Augmented and Virtual Reality Data Visualization

Augmented and Virtual Reality Data Visualization

Ilya Dudkin


9 min read

augmented reality data visualizationThe potential for data visualization is huge and it will totally revolutionize the way we look at data. Virtual and augmented reality data visualization offers a much greater possibility for innovation since it gives users the possibility to attain greater insights and comprehend greater amounts of information. Thanks to this technology visualizing higher dimensions is now possible and, more importantly, there are tons of practical applications.

What is VR and AR Data Visualization?

We mentioned that this technology will change the way we look at and work with data, but how does this look like in practice? Imagine walking into work in the morning. You go about your business usual, i.e. you check the news, make yourself some coffee etc. Then you put on your AR/VR glasses and you see a bunch of glowing lights. Each of these lights represents data that drives your business. Then, you notice that something unusual about the floating light over the refrigerator, for example. You reach out and touch this light and all of the information about the refrigerator appear right in front of you.  AR VR bannerWhile this example seems like a scene right out of Minority Report, there are many other uses of VR and AR visualizations that are being harnessed by businesses in every industry. Let’s take a look at some interesting examples of how this technology is already being used.  

Data Visualization Examples 

VR and AR visualization is all about telling a story that you cannot tell with numbers alone. Below we assembled some data visualization examples so you can get a better feel for the technology. 
  1. Brexit – This is one of the most contested issues being talked about on the news, but it can be hard to comprehend all of the information surrounding it without VR data visualization. The user can put on goggles and see a map of Europe. When the users move their head, they will be able to see the most burning questions that face each European country as a result of Brexit. 
  2. A new look at the solar system – New custom AR/VR software solutions have been created to help audiences visualize all the data about our solar system since just plain data will not cut it.  
  3. Swimming with the whales – Virtual reality data visualization takes the user on an adventure that would otherwise be impossible to realize. You can discover for yourself what it is like to swim next to a whale and also discover interesting information about the anatomy of whales and lots of other interesting facts.  
  4. Playing the stock market – We all know that the stock market goes up and down from year to year, but it makes much for an effect when all of this data is visualized. Now you can go on a roller coaster ride through the past 21 years of the Nasdaq which was created by the Wall Street Journal.  
  5. Turn any image into an adventure – Thanks to Google Chrome and Cardboard, you make even the most boring image come to life. For example, you take a bar graph from work and use the Google Cardboard to actually make yourself a part of the bar graph. Or you can hop from one bar to another, climb the bars etc. It can also be useful for visualizing various landmarks. You can point the Google Cardboard at a picture of the Grand Canyon, and you can go on a helicopter tour over it.  
augmented reality dataThese are only a handful of ways data visualization software is transforming how we look at and interact with data. Now let’s take a look at what the future has in store.  

The Future of Data Visualization

When you come into a meeting at work, you probably see data represented through pie and bar charts on a piece of paper, screen projector. However, in the future, all the data contained on these charts will be presented in much more exciting and interactive AR/VR charts in order to communicate information faster, with greater insights and in real-time. In fact, the meeting might not take place in a conference room at all. An AR/VR visualizer allows users to visually see all of the materials being presented regardless of their location. One potential problem that will have to be dealt with is the sheer volume of data. Right now, apps and devices are constantly collecting a lot of information which will need revisions maintenance so that all of the information can be visualized. For example, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. This makes it almost impossible for analysts to derive some insights from the data received and project some results.Before digging into, be sure that you understand the data. Conducting analysis and telling a story with the data that you have are very important aspects of building both 2D and 3D visualizations. It is not possible to make accurate business projections even if you make the slightest mistake interpreting the chartsBy viewing data in the physical environment just like you would look at any ordinary object it will give a better idea of what this data is representing. Such a clear focus on the data will further improve its interpretation and can drastically reduce the amount of time needed to get the necessary insights from the data itself. Data visualization just might be the best way to utilize the large volumes of data collected and using every single bit of it.  The combination of AR and data visualization can have a big impact on business which can be noticed in pretty much every industry and communal services. The old traditional methods are no match for machine learning which is getting faster and more powerful every single day. Locating and utilizing new critical information creates new ways of doing business and can even predict the future outcomes of business deals since you can input a large amount of data into environments that are visually comprehensive. This can lead to a treasure trove of discoveries that can organize the data into new patterns that have never been thought of before.   

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