Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality: What’s the Difference?
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two of the most talked about topics in the gaming world. Both are showing promising growth and what they have in common is their most remarkable ability to change the perception of the world around us.
However, there are big differences between the two technologies, and an understanding of the differences is necessary to make optimal use of them. Therefore, a brief introduction is required for conceptual clarity.
What is AR?
AR is a technology that overlays elements of the real world environment with computer-generated sensory enhancements such as sound, graphics, or GPS data. Through the development of Augmented Reality (AR) applications, end users are surrounded with a more interactive and digitally manipulable world. Information from AR applications usually overlaps with the real world but, one can easily tell the difference. One can perceive the components of the digital world into the real world.
What is Virtual Reality?
The term ‘virtual reality’ refers to the technology that produces realistic sound or images with the help of a VR headset. Virtual reality development replicates real environments in imaginary settings. The end user’s physical presence is simulated in this replicated environment. Imaginary settings are displayed through a VR headset and arranged in three spatial dimensions.
A person who uses this equipment can ‘virtually sense and interact’ with the artificial world. Also, one can have a first-person view in it, which is why the word immersive is often used to describe this technology.
AR vs. VR
The first major difference between the two lies in changing our perception of presence.
Augmented reality complements or rather ‘magnifies’ our current reality with a clear shield, but does not change our environment. Virtual reality, on the other hand, acts as a virtual portal that takes its users to a completely different world. Once you put on a VR headset, your real world is blocked from your sight. You were redirected to another place.
Without a doubt, VR sounds more interesting but, it’s definitely not something one can think of to use in everyday life. For example, think about wearing a headset in public. Practically, it becomes difficult as well as dangerous to move in a state where you are completely shut off from the real world. VR may be more immersive but AR offers users more freedom and is also more useful for marketers.
Perhaps, that is the reason why Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, stated that he is more passionate about augmented-reality development than virtual because the former allows individuals to be present in the real world, but at the same time the same, allowing for improvement in the current state. Pokemon Go is the most classic example of an AR app. Apart from gaining huge market acceptance, it has also infiltrated our daily life. Any AR development company that wants to reach the big market has a lot to learn from this app.
The Future of ‘Reality’ Technology
Both AR and VR have made dramatic improvements. Virtual startups are introducing their way into the industry to extend the user’s sensory experience. In terms of commercial success, augmented reality has an edge, but it doesn’t hurt the rapid growth that virtual reality has shown. However, given the current adoption ratio of these two technologies, it’s clear that VR development companies need to work harder to achieve mass acceptance plates.