Erasing boundaries: the evolution of VR and AR

The upcoming release of the Apple VR in early 2024 could potentially bring about a significant transformation in the world of Virtual Reality. This technology could reshape how we interact with our surroundings and even replace smartphones. Yet, it is unclear if this new VR era will live up to expectations. Only time will tell.

Today we suggest delving into the progression of VR and AR, examining their varied applications across industries and their transformative impact on our global landscape. Additionally, we will discuss how VR and AR are being employed in different countries across the globe.

VR or AR? What’s the difference?

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are distinct technologies with different approaches and applications.


Augmented Reality is an innovative technology that combines real-world surroundings with digital enhancements. Using a device's camera, AR overlays virtual elements onto the physical environment. For instance, by using an AR app on your smartphone you can view real-time information, navigation guidance, or historical facts imposed onto your actual surroundings. A well-known example of AR usage is the popular game Pokemon Go.


Virtual Reality offers users an immersive experience within computer-generated environments. By utilising head-mounted displays or VR goggles, users are transported into entirely simulated worlds, blocking out the visuals and sounds of the real world. Within these virtual realms, users can explore, interact, and navigate in three dimensions. The gaming and entertainment industries heavily leverage this technology.

Gaining popularity

The journey toward the widespread adoption of VR headsets has been characterised by substantial progress in design, affordability, and accessibility. In the early stages of VR, the technology was massive and expensive. However, as technology advanced and demand grew, VR headsets underwent a transformative evolution, becoming more user-friendly and appealing to a broader demographic.

Initial Phase: Cumbersome and Expensive

During the late 1980s and 1990s, VR systems primarily found utility in research, military, and industrial contexts. Yet, their bulky and costly head-mounted displays limited their reach and application to specialised sectors.

The Emergence of Consumer-Centric VR: Oculus Rift

In 2012, Oculus VR's Kickstarter campaign for the Oculus Rift marked a pivotal moment for VR technology. The Rift's ergonomic and lightweight design garnered widespread attention and aggravated investments from the technology sector.
With the expansion of the VR market, competition spurred the development of more comfortable and user-friendly headsets. Using lightweight materials, adjustable straps, and improved weight distribution has made extended use more comfortable for users.

Wireless and Standalone Progression

The advent of wireless and standalone VR headsets eliminated the necessity for tethering to computers, granting users greater freedom of movement and simplified setups: standalone VR headsets like the Oculus Quest integrated computing power directly within the head-mounted device.

Convergence with AR and MR

Recent trends have witnessed the convergence of VR with AR and MR (Mixed Reality) technologies, seamlessly blending virtual and real-world elements. This fusion opens up fresh possibilities across industries, spanning the entertainment sphere e.g. sports viewing and gaming, and other professional sectors.

Expanding Horizons

VR and AR are gaining recognition as transformative tools with extensive applications across diverse industries. These technologies offer innovative solutions that unlock new potentials for enhanced experiences and efficiency.
  • Gaming
    The gaming industry has undergone a revolution thanks to VR, immersing players in captivating worlds and offering an unparalleled level of interactivity and realism.
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  • Education
    VR allows students to engage with history, science, and other subjects within immersive environments, amplifying learning and retention. AR complements traditional textbooks by overlaying digital information onto real-world objects.
  • Healthcare
    Surgeons can leverage VR simulations for training, allowing them to practise intricate procedures in a risk-free virtual setting. AR supports medical professionals during surgeries by providing real-time data and visualisations, heightening precision and improving patient outcomes.
  • Architecture and Design
    In architecture and design, VR empowers professionals to create virtual prototypes, enabling clients to experience spaces before construction commencement. AR can overlay digital designs onto real-world environments, facilitating professionals in envisioning projects directly on-site.
  • Tourism
    VR facilitates prospective travellers in virtually exploring destinations, enticing them to consider visiting in person. AR enriches sightseeing experiences by offering contextual information and interactive guides.
  • Retail and E-commerce
    AR allows customers to virtually try on products, such as clothing or accessories, before making purchase decisions. VR can provide personalised shopping experiences, particularly in segments like real estate.

AR and VR Development Worldwide

United States

Renowned as an innovation hub, the United States is a frontrunner in VR. Silicon Valley, home to tech giants like Facebook, Apple, and Google, spearheads VR and AR research. Initially rooted in gaming and entertainment, the US has broadened its scope to encompass enterprise applications, becoming an XR growth catalyst. The nation offers an ideal environment for VR and AR startups, marked by robust venture capital and early-stage investment. This landscape birthed commercial AR and VR ventures ahead of other regions.

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China is another major player in AR and VR. The Chinese government has shown keen interest in these technologies and has included them in national development plans. The country is home to innovative companies like Tencent, which has invested in various AR and VR projects. China's gaming industry has been a driving force in the adoption of VR technology, and the country has seen significant growth in VR arcades and entertainment centres. Moreover, China's focus on e-commerce and retail has led to the integration of AR for enhanced shopping experiences.

South Korea

South Korea has been proactive in adopting and promoting AR and VR technologies. The government has established initiatives to encourage research and development in these areas. The country's gaming industry has played a pivotal role in the proliferation of VR, with companies like Samsung and LG investing in VR hardware and content development. South Korea has also explored the use of AR and VR in education, healthcare, and cultural experiences. According to Statista, anticipated revenue demonstrates a yearly expansion rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 13.20%, culminating in an estimated market size of $1,213.0 million by 2027.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE has demonstrated a growing interest in AR and VR technologies. The country's forward-looking vision is reflected in initiatives like Dubai's Metaverse Strategy, an ambitious plan to position itself as one of the world's top metaverse economies.

The strategy focuses on setting global standards for platform development, infrastructure, and regulations. It also prioritises the full deployment of 5G networks to enable edge computing, empowering the utilisation of smart devices and local networks for on-demand computing resources.


Japan, known for its gaming culture, has embraced AR and VR. These technologies are harnessed in various sectors, from entertainment and gaming to cultural preservation and education. Japan's collaborative ecosystem fosters innovation through partnerships between industry players, research institutions, and startups. In October 2022, Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan, declared the government's intention to actively encourage the adoption and growth of Web3 services such as NFTs and the metaverse. Alongside financial investments, the government is devising tax incentives to aid companies that embrace this digital trajectory.

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Alexandra Godunova
Content Manager at Lucky Hunter
Focusing on a diverse range of topics including talent acquisition strategies, employer branding, workplace culture, leadership development, and industry trends. With her extensive knowledge, she delivers engaging content that helps businesses thrive in the competitive landscape of today's job market.