Virtualization Technology News and Information
How Apple, Microsoft and Cloud Technology Will Shape AR/VR Going Forward

VR glasses 

As tech companies and enterprises in every industry glance into the future, their main goal is to become more efficient, reduce costs and leverage technology in ways they haven't yet thought of. One thing is certain, and that is the focus on mobile devices and the cloud will continue to be at the center of this march toward progression.

The Rise of Apple & Smartphones for AR/VR

In 2007, Apple released the infamous and revolutionary iPhone.  The iPhone not only changed the way in which the average person communicated with one another, but it also changed the business world in many ways people never thought possible.

The iPhone perfected early-stage smartphone technology, and it changed the way in which we interact with computers. The iPhone introduced to us a series of user-friendly applications such as easy access to the internet, fluid touch screen capabilities, and interactive app icons. 

In recent years, the tech industry has now been focusing its attention and efforts on the implementation of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), also known as immersive mixed reality.  This technology would encompass having a device or mobile technology in front of the user's face, and it will give people the capability to see most of the real world in front of them. The subtle difference between the two technologies is that VR puts users into a generated euphoric fantasyland, whereas AR layers computer-generated items on top reality. 

The conversation doesn't end here, however. While more companies are leveraging mobile devices and immersive mixed reality to accomplish everything from design, manufacturing, training, and even remote customer service visits, it's the way in which they're leveraging these technologies that is making a big difference.

Tying Together Mobile and the Cloud

This difference is based on whether organizations wish to leverage physical datacenters (on-premise) or leverage a cloud environment to power the immersive experience.

Essentially, the fundamental difference between cloud vs on-premise software is where it resides. On-premise software is installed locally, on a business' computers and servers, where cloud software is hosted on the vendor's server and accessed via a web browser.

The decision to leverage the cloud or a physical datacenter installed on a computer can greatly impact the immersive experience being used through a mobile or handheld device, especially for large companies, enterprises and manufacturers leveraging AR/VR for large-scale projects and buildouts.

For example, consider the highly intensive design/build environment and needs for a large aerospace company that is either designing or repairing an engine that will be used to transport millions of people. An extremely high level of accuracy and clarity is needed to leverage AR/VR to properly and successfully complete the design/build of the engine and its components.

In most AR/VR environments, the user is wearing or leveraging a mobile device or headset and this can either be tethered to a PC (on-premise datacenter), or it can be streaming its data and graphical interface from the cloud. The mobile devices themselves contain a limited amount of "real estate" and computing power, and when they are leveraging an on-premise environment they reach these compute power limitations earlier, restricting the amount of realistic and detailed environments needed.

What's more, the devices themselves do not contain the proper cooling systems needed to run highly intensive tasks that provide the realistic experiences needed to complete, and this propensity to overheat when utilizing their own compute power can also limit their potential.

What companies today are now doing is leveraging a cloud environment where all the compute power takes place virtually and in the cloud, and the device or headset is simply streaming the image in front of the user. This takes all the compute power pressure off the standalone or mobile device, allowing the user to have a higher degree of virtual or augmented experience to complete the task in far greater detail - an important note when millions of lives are depending upon the ability to complete a design or repair task.

In addition to Apple, Google has also dipped its toes into the world of AR/VR. A few years back the company launched its headgear-based AR/VR system known as Google Glass. This application was actually geared toward the medical field. It harnessed capabilities of cutting down a doctor's time spent on busy work, and the technology acted as a scribe that wrote down important information and details about the patient and recoded them in their file.

Microsoft's Hololens headsets are geared more toward manufacturing, retail, and healthcare companies. They will help users working in factories to detect any problems with machinery, as well as guiding them on how to fix it. For retailers, they are proposing instead of having an expensive display of inventory in stores, they could just simply have it virtually displayed. 

Amazon is also trying to create user friendly and affordable AR technology as well through their already established Amazon Echo Frames. These glasses are different from the other companies' take on AR technology given the fact that they don't have a display. Instead, the glasses work entirely through the usage of Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant software. 

While these technologies are sure to help businesses, organizations, manufacturers and enterprises reach new heights of business objectives, their ability to succeed will depend entirely on a cloud-based platform that will help users achieve the deep levels of immersive experience needed to perform and complete each virtual task.



Dijam Panigrahi 

Dijam Panigrahi is Co-founder and COO of GridRaster Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based AR/VR platforms that power compelling high-quality AR/VR experiences on mobile devices for enterprises. For more information, please visit

Published Wednesday, March 24, 2021 7:38 AM by David Marshall
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