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By Bobby Carlton

Technology is evolving faster than ever, so are the myths about VR and AR training. With this rapid development of technology, companies and industries are more than eager to integrate and use these technologies for product innovation, research, and development. Emerging technologies like simulation technologies, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) are progressing very fast alongside their convergence with technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning.

Not only is technology evolving, but its acceptance and adoption among the general consumers and public is also increasing. We can see that by the rapidly growing market of these emerging technologies. Furthermore, the move of the whole industry towards their digital transformation to prepare themselves for the next industrial shift, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR) or Industry 4.0, is also propelling this adoption faster.

Image from Gartner

Read more: Why Should You Be Paying Attention to WebXR?

However, due to a lack of adequate general awareness of these technologies, people may hold onto certain misconceptions. Sometimes due to insufficient sources for additional knowledge or sometimes even through the deliberate spread of wrong information. Although the world is moving towards a haven for digital technologies and cutting-edge innovations, these rumors or misconceptions can keep this movement from reaching enough people.

To understand these misconceptions and differentiate between myths about VR and AR training and reality, we first need to know enough about these technologies.

What are VR and AR?

AR and VR are mixed reality technologies or also sometimes Extended Reality (XR) technologies. These XR technologies can streamline various services and product experiences to enhance their capabilities and help companies provide their customers with more affluent and enhanced expertise. Moreover, companies and these technologies can also help companies by enabling various product innovations and newer R&D technologies.

Augmented reality (AR), enables interactive experiences with real-world environments and various elements. AR allows the enhancement of these environments and features through different digital information and sensory feedback. For instance, AR systems can use multiple digital aspects like overlays, visual graphics, and elements alongside other elements like sound and sensory elements like haptic feedback.

The AR system delivers all these elements to immerse the user in the AR environment completely. However, AR systems also must be careful of not overusing digital features or making them unable to blend in with the real-world elements. Since the goal of any AR system is to immerse the user in the new world that it creates by augmenting these digital elements with real-world stuff.

Virtual Reality (VR), on the other hand, provides an entirely virtual experience. VR technology enables interactive experiences with a completely virtual world. The VR system builds upon a computer-generated 3D world. The VR system places the users in this 3D world consisting of different environments and virtual objects alongside sensory feedback, including sound and haptic feedback. As with the AR systems, the VR systems also deliver all these visual and sensory elements to the user. Along with this, the goal of a VR system is to blend all these digital elements in such a way to immerse the user in it entirely and make them feel like they are part of this VR environment.

Read more: Reason Why Big Companies are Using AR

AR and VR enable numerous possibilities in the entertainment sector and almost any industry and industry possible. AR and VR have their uses for rapid prototyping, design, development, maintenance, and monitoring various sites, machines, and objects from industrial and production environments to the aviation industry. One of the applications or uses of AR and VR comes in the training industry too.

Effects of the Myths About VR and AR Training and the Hype Cycle

Consider this scenario in industries like aviation, robotics, or space, for developing a respective product; these industries have to spend a fortune. The equipment, components, and systems necessary for these industries are costly, including considerable risk. This risk comes in terms of financial and resource wastage risk and terms of human lives.

Industries like these have a significant risk of losing human lives. When every new component, machine, or vehicle goes through testing and verification, human life may be at risk. Not only for testing but also during the whole developmental process with design, evaluation, and prototyping phases, real-world equipment and components are in use if AR and VR systems are not at service. Even a simple failure of these expensive and valuable components or systems may hamper the project’s future or even companies.

Add in the mix of risk of losing human lives during the developmental phase, either for testing of the equipment, vehicle, or machine or even for training purposes of their operators, and the risk becomes very substantial. Since not putting human lives at stake is a significant factor in these industries, one should try as much as possible to avoid putting humans at risk in the first place.

It’s where AR and VR come in. With AR and VR technologies in the fray, humans or even machines can go through the developmental phase and the testing or training phase without the actual need to put anything from the real world at risk, which means a much safer, faster, and efficient cycle of the project.

Similarly, soldiers can train in AR and VR in industries like the military with a complete immersion in a real battlefield without risking their lives. It can prove to be a real game-changer when training soldiers for their better performance and keeping them safe.

Furthermore, training pilots and astronauts in AR and VR simulations can eliminate the risks while also giving out real-like immersive training experiences for astronauts. Moreover, these types of training in AR and VR are also much more efficient, faster, and cost-effective compared to the substitution methods in use.

Hence, AR and VR training is evolving faster than ever due to these advantages and benefits, with various industries adopting these technologies swiftly. But this adoption of AR and VR faces several problems, including misconceptions and false myths. Therefore, we are going to bust the top 5 myths about AR and VR.

Myth 1) AR and VR Training is Not Effective

It is probably the most prevalent misconception among people. Even people familiar with AR and VR tech can fall into these myths about VR and AR training due to the lack of availability of these applications in the consumer market. But every other new technology gets labeled as a “gimmick.” So often, new technologies get over-hyped and quickly disappoint end users due to the lack of fulfillment of those promises. But these also rely on the actual development of the technology and the effectiveness of research and end product.

However, AR and VR are genuine and effective innovative technology. Consequently, industries are already adopting and integrating these technologies in their training processes. For example, various aviation industry giants already use AR and VR to train to keep their pilots and even take their tests. Likewise, the Militaries of different countries are already using VR and AR for teaching their soldiers in different scenarios and environments. Furthermore, many organizations/companies/industries are swiftly moving or are in the process of adopting these technologies. 

For example, Kellogg's used VR for market research and saw brand sales jump up 18%.

Myth 2) AR and VR Training is Costly

The myths about VR and AR training might have been true in the past, but today, even the most realistic and high-quality VR and AR sets are available for a few hundred dollars. Although this also may seem a lot for some but in comparison, this is very much cheaper. Moreover, the technology is also getting more reasonable and efficient; meaning, it will become more affordable and efficient in the future.

The use of AR and VR tech makes the product development and training processes more cost-effective and efficient. It is also data rich and can give you supercharged KPI's and can have a financial impact on an organization by cutting costs in the time it takes to train employees. 

Some XR companies have found: 

Myth 3) AR and VR Training are Too Complex

AR and VR technology have been progressing at such a high rate that today, it's possible to get these rolling with even a smartphone or a simple computer device. All you need is an AR VR headset or AR VR device, and you are good to go. The VR and AR contents are also widely available and easily accessible, making it easier to try them out.

Myth 4) It Reduces Physical Activity/ It is only helpful in Gaming/It is only helpful for Physical Training

XR (AR and VR) has a wide range of applicability. Although it's very famous today in the gaming industry due to XR technologies finding their way towards the gaming consumer market, it certainly is not only for gaming.

As discussed earlier, it can use its product development, enable new innovative R&D technology, and train. The training is also not limited to physical activity. VR and AR help you simulate various environments and conditions; it allows you to train people in virtually every setting, scenario, and condition.

Today I had a unique xCode scenario crop up that caused multiple files in my project to appear as missing (red in the project file list).  First, the scenario…the project is held in a git repo and development is done using a modified git-flow technique.  As such we are often merging feature branches in to the develop branch and vice versa.

 

After merging the develop branch in to a feature branch and then returning to the develop branch numerous source files appeared as missing.  I verified the files still existed on the filesystem, deleted the files from the project and added them back in with no change in file status in xCode, they still appeared missing.  I then deleted them again, re-added them to the project (still missing) and then tried to adjust the location setting of each file to be "Relative to Project".  This did not work either.   I made another attempt to add the files and then manually select the location of each file in the filesystem.  Although the files were there xCode still showed them as missing.

 

Seeing no other option than to re-create the project file by creating a duplicate project with a different name I came across a fix.  I created the new project and then proceeded to move all of the header files in to one of the new project's sub directories via the Terminal.  As soon as the header files were moved, all missing .cpp files in the original project showed up (file names turned to black from red).  I then moved the header files back to their original location on the filesystem and my original project was back in business.

 

I do not know what the underlying cause of this corruption was, but in the end the fix was to move the files out of their original directory on the file system and then move them back.  Hopefully this saves another developer time trying to figure out why xCode chose to incorrectly mark some files as missing

Are you getting a clang error that you can't track down?  "What the heck is 'clang: error: '-I-' not supported, please use -iquote instead'!?!"  Oh compiler gods please help this poor soul.  Well hopefully you haven't burned a day trying to solve this by tracking down project includes, compiler versions, and lord knows what else.  The answer turns out to be head-slappingly easy, you've got an unsupported character somewhere in the project path.  In our case we had something like this:

 

/Users/joeblow/Devel/Projects/WARU - Joe/testDir/waru/WARU.xcodeporj

[whitespace]

Notice the hyphen in there, that was the cause of all the pain.  The fix was simply to remove the hyphen:

 

/Users/timwmartin/Devel/Projects/WARU/testDir/waru/WARU.xcodeporj

[whitespace]

Hope this helps someone out there!

So you're an early adopter, good for you, although many times it can bite ya in the behind. Xcode is a fickle mistress and the latest release of Xcode 4.3 is no exception. If you're like me and you've got it installed and are cranking happily coding and debugging, you might have run into a strange phenomenon that the debugger doesn't seem to show the variables and their values correctly. This caused me hours of heartache because I was thinking that I had something messed up with my inheritance in my classes and sent me down a wild goose-chase trying to track down why my members weren't being initialized correctly. The it dawned on me, "hey I just updated to Xcode 4.3, I bet somethings up..." Ding ding ding, give the man a booby prize. The problem is the debugger and compiler settings. I changed my compiler to use the GCC compiler ("LLVM GCC4.2") and the debugger to GDB and all was right in the world the next time around. After playing with the settings a bit more, turns out I didn't need to change the compiler at all, just the debugger.

The short version of this post is, if you're having difficulties debugging in Xcode 4.3, simply set your debugger to the GDB and you're good to go.

Good luck and be safe out there!

When I get off my lazy butt, I'll add these to the resources page, but for now here are a list of great resources courtesy of https://www.vfr.org/

Blogs/Websites

Icons/Graphics

Code/Libraries

Just a quick entry to remind people that XCode 4.2 is a beta product and consequently there are certain behaviors that aren't supported, including creating an ipa file archive. When you attempt to create the .ipa, you will get a "file or directory not found" error.

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