found in augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) apps. Instead, it’s better to use Godot, Unity, or Unreal Engine for any visually-rich projects, including mobile games.

6. Profile Your Apps Regularly 

Android Studio and most game engines come with a built-in profiler. Use the profiler regularly, as it reveals performance bottlenecks in your apps. It will track CPU and GPU usage, examine threads, detect memory leaks, and even show network traffic. Without profiling, you risk submitting an app that Google Play will likely reject or earn you negative user reviews.

7. Focus On Security

Hackers and malware creators target the Android platform due to its massive user base. That’s why you should seek ways to harden the security of your apps and follow best practices. 

Ensure that you’re doing the utmost when storing user data and dealing with sensitive information. Furthermore, keep the number of app permissions to a minimum and cede these when no longer necessary. And use the Nogotofail tool to check for vulnerabilities in your encrypted communications.

The Bottom Line

While Android app development can be fun and rewarding, it can also be frustrating. But the good news is that the development experience on Android has improved tremendously over the years. And if you follow our handy tips, you’re bound to reap the benefits of the platform. Contact NS804 to learn more about building phenomenal Android apps today!

2022 Mobile App Development Trends

The global mobile app market is on a rising trajectory and will continue to boom in the years to come. According to Statista, global revenues from mobile applications will reach $613 billion before 2025, up from $316 billion in 2020.

With this development and projected growth comes plenty of opportunities for developers to optimize their app development efforts by delivering the best to the end-users. As 2022 unfolds, it’s critical to look at trends that will dominate the app development marketplace.

Why Cast Sight into the Future?

Software development personnel play a central role in driving revenues for their companies. Apps that fulfill a specific need, are unique in fulfilling particular goals, and extend a superior user experience will see the highest levels of adoption and retention. Simply, the more the users, the more the revenues.

You need to understand and adopt the latest trends in mobile app development to ensure your app ticks these boxes of usability, adoption, and retention. The better you translate these app trends into your app, the more users your app can attract.

2022 Mobile App Development Trends

2020 is undoubtedly the year that the more fringe applications will become more mainstream – artificial intelligence, 5G, augmented reality, virtual reality VR, and machine learning will see increased adoption to meet the evolving needs of the modern consumer.

As peoples’ lives become increasingly sophisticated, this complexity extends to how they shop, communicate, and access information. Below, we discuss crucial trends that will define the mobile app marketplace in 2022.

1. 5G Technology

5G technology is on track to becoming the gold standard for mobile communication, even though it’s not presently mainstream. The 5G technology market is poised to reach $620 billion by 2030. And with user-friendly benefits like low latency, faster data transfer, and increased performance speeds, the time for your app to support 5G is now. The 5G technology will change the way we build and use apps, efficiency and speed will substantially improve, and here are a few more things to expect:

  • 5G will be up 100 times faster than 4G
  • Latency will reduce from 50 milliseconds to 1 millisecond
  • With less latency, higher resolution, and superior performance – video apps will improve significantly.
  • Data transfer between devices will be faster and more fulfilling
  • 5G will allow developers to build superior features
  • Mobile payments will be more secure because of the faster processing of biometric data

Overall, 5G will make apps smoother, faster, and more efficient in their operation.

2. IoT and Cloud Technology

Mobile-connected endpoint devices and the internet of things (IoT) technology have been there for years, but their market is projected to grow to $1 trillion by 2023. The biggest drivers behind cloud and IoT adoption are security and increased concerns of business continuity processes. Indeed, with over $120 billion spent on IT security in 2019 alone, it’s easy to see why enterprises are looking for cloud and IoT as alternative security solutions. Cloud and IoT have other benefits including; improved efficiency, operational efficiency, and interoperability.

3. Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology has emerged as a powerful force in protecting and safeguarding information, data, and resources. Blockchain is a digitally distributed and decentralized ledger located across a network. Blockchain is immutable, decentralized, and consensual, which means it can achieve faster settlements with enhanced security.

What makes blockchain a forerunner this year is that there has always been a security concern and misuse of data among app developers. Fortunately, blockchain solves security problems with its powerful characteristics – immutability, decentralization, and distribution.

Blockchain allows enterprises and organizations to create decentralized databases; which means that these databases do not need a company or a service provider to act as a gatekeeper. Blockchain solves a long-standing culture of data bureaucracy by bringing data control to the hands of users.

4. Augmented Reality AR and Virtual Reality VR

Pokémon Go was short-lived but it propelled the adoption of AR in mobile app development. Pokémon Go showed the world that we could use virtual reality to offer an immersive experience to viewers.

Today, there are several scenarios of brands using AR and VR to enhance user experience:

  • L’Oréal make-up app allows users to see their make-ups before purchase
  • IKEA uses augmented reality to let users see how furniture will look in their homes before purchasing
  • Lenskart lets buyers virtually experiment with glasses before purchasing them

This year, we will see AR and VR dominating the mobile app market in ways we can never imagine. The AR and VR market will rise from $25 billion in 2018 to $210 billion in 2022. Brands and businesses are expected to see a spike in VR and AR this year.

5. Artificial Intelligence AI and Machine Learning ML

In efforts to deliver personalized experiences to the end users, AI that utilizes predictive analytics algorithms will be an important element to consider. AI is important for speech recognition, navigation, and natural language processing. In addition, behavioral algorithms can improve security by analyzing user behavior and detecting fraud and information breaches.

6. PWAs and Instant Apps

Progressive web apps PWAs are becoming popular because they bridge the gap left by native web pages and apps. Benefits like faster loading time, reduced dependency on internet connections, and automatic updates make PWAs a darling to both consumers and brands.

In addition, instant apps are gaining popularity because they allow users to test the app before downloading it. While it appears that designing a simple app experience may reduce users’ app loyalty, it appears the opposite is true. Instant apps have a higher conversion rate and different testing requirements than native apps.

7. Mobile Commerce

Years ago, platforms like eBay and Amazon took precedence in the mobile commerce marketplace. But with exciting developments, the e-commerce trend has been phased out and substituted by mobile commerce.

As more shoppers prefer online shopping, retailers are adopting progressive web apps PWA (native apps) to improve user experiences. The mobile commerce marketplace is projected to hit $23 billion by the end of 2022 simply because many B2C and B2B companies have seen an increase in user engagement, revenue growth, and conversion rates after building an app for their business.

8. Wearable App Integration

According to Statista, there will be 1.1 billion wearables by 2022, and the most common connections made using connected wearable devices. Wearable app integration is another way to bring convenience to users, with users receiving updates, notifications, and messages about their health and wellbeing.

According to research, the ability to receive messages and notifications is the highest-ranking function of wearables in the United States. In the wearable market, fitness tracking has seen remarkable growth with the rise in health wellness among the general population. So, wearable app integration is likely to dominate most mobile applications as 2022 unfolds.

9. Beacon Technology

Since its inception in 2013, Beacons are gaining relevance among retailers and wholesalers alike. For consumers, Beacon transmitters connect and transmit data to connected devices, making interaction and location-based searching faster and more accurate. The convenience of mobile apps has accelerated the adoption of Beacon technology, making it a win-win for consumers and retailers. For businesses, beacon technology allows them to understand shopping habits – turning this data into a personalized shopping experience.

NS804 – Spearheading Your Mobile App Transformation

With the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the need for consumers to move online, there is a new demand to deliver personalized and intuitive user experiences to customers. The 2022 mobile app development trends reflect this trajectory and increasingly focus on user satisfaction. Incorporating these trends in your mobile app roadmap will enable you to succeed now and beyond.

Bring it Back To Basics: Making a Splash as An Appreneur

Offering Value As an Appreneur

When it comes to app development, it is one of the most supersaturated markets that exist. This is because of its wide accessibility, and the massive audience pool from which to draw. As an appreneur or aspiring appreneur, it’s important to understand how it is that you or your application are providing value. Because app development is such a competitive market that utilizes technology, it goes to reason that it’s a field that sees an above-average amount of technological advances and evolutions.

However, new technology doesn’t always equate to high-quality applications to which users flock. Creating a truly valuable application that attracts a wide range of users takes a comprehensive approach to app development, which includes utilizing new technology, delivering value to users through optimized user experiences, and offering solutions or utility to the end-user.

The Picasso Effect

Picasso is famous for his abstract approach to art. The way that he depicts people and objects is completely surreal. However, Picasso didn’t start his journey creating brilliant works of abstract and surreal art. Rather, his first education in paints was as traditional and classical as it gets. Before he revamped the art world almost single-handedly, he first mastered the traditional fundamentals of the craft. In other words, he learned how to paint a perfect bowl of fruit, before flipping it on its side and making it something else entirely.

This evolution also occurs in application development. Oftentimes, new developers, programmers, and appreneurs want to jump headfirst off the high-dive and right into the deep end. In other words, appreneurs get so excited about the newest technology and newest features that they start sacrificing fundamentals in order to layer more and more features, without doing the due diligence to fully flush out those features.

This leads to a poorly designed application that feels unfocused and clunky. Worse yet, rushing through the integration process of a new sophisticated technology into your existing applications can lead to bug-ridden applications that are faulty, incomplete, or simply non-fucntional altogether.

This is why Picasso mastered classical painting before branching out and evolving into his legacy of abstract art. By fully understanding the concepts and fundamentals of the classical and traditional form; he was then able to evolve the field entirely.

Merging The Old with The New

In integrating these hot new technologies as they emerge, an appreneur needs to have a strong sense of vision. I’m not talking about your prescription glasses, rather, the term vision here indicates an ability to see vertical alignment and synchronization. It’s important, of course, to learn and be aware of the new technologies that hit the market place, but on the other hand, integrating them into your current and future projects is another endeavor completely.

The most successful applications find a hole in any of the existing niche-markets of the application development world. By providing a solution to an existing issue that end-users are experiencing, your application begins its journey with an advantage. Furthermore, by continuing to invest into the time that it takes to develop a comprehensive application, your end result is a more thoroughly thought through application that offers users a direct solution and immediate value.

Going beyond the value-proposition and the solutions that applications offer, the next level is both design and user experience based. It’sp important to note that the user experience is often regarded as the most important aspect of any application. Mainly due to the supersaturation of the application markets and the hyper competition that accompanies them.

A Look At The Newest Technology

When it comes to the new technology of applications, the choices range far and wide. One of the fastest growing technologies over the past decade is VR, or virtual reality. Some of the first iterations of VR came through gaming systems, like PS4, or Google Oculus. However, VR has a much deeper practicality than merely the video game market. Virtual reality technology has real life practicality in massive industries like healthcare, mental health, sporting, and even fashion.

By taking the time to learn the ins and outs of VR programming, your team will not only be able to build a quality VR system, but further, they’ll be able to construct a high-quality VR system that offers genuine practicality.

AR, or augmented reality, is next on the list. AR is a type of application that overlays additional imagery or visuals over physical locations. As you can imagine, this type of technology has a ton of potential. However, AR is still even a bit newer than VR, so many developers and programmers are still finding avenues through which to integrate and make use of AR in their application designs.

Finally, another technology that’s generating an incredible amount of buzz is facial recognition software. This software has quite swiftly become a popular feature. Think about the new Iphones and the ability to unlock your screen with a facial scan. On the flip side of this, however, is the dangers that facial recognition software poses to individual privacy. Many are weary that military and police institutions will leverage sophisticated facial recognition software inappropriately.

Value Versus Flash

When you boil it all down, successful applications have one thing in common: a strong and practical value proposition. This value proposition is then flushed out, developed, and used to inspire and create an MVP, or minimum viable product. The MVP leads to investments, funding, and partnership, which leads to a finished application, and finally your product launch.

Keeping that progression in mind, it’s rather clear that an application stuffed full of sophisticated technology is not guaranteed to be a success, nor even fully functional. It’s much more important in application development to focus on a fluid user experience, a strong value proposition, and aligned technology. By focusing on integrating only the modern technology that will benefit or elevate your specific value-propoisition, your application will stay much simpler and much more user-firendly.

Implementing User Feedback as An Appreneur

Once you’ve identified the value proposition and built the app, it’s time for an app launch. This is like cutting the big red ribbon on opening day, and it’s extremely exciting. Yet, the work is far from over. At this point in an applications life, your team needs to ensure that it remains relevant, updated, bug-free, and offers value to the user.

One of the most helpful strategies that appreneurs use is the user feedback in the app store. Paying attention to the app store reviews, and user feedback in general, brings your team better understanding of where they hit the nail on the head; and where their application could use some work.

A Brief Overview On What it Takes To Be an Appreneur

Noone said that being an apprenuer would be easy. And if they did, they lied. However, for the dedicated and committed appreneur, there are resources to help guide you. Do your due diligence, and conduct plenty of market research before jumping down the rabbit hole of your newest application, and consider the Picasso effect before attempting to tackle sophisticated application technologies like AR, VR, and Facial recognition.

For more information on successful appreneurship, or anything app development related, keep browsing NS804. NS804 is the application developer of the everyday appreneur.