Difference Between Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

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Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), they kind of sound like same but are completely different technologies. Both these technologies came ahead of time when computing power was not enough to make it a reality or convert it into a consumer product. But today, we have AR and VR as main stream consumer products. Some people might argue that these are again buzz words but believe me they are the future.

In this article we are going to tell you that tough augmented reality and virtual reality sounds like same tech but they are completely different. You might also hear a new word called Mixed Reality (MR) which is sort of hybrid of AR and VR. We will touch upon that as well.

Augmented Reality (AR) Vs Virtual Reality (VR) – Whats the difference?

Let’s first start with Virtual reality (VR). Virtual Reality implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world. Using VR devices such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard, users can be transported into an imagined virtual environments such as the virtual galaxy or even the back of a dragon. In simple terms VR is a computer generated simulation of replacement of one’s environment. For example when you put VR headset, it block out your world view and substitute a digital world as designed to fool your senses. From point of view of your brain you are somewhere else. It is a form of mental transportation if you will consider. VR is an approximation of our reality that is digital but not reality itself.

On the other hand Augmented reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone. Snapchat lenses and Pokemon go are some early (primitive) examples of AR. The purpose of AR is not to cut out your real world and transport you to other world but AR adds or enhances your real world experience with a set of magical virtual objects in it. In other words when a person’s real environment is supplemented or augmented with computer generated images or 3d models using motion trapped, then that is augmented reality.  

Now let’s also talk about mixed reality (MR) experience, which combines elements of both AR and VR, real-world and digital objects interact. Mixed reality technology is just now starting to take off with Microsoft’s HoloLens one of the most notable early mixed reality apparatuses.

Stay tuned to know more about AR and VR.

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