Knowledge and Information

Virtual Reality versus Augmented Reality. What’s the difference?

Written by Barsha Bishwakarma · 3 min read >

Technology has brought us to a world that was once a part of fiction and imagination. Find in this article everything you need to know about Virtual Reality.

To mention a few, video calling, sending files over the internet, real-time chatting, etc. were some of the far-fetched dreams that mankind dreamt of. But with the development of technology, now they are merely just a few buttons click away. With the development of newer technologies, some fancy and technical words are also developed, such as bits, bytes, bandwidth, application, software, database, interface, etc. However, this doesn’t always mean that these are new words. Most of them are pre-existing words, which now when used in technology, have gained a different meaning.

It can be noted that we may have heard or even experienced the terms, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) at least once in our lifetime. These are the futuristic and highly advanced technologies of computer science. They can manipulate computer-generated graphics and multimedia and blend them with the real-world environment, narrowing the gap between the virtual and real world. In simple words, VR and AR are the advanced technologies that can make us see and feel things that aren’t there for real.

Also, here is a simple yet relatable equation that will help us to understand the basic concept of VR and AR better.

VR=Virtual World + Real Inputs and AR= Real World + Virtual Inputs

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment with the real-life objects. These real-life objects are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information. It is the blend of interactive digital elements like dazzling visual overlays, buzzy haptic feedback or other sensory projections into our real-world environments. Notably, AR superimposes real-world Computer Graphics (CG) images on the users in real-time.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is the application of computer technology for creating a simulated environment. It takes the users into an experience by adding as many senses as possible, such as vision, hearing, bridging the gap between the real virtual world. It is an artificial, computer generated simulation of a real-world environment in a real-time. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed within and can even interact with the 3D world.

Comparison between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Generally, we can call these both terms as one of the advanced applications of computer science. They both are eye-soothing computer graphics which provide the viewers with blended computer graphics into their real environment, to make them feel like everything they are seeing is real.

However, there are specific differences in their working mechanism. AR maintains the real-world view and adds graphics to make it seem, as if they really do exist in their real-world environment. On the other hand, VR provides an artificial environment, and maintains its realistic view by using sensors and motion impacts. In short, AR simulates artificial objects in real environment and VR creates an artificial environment to inhabit.

Moreover, AR uses computer graphics to a real-world environment mostly with the help of camera on a smartphone, whereas, VR makes the viewers to completely immerse in that virtual environment with the help of Head Mounted Display (HMD) VR devices such as HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, Oculus, etc.

The application of AR and VR technology and their potential is endless. From gaming applications to manufacturing industries, and from medical to warfare, these technologies hold a huge capacity to provide maximum benefits to the users.

Some of the applications of AR technology are:

When talking of AR, Pokémon Go can be considered as one of the most popular and relatable examples of AR technology. It is game where the players are imposed with digital images of Pokémons blended with their real-life environment. Seeing through the smartphone’s camera, the players would run around to catch the Pokémons seen around them through their phone’s screen. Similarly, applications like IKEA Place App, L’Oréal Makeup Studio, Snapchat filters, Google Lens, etc. also use AR technology. However, its application is not only limited to entertainment, the US Army is also experimenting with AR programs to use in combat that can assist the soldiers in warfare, as well as improve their night vision.

Some of the applications of VR technology are:

VR is mostly used to create simulated environment which can resemble the real environment. One of the most common use of VR is in recruitment and training of employees by exposing them to a virtual environment similar to their actual workplace, for example; training for pilots, doctors, managers, engineers, etc. VR is also used in manufacturing industries and marketing strategies by some companies. Head Mounted Display (HMD) VR devices provides the users with realistic videos and gaming environment. Furthermore, VR devices are used for educational purposes to teach the students in a similar-to-real environment.

In summary, AR and VR technology have unmatched potential to revolutionize the world. There are yet more amazing things to see. Therefore, learning about this wonderful technology can help us to advance and prepare us to use this knowledge whenever required.

Click here to read more about Augmented Reality

If you have any more examples and knowledge about AR and VR technology or anything that interests you, please let us know with your comments below. We would love to hear from you with your progressive thoughts, ideas and your valuable suggestions for us.

Written by Barsha Bishwakarma
Writing makes me happy. Do what you like, and like what you do. Profile