Why VR and AR Are the Future of Home Entertainment

Chances are you’ve dabbled in the VR/AR world without even realizing it. How, you ask? Through the filters available across social media, video, and photo apps. All those filters you can use to create realistic or cartoon-like additions to your photo or video are examples of augmented reality, aka AR. 

But the presence of AR in our lives goes beyond this. Some online shops have added AR to their operations by allowing customers to “try on” different products or test them out in your space. Then, there are also the more obvious examples of AR, like the Pokémon GO! obsession that had a hold on the world in 2016. The appearance of all those Pokémon in our world was created through AR tech.

VR, or virtual reality, is a bit trickier to unknowingly dabble in, as it typically involves vision-blocking headsets to create a fully immersive screen. More than likely, however, you’ve seen this technology in some capacity — they often make for interesting videos and are big draws at trade shows

The fusion of AR and VR has come together to deliver what’s known as MR, mixed reality, sometimes referred to as XR or extended reality. The ability to be completely immersed in these virtual worlds opens up opportunities that once only belonged in the fictional realms of science fiction and fantasy.

In their short time on the market, these technologies have rapidly evolved and become available in a myriad of ways. This growth is projected to continue, particularly when it comes to home entertainment. 

Here, we’ll look at the key reasons AR and VR technology will become a dominant aspect of in-home entertainment, starting with the most significant reason: the immersive entertainment experiences this technology offers.

Immersive Entertainment Experiences

Some of our favorite forms of home entertainment, such as watching movies and playing games, can be done with AR/VR technologies. While it’s no secret that video games are well suited to the idea of virtual reality, even the latest new casinos to launch online have the potential to be enhanced by this style of gameplay. The experience of using these technologies is vastly different from simply sitting in front of a TV or monitor, as VR completely immerses you inside a fully surrounding environment that lets you feel like you’re right in a place or the storyline of a game or movie. 

VR even allows people to enjoy live events in new ways, including from the comfort and convenience of their homes. ESPN has partnered with brands like Meta to deliver their sports broadcasting in a virtual reality format that allows audiences to experience watching sports from home in a way that feels like they are there in person, watching the game live. It can even become a social experience since you can connect with friends through the headset.

The music industry also takes advantage of this feeling of being present at an event by showcasing concerts with VR. Performers can now have their fans feel like they’re in the front row at a concert without setting foot in the stadium. For live events, VR’s possibilities are exciting, and it is only starting to make itself known and available.

Social Outlet

On top of being entertaining in the form of watching something or playing a game on your own, VR also provides the opportunity to socialize with people. Much like other online platforms, VR/AR system apps give you platforms to engage with friends and family and even let you meet new people from around the world, creating a fun and new way to socialize. Plus, many games allow players to engage with one another, and those sports or concert events let you experience them as if you were there with a group of friends. 

Health & Wellness 

For fitness and wellness buffs, the opportunity MR tech presents for home workouts is appealing and creates a well-rounded workout experience right from your home. It takes the idea of encouraging more movement while still enjoying a video game-like vibe, similar to how the Wii Fit aimed to indulge our enjoyment of video games while pairing it with cardio. 

The difference, however, is that MR is a more captivating, all-encompassing style of virtual fitness. It extends into our physical environment to create a more personalized workout routine based on where we are, our interests, and our abilities. Many believe that using a VR/AR combo to meet our exercise routines will motivate us and make us more likely to succeed in our fitness and wellness goals.

Beyond being a fun way to exercise at home, there’s also potential to support mental health through these technologies. Some have pointed out that these immersive realities allow people with anxieties and phobias to face their fears in a controlled setting, which, of course, will help them develop coping mechanisms to use in the real world.

Variety & Accessibility

Another essential part of why VR and AR will become the future of home entertainment is that the technologies will become more accessible to the average person. Just as computers and smartphones have started offering diverse options for a range of budgets, so will VR and AR products. 

In fact, this increase in options is already starting. The industry has already seen the launch of various AR/VR systems, including multiple from Meta and Apple, that vary in price from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.

Home Entertainment Is Never Done Evolving

Our interest in home entertainment has led to never-ending innovations and updates. We’re always seeking out the next best thing to deliver a better experience when we’re lounging at home after a long day at work. The growth of AR/VR tech in the home environment market is just one example of this, and it, like the evolution of TV or video games, will likely see many more developments as time goes on.

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