AR and VR - What’s The Difference? How to get the most out of Immersive Tech Entertainment
Since the explosion of Pokémon Go, Snapchat filters, the Oculus Rift and mixed reality environments, applications of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have risen in the public consciousness across the globe.
In this article, we’ll explore exactly what the terms AR and VR mean, their applications to entertainment, and how brands, business and events agencies can get the most out of immersive technology-aided experiences.
No longer reserved for the space age technologies used exclusively in science fiction movies, augmented reality and virtual reality are a very real part of today’s tech scene, especially when it comes to event and corporate entertainment.
While our minds might turn immediately to gaming when we think of these exciting immersive technologies, many concepts are proving that there are endless ways in which we can use AR and VR to enhance the experience for events and entertainment - from behind the scenes sneak previews, to product demonstration, virtual attendance and blurring fantasy and reality.
Virtual and augmented event entertainment – what’s the difference?
- Augmented Reality – this is when aspects of the virtual world are brought into the real world. The user remains fixed in reality whilst experiencing virtually created visuals.
For example, these bespoke hologram boxes showcase products or concepts with AR, bringing them to life without the need to build the real thing, and guaranteed to capture the attention of event attendees with a retro yet futuristic vibe.
- Virtual Reality – this is when the user is completely immersed within a virtual environment and the natural world ceases to exist for them, replaced by a VR headset and additional props or sensory extras such as movement, touch and sound.
Virtual reality for events can be augmented (left), immersive or make use of mixed reality for arresting experiences
Augmented event entertainment for a crowd
Both AR and VR are fantastic ways to enhance the user experience, but which one you choose completely depends on what you’re trying to achieve with your entertainment.
Looking to create an immersive group experience for large crowds? AR works better for stunning visuals that can be enjoyed by more than one person at a time, harnessing a powerful feeling of a group experience.
Outdoor Holographic Animations offer stunning hologram presentations for outdoor launches, logo reveals, opening ceremonies, shows and more. Bespoke animations come to life through the striking effects of hologram projection and can span across 20 meters of thin air.
Projected onto a fine, see-through gauze, these outdoor holograms offer eye-catching disruptive marketing techniques and visuals that will stop audiences in their tracks, delivering an engaging and memorable entertainment experience.
Augmented event entertainment can be taken outdoors with the use of innovative techniques and projectors
Virtual reality for events – keep guests moving!
By comparison, VR experiences that require a headset work better for personal interactions. Being submerged into your own private virtual world means one headset per person and so experiences should be kept short and powerful to ensure that as many people get a go for maximum brand impact.
A top tip from our Entertainment Manager, Laura Miguel, is to harness a touch point at your event in which people may be waiting or travelling across a space. For example while in a lift, on a travellator, escalator, or while sat in a queue.
"My clients often ask me to create an entertainment experience that will fit with the broader logistics of the event. Knowing the layout and flow of visitors really helps me to make the most of using tech at events."
Not only do you create excitement around an otherwise mundane touch point in your event, but you can also create a time-defined slot, while motion adds to the realism of the virtual experience!
Flight and car simulators work well in this instance, but why not make more of your theme by creating a bespoke VR experience that involves a jungle adventure, a hot air balloon ride, vintage circus experience or underwater exploration? The possibilities are endless with totally bespoke VR experiences.
If you are looking to create a deeper connection at smaller VIP experiences or private launches with fewer guests, more involved VR experiences are a fantastic way to fully engage attendees. Our Fear Capsule really gets the adrenaline pumping with a custom-made set coupled with a VR world where users must navigate a ledge overlooking a terrifying drop.
Custom-built sets combined with VR experiences make deeply engaging and realistic virtual reality for events
Virtual experiences and unexpected entertainment
Using augmented reality at events has tipped into already popular and established entertainment categories. Illusionists, magicians, dancers and singers among many other performers are harnessing the power of mind-bending techniques.
Immersing spectators into a virtual reality world with the use of video mapping and augmented reality, Hara Hiroki’s VR Illusion show is a clever blend of mixed reality. Solid objects are conjured from holograms in thin air, participants are levitated into VR space travel, and real people appear as if by magic before scattering into a thousand AR petals.
Blurring the lines between reality and graphic content, these mind-blowing visuals take magic and illusion stage shows to another level.
Even fashion designers are using augmented reality at events to ensure the theatre of showing their latest collections stays ahead of the curve. Ever since Louis Vuitton chose an animated woman to front a campaign, fashion houses have been fascinated with mixing tech and fashion.
Our Holographic Fashion Show is sure to wow the FROW as seemingly real models glide through each other and stride multiplied down the catwalk in an AR masterpiece.
Artists are using augmented reality for events and stage shows in new and exciting ways
Mass virtual reality for events calls for cardboard...
When you want to make a virtual experience statement with a large crowd, there are alternative ways to make the experience more accessible.
Why not create personalised cardboard viewers for the perfect low-cost device that allows everyone access to virtual reality? With endless branding potential, cardboard viewers are an easy to use and fun gadget for large audiences.
Ready to use, or assembled in just a few moments, the user only needs to enter their smartphone into the cardboard device and start their virtual reality experience! It also makes an exciting branded giveaway for guests to take home and continue to enjoy.
Many providers, such as our Immersive Reality Experiences specialists in Italy, specialise in creating bespoke virtual experience applications for use with Cardboard and other devices.
Widen the reach of augmented event entertainment and VR with affordable cardboard viewers
Develop an immersive mixed reality experience
For a true group experience in which audiences can share emotions and feel an atmosphere as one, consider a mixed reality environment that plunges guests into a whole new world.
A thrilling way to achieve this sense of shared experience among attendees, these Immersive Virtual Reality Domes offer an arresting experience like no other.
Created from scalable domes, guests enter into an immersive and engaging pop-up event space that is entirely customised to any brand or theme.
With extraordinary wraparound sound and visuals thanks to dome projection that creates a seamless 360 horizon, combine with décor, walkabout acts, music or magic to create a multisensory explosion of entertainment. Why not have guests visit a foreign country or special place, add visuals to a live gig or alter the mood throughout the event with a progression of visuals?
Combining traditional entertainment within a VR environment is a truly immersive way of using augmented reality for events
With increasing demand from guests for a mind-blowing and immersive experience, now is the time to raise your entertainment game with AR and VR. The possibilities reach far beyond novelty gaming experiences as innovative artists and entertainment providers are proving that mixed reality has a huge number of applications. From demonstrating products to wowing guests with cutting-edge technology, plunging them into imagined worlds, and generating strong emotions for maximum brand impact.
The future is here!
Scarlett Entertainment offers a broad range of virtual experiences and augmented event entertainment. Discover more of our pioneering technology acts for inspiration that is out of this world.
Contact us for more ideas!
Want to find out more about using augmented reality at events? Contact our team.
Our Entertainment Specialists are experienced industry professionals that can help you develop entertainment briefs from concept through to delivery. Get in touch with our team to discuss your objectives and together we will create the unheard-of.