Impacts of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality on Web Browsing

World Wide Web is changing with the fast pace. It’s not an overstatement if we say that we are going to witness a seismic shift in the way we see the web and do the online business. 

Virtual and real world are coming closer by every passing day. The Internet world is getting influenced by virtual and augmented reality these days. It’s going to be interesting to see if VR and AR will play a catalyst for changing the way we see the internet today.

What is Virtual and Augmented Reality?

We are listening to a lot about virtual and augmented realities these days but it’s really confusing. Both are getting a lot of attention for the influence on technology. So what is the fundamental difference between both?

Virtual reality as the name itself suggests is a virtual environment where users experience the simulated reality via their vision and hearing. It’s an artificial, computer-generated simulation of a real life environment and or situation.

On the other hand, Augmented Reality is a blend of Virtual Reality and actual world. It is a technology where the actual world is enhanced with some virtual reality to make the experience better for the users. AR is developed into the apps to use on mobile devices for blending digital components in the real world.

It is not hard to believe that VR and AR are going to impact the way we browse the internet in very near future.

Where we stand now?

VR and AR are here for a quite long time but they are still in their infancy. There are several devices which support virtual reality but researches are still going on to make them more efficient.

Some of the biggest tech and innovation companies like Google, Facebook, and Sony are constantly working to make VR and AR better.

Oculus acquisition by Facebook for an enormous $2 billion simply shows that they really have lots of faith in the idea of virtual reality. Sony’s Morpheus and Google’s Cardboard are few other examples. Microsoft going one step further is working on HoloLens which promises to combine AR and VR in an exciting way.

HoloLens is a VR headset that lets you see through it as a pair of glasses. Instead of engaging you entirely in a simulated world, it projects virtual 3D features onto the surroundings around you.

Things are changing rapidly for VR and AR devices. It will take few more years of development for these technologies to spread its wings and take over the home and every facet of our daily lives.

Effects of AR and VR on Web Browsing

Is web browsing experience going to change with the influence of AR and VR?

Is there any effect of virtual reality on web designs?

Let us discuss the influence of AR and VR on websites and user experiences.

Do you know that there exists a virtual reality browser called Janus VR? It’s a great way to experience web world like never before. This browser turns web pages into 3D spaces interconnected by doorways. You can virtually walk through a lobby and pass through a doorway to visit specific websites. Texts of the web pages are visible on walls like a museum setup. You can virtually walk and read. It also supports 3D models, lights, sounds and animations. If there are any videos on the visiting URL then it creates a separate theater room for that. You simply have to enter to that room for playing the video.

Have you ever considered how your website looks to the virtual reality users? Although it’s a totally new way to experience the web but this trend is not going to diminish it will only grow.

VR and AR experience is not limited to small projects only; even Mozilla and Google started taking them seriously. Mozilla has already launched a special version of Firefox browser which supports virtual reality. Google is already doing a great job in promoting by their headsets and other devices. They are experimenting with VR browsing.

By using VR devices for web browsing you can turn any surface into a screen.  It means you can simply load a website on walls, floor, and ceilings of your home.

It’s a real challenge for web designers and business owners to comply with these trends.

Communication and Virtual Reality

So what are the limitations we have in adopting these technologies?

Is it hardware or software or any other?

It’s neither hardware nor software but design problems which limit a business to embrace these technologies. There are many features of the web which easily adopt 3D environment but there are many who stand opposite.  VR browsing is going to be a big thing in future but it will not replace standard web design completely. But who knows the future.

But Virtual Reality is going to make a significant difference in communication. Imagine a situation that your friend lives on another side of the world and you are chatting with him as he is sitting in the room with you. Is it too hard to believe for you? But it’s possible.  Facebook bought Oculus Rift for providing these kinds of things in future. 

Are you preparing for future?

Is it wise for small businesses to invest in VR and AR heavily? The answer is no because it’s still not very clear that which direction virtual reality is going.

At the same time, it certainly would not hurt to keep an eye on VR browsing trends. It’s the right time for designers to keep an eye on responsive website design trends related to AR and VR. 3D modeling is going to be a big thing in future so better start preparing for the future.  These are really valuable skills and it’s going to be highly valued in coming years.

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