Augmented Reality VS Virtual Reality – The Difference

Technology has changed the way we look at the world. Augmented reality v/s virtual reality are the two ways of tech to view the world. Most of the time these terms are confusing as they are used interchangeably. Although augmented reality and virtual reality have one thing in common, they both propose a remarkable perception of the world using the best tech. But, at the same time, they are very different.

Virtual reality can take you to somewhere else, transpose you completely. Through the use of goggles and closed visors, VR blocks all the distractions in the room and put you somewhere else within seconds. When you put on a VR headset, it leaves you blind to the world around, and bring you the experience of another world.

Augmented reality is different in its ways; it takes your present reality and alters it a bit to give you a new experience. It simply adds something to the current state we are in, with a clear vision, and a better experience. It doesn’t block the world around you; instead, it allows an improvement to the things already happening.

What is Virtual Reality?

When wearing VR headsets, you are taken to a completely new vision and a new place. The Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and other headsets from big companies are designed in such a way that when you wear them, they block out everything in your surroundings. If you put them on while they are turned off, you will feel like being blindfolded.

When you turn on the headset, the OLED or LCD panels that are inside are refracted by the lens, and fills up your vision with whatever is played on the screen. You can play a game, a video, or just be in a virtual space. Your vision will be transferred to another place within seconds and you will have no idea what is going on outside.

Now, the most tethered headsets are available that allow more than just watching or playing with your remote control while having the headsets on. These headsets not only detect the direction that you are facing but also detect the movements you are making. They let you move in the virtual space, with your virtual hands that you can see through the headsets. It is usually just a few square meters across, and you can move around in that limited space and enjoy the gaming experience. The only issue is that if you are not careful enough, you can trip over your wires when crossing the virtual space range.

Along with gaming and video experiences, virtual reality tools have also been helping the surgeons planning out their surgeries. People who want to experience their traveling destination before taking the flight can also benefit from it, children can learn about the simulated walk on the moon and the soldiers are being trained for combat scenarios. VR is helping out several businesses and industries in various ways.

Augmented Reality

While virtual reality is all about replacing your vision and taking you to a new place, augmented reality adds to the vision you already have. AR devices are usually the ‘smart glasses’ that are transparent and let you see everything that is in front of you if you are wearing a weak pair of sunglasses. It is designed for free movement while projecting additional images to what you are already looking at. This concept is largely used in smartphones with games like Pokemon Go. These games use your camera for tracking the surroundings you are in and adding additional information and image to it on the screen you are looking at.

AR displays are very simple as the data overlaying that shows time, and it can go as complicated as holograms floating in the middle of the space. Just like in the game Pokemon Go, a Pokemon is projected on the screen where the camera is focusing. You can follow that Pokemon around and it moves as you move thus maintaining the background as it is.

Augmented reality is useful in other fields as well. Retailer IKEA created an app that is based on augmented reality and it lets the customer see how would the products they are about to purchase look on their shelves. That app overlays virtual versions of the product in different places in the living space of the customer’s house. In addition to this, the companies in healthcare, aviation, automotive, traveling, and tourism, and more are using this technology every day.

Augmented technology can also enhance the experience of travelers and multiple ways. The tourists and travelers can undergo guided walking tours and can know the details about the architecture of the buildings. Many tools and apps have been developed that have made this easier for people from different industries to enjoy AR.

There is another technology known as the mixed reality that offers a holographic experience through glasses giving you an immersive experience. It is a voice/gesture/gaze recognition technology that is used with the pair of motion controllers to deliver a believable mixed reality experience. It takes a lot of processing. Companies are investing in this technology to give a glimpse of its potential to its customers. Companies like Ford are using this technology to prototype future vehicles instead of making prototypes in the physical environment.

Augmented VS Virtual reality

Augmented and virtual reality aims to accomplish different things through different processes. We can see how similar the designs are but they are different technologies. VR is meant to take you somewhere else, replacing the reality you are living in. Whereas AR adds to the reality that you are in, projecting information on the scenes and images you are already seeing. They are both very powerful technologies that have excelled in many fields and are yet to be explored by many others. They are meant to change our vision and the perception towards the world and the surroundings. Not only for entertainment, but these technologies are perfect for many other useful fields as well.