Augmented reality and virtual reality has one big thing in common. They both have the remarkable ability to alter our perception of the world. Where they differ, is the perception of our presence.
Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by a computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer.
Virtual reality (VR) can be described as the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment created using interactive software and hardware that can be interacted, experienced or controlled by movement of the body. It simulates a user’s physical presence in this environment.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are great examples of experiences and interactions fueled by the desire to become immersed in a simulated land for entertainment and play, or to add a new dimension of interaction between digital devices and the real world.
Augmented reality is the blending of virtual reality and real life, as developers can create images within applications that blend in with contents in the real world. With AR, users are able to interact with virtual contents in the real world, and are able to distinguish between the two.
Virtual reality provides a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special computer technologies and electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors, virtual reality headsets to generate the realistic images, sounds and other sensations that replicate a real environment or create an imaginary setting. Virtual reality is all about the creation of a virtual world that users can interact with. This virtual world should be designed in such a way that users would find it difficult to tell the difference from what is real and what is not.
Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality
Augmented reality and virtual reality are inverse reflections of one in another with what each technology seeks to accomplish and deliver for the user. Virtual reality offers a digital recreation of a real life setting, while augmented reality delivers virtual elements as an overlay to the real world.
We can safely say that Virtual reality is able to transpose the user. In other words, bring us someplace else. Through closed visors or goggles, VR blocks out the room and puts our presence elsewhere.
Basically we can conclude that:
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are similar such that they:
• stimulate the user experience by offering deeper layers of interactions.
• have the potential to transform how people engage with technology. Entertainment, engineering or medicine are just a couple of sectors where the two technologies might have a lasting impact;
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality vary because:
• virtual reality creates a completely new environment which is completely computer generated. Augmented reality, on the other hand, enhances experiences through digital means that offer a new layer of interaction with reality, but does not seek to replace it.
• augmented reality offers a limited field of view, while VR is totally immersive.
• Another way to look at it is once you strap those VR goggles, you’re essentially disconnected from the outside world. Unlike VR, an AR user is constantly aware of the physical surroundings while actively engaged with simulated ones.
• virtual reality typically requires a headed mount such as the Oculus Rift goggles while augmented reality is far less demanding — you just need a smartphone or tablet.
Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality in recent technologies
Putting a VR headset over your eyes will leave you blind to the current world, but will expand your senses with experiences within. The immersion is actually quite dramatic, with some users reporting feelings of movement as they ascend a staircase or ride a roller-coaster within the virtual environment.
Alone or blended together, AR and VR are undoubtedly opening up worlds-both real and virtual alike.
AR and VR do not operate independently of one another that is they are not mutually exclusive, and in fact are often blended together to generate an even more immersing experience. For example, haptic feedback which is the vibration and sensation added to interaction with graphics-is considered an augmentation. However, it is commonly used within a virtual reality setting in order to make the experience more lifelike though touch.
Augmented reality however, takes our current reality and adds something to it. It does not move us elsewhere. It simply “augments” our current state of presence, often with clear visors. This is why a company like Samsung is near ready to introduce its monitor-less AR glasses, which would connect to phones or PCs via WIFI and replace the screen on those devices.
As it stands, augmented reality is ahead of virtual reality, as there are several products already on the market. We are witnessing the rise of AR hardware devices from Google in the form of Glass, and also plans from Microsoft to launch something similar with its $150 million purchase for wearable computing assets.
On the matter of VR, the technology is just stepping up to the plate. It’s still far away from being this great thing for social encounters in a virtual world, but with the rise of the Oculus Rift, it is getting there.
We believe both AR and VR will succeed; however, AR might have more commercial success though, because it does not completely take people out of the real world.