Augmented and Virtual Reality-Powered Apps & Immersive Technologies: A Growing Trend in the App Market

Augmented and Virtual Reality-Powered Apps & Immersive Technologies: A Growing Trend in the App Market

November 17, 2022

Augmented and Virtual Reality-Powered Apps & Immersive Technologies: A Growing Trend in the App Market

Augmented and Virtual Reality-Powered Apps & Immersive Technologies: A Growing Trend in the App Market

The present fiery era of innovative mobile application development demands futuristic apps with immersive and interactive technologies to generate a unique selling point among users.

As a result, incorporating immersive technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) into mobile applications is becoming a new trend in the digital world.

Leading organizations, companies, and retail giants are rapidly adopting these groundbreaking technologies to expand their businesses and create engaging and near-reality user experiences.

Increasing Demand for Immersive Technology Apps:

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality are the two trendy technologies being cohesively used to reinvent the digital ecosystem.

Despite being relatively recent technologies, AR and VR’s popularity and demand across various platforms are quite remarkable, especially in the Mobile App development sector.

These technologies have now become an essential part of the mobile app industry, promising extraordinary potential in the coming years.


What is meant by Immersive Technology?

Any technology that modifies or extends reality in such a way that enables us to have a completely or partially immersed experience in a digital simulation is referred to as Immersive Technology.

It is a unique branch of digital technology that extends the physical world by integrating virtual content with it, forming a 360 space.

The 360 sphere/space allows the users to look beyond the conventional 2D screens and view the content in 3D in any direction they look.

Some immersive technology extends reality by superimposing digital imagery on the user’s surroundings, while others create a new reality and submerge the user into a virtual world.

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality are different types of immersive technology.


What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality is an immersive technology that overlays real-world objects either partly or completely, it uses object recognition to superimpose digital visuals into your area of sight to create a virtual experience.

AR offers an interactive experience in the physical world by adding or augmenting virtual elements to your environment.

On the basis of superimposition, Augmented Reality is classified into two main types: Marker-based and marker-less AR

Marker-based AR:

Marker-based AR is dependent on visual markers to stimulate augmented experiences.

Mostly, 2D  dynamic QR codes printed on paper are used as augmented reality markers. These computer-readable codes are scanned by mobile cameras to activate interactive visuals.


Marker-less AR:

Marker-less AR does not rely on any markers or image recognition to produce any special effects. Instead, it utilizes a camera, software, location, and GPS to perceive positional data and detect the placement of objects along with the distance between them (SLAM).

Marker-less Augmented Reality is further divided into four kinds:

  • Project-based AR: Projects light on flat surfaces to create 3D immersive visuals, for example, Holograms.
  • Location-based AR: The content is fixed to a particular location, once the device detects a match with the assigned location it augments the digital visuals. A popular example of a location-based AR app is Pokémon Go.


  • Overlay AR: this technology replaces the original view of an item with an enhanced virtual image of the object. Excellent example of overlay marker-less AR is an object Configurator that allows the ‘Try before you Buy’ feature
  • Contour-Based AR: finally, there’s contour based augmented reality that utilizes SLAM to outline the edges of things and simulate near-reality human interactions. AR sandbox is an example of a Contour-based Marker less AR.



Image credits: AR sandbox

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality (VR) is the creation of a computer-generated simulation of a 3D environment in such a way that enables us to experience it as it were real. Special gadgets, such as Head Mounted Displays (HMDs), VR headsets or gloves are used to manipulate our cognitive and perceptive senses.

Virtual reality is an experience that allows us to step into a virtual space, interact with digital elements that resemble or completely differ from the real world.

It can take us on exciting adventures like exploring the geographical wonders of earth, entities of outer space, or a dive into the deep ocean from the comfort of your homes.

There are three types of VR technologies:

  • Non-immersive Virtual reality: Video Games like Xbox and PlayStation, in which you can visit a virtual environment whilst having full control over your physical surroundings.

Non-immersive VR enables users to control activities and movements within the software but the environment does not interact back directly.


Image credits: PlayStation

  • Fully immersive Virtual reality: Gives you a sense of being present in a completely different reality and everything happening around you feels real. It is powered by expensive devices such as head-mounted displays (HMDs) or VR headsets, gloves, and vests with sensors. These gadgets are connected to powerful software that records every movement and projects it into the virtual setting.


Image credits: New York times (participants playing fully immersive VR game, the Void)

  • Semi-immersive Virtual reality: It is a combination of fully immersive and non-immersive virtual reality. Provide users with partially virtual experiences, giving them the perception of being in a different reality when focusing on the visuals while being connected to their physical environment.

One common example of Semi-immersive Virtual Reality is the Flight simulator by Microsoft. It consists of a virtual display of the cockpit and chair with 3D images, no gears like headsets or gloves are required and the user is still cognizant of the outside world.


Image credits: Xbox (flight simulator)

What is the difference between AR and VR?

Augmented and virtual reality technologies are often considered the same thing as they both are immersive technologies allowing users to indulge in enthralling experiences.

However, there are some key differences making them unique and distinctive from each other:

  • AR is the iteration of the real world, whereas virtual reality offers you a ride to a whole other universe.
  • AR requires no Headsets but just your regular smartphone with a functional camera and microphone, on the contrary, headset devices and gloves are necessary for VR.
  • AR is somewhat an alteration of the real world but VR is fully fictional.
  • AR is 25% virtual and 75% real however, VR is 75% and only 25% real.

In other words, augmented reality brings virtual elements into the real world, whereas virtual reality takes you into an unrealistic world.

AR/VR powered Apps:

Sky is the limit when cutting-edge technologies like virtual and augmented reality are combined together. Merging them into a single platform creates a visually insane perception of reality for the users, making the applications more interactive and engaging.

Therefore, AR/VR- powered apps are now becoming an essential component of the digital environment. These powerful technologies help companies to experiment relentlessly and craft apps that produce the best results for their startups or businesses.

AR/VR not only makes your mobile apps unique and innovative but can help you achieve a distinctive following in your separate forte.

Tech giants like Microsoft, Apple, and Google recognize AR/VR-powered apps as promising innovations that are constantly generating profits with time.

Popular applications that are leveraging AR/VR and rocking the digital world are Pokémon Go, Snapchat, Walmart, Instagram, Sephora, Lens kart, Google Earth, Tilt Brush, Kingspray, Ocean Rift, etc.


Industries and Applications

Augmented and virtual reality technologies are constantly blurring the lines between the physical and virtual worlds by enabling more immersive and near reality experiences.

AR/VR apps have countless applications, such as experiential demos, 3D product imagery, translations, lessons, facial recognition, autonomous processes, marketing and a lot more.

Here we have listed some notable and game-changing applications and benefits of Apps equipped with AR/VR features:

  • Virtual tryouts:

Incorporating Augmented Reality into your applications will give your customers an option to virtually try out selected items and help them in making an informed choice.

The Sephora Virtual Artist App (SVAA) is an excellent case of utilizing AR technology for trying out hundreds of different makeup products digitally.


Image credits: Sephora

  • Virtual shopping:

An immersive and realistic experience is powered by VR technology for the customers to browse and purchase items online as if they were physically present at store.

Allows customers to enter the store through VR headsets and teleport into a different world where they can interact and view products in their actual form.


Image credits: Walmart

  • Advertising and marketing:

Integrating AR/VR technologies to expand your businesses is the most intelligent and efficient way to advertise your brand.

Augmented and virtual reality marketing attracts customers, engages consumers and encourage conversions in interesting ways.

Some examples of effective VR marketing are– McDonald’s, Thomas Cook, Holoroom, and Oculus Rift.

  • Active experience than just passive information:

Using AR/VR apps for education helps in creating interactive lessons that are memorable and impactful for learners.

Immersive experiences improve learning outcomes of students and helps them in retaining information for longer periods of time.


Image credits: ResearchGate

  • Accessibility for disabled people:

AR/VR is a potential means of assistance and accessibility for people with special needs, providing them a ray of hope for life, recovery, fun and adventure.

This technology allows people with physical disabilities to do things they can’t do in the real world like running, climbing mountains, skiing or snowboarding.

In addition to that, a recent research project by Curtin University has utilized VR rehabilitation program for physiotherapy of patients with cervical spinal cord injury.


Image credits: Curtin university

  • Time-saving and cost-effective:

AR/VR apps provides customers the accessibility of having a near-reality shopping experience from the comfort of their homes, saving time and reducing costs at both ends. For example, Ikea augmented reality allows their clients to visualize how furniture would look at their houses.


Image credits: Ikea

AR/VR apps are presently being actively applied to the following industries:

Future foresight:

In this tech-driven world, the demand for immersive and interactive apps powered with technologies like augmented and virtual reality is ever-increasing.

Immersive technology-driven apps are already being extensively used in our daily lives and will be used even more in the future. With so many benefits discussed above, we have come to the conclusion that these technologies are indeed disruptive, and integrating them with mobile apps is undoubtedly genius.

In the next decade, we’ll witness technologies like AR, VR, and MR not only impact the digital sector but meaningfully renovate every facet of our lives.

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