Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality

Oculus VR on table

Technology is ever-changing, and it is all set to change our future. One such technological advancement is in the field of parallel realities- Virtual and Augmented Realities.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) hold great promise for the future of gaming, marketing, e-commerce, education, and various other industries.

Both technologies are known for providing an upgraded experience that combines virtual and real-world with enhanced 3-D images. Although the two can be easily confused, there are some fundamental differences between them.

What Is Virtual Reality?

Man playing VR

Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-aided simulation that a person can interact with an artificial 3-D environment. In contrast to traditional interfaces, virtual reality immerses the user in the virtual environment.

It is done using electronic devices such as special eyewear with a screen or sensors-equipped gloves. VR headsets or closed head-mounted displays (HMDS) isolate and virtually transport the user to another environment.

These headsets block out the outside world and provide video to each eye. It allows for a greater depth of view. Head and body tracking connect the user to the virtual world, allowing them to view and interact with the objects around them.

In short, VR is a smart combination of both hardware and software.

Virtual reality has applications in various fields, and we will be looking at some of them below.

Uses of Virtual Reality

As mentioned earlier, virtual reality has the potential to transform the way we approach things. VR was initially used in the gaming industry, but it has now found its applications in diverse fields.

We have listed a few of the applications down for you-

  • Corporate companies can use it for training and recruiting professionals. It allows them to filter out the candidates by exposing them to a wide variety of challenges.
  • VR has changed the way companies work. It has helped in tackling the remote work situations at the time of COVID and otherwise. It allows employees from different locations to work together on assignments and tasks.
  • VR is adding more fun and features to the travel industry. You can now pick your vacation destination by actually experiencing the virtual setting first.
  • It is also used in understanding the emotions of people in a better way. For example – We can use it for understanding the fears of people. Because it feels real, you will react to it the same way as you will in reality.
  • VR can be used to generate awareness among the masses. For example, the United Nations Virtual Reality initiative is creating awareness and changing people’s perspectives for good.
  • VR could be used for virtual visits to different places; it is very exciting for people who cannot afford to go to different countries.

What Is Augmented Reality?

Man holding iPad using AR

Augmented reality technology improves the appearance of reality by augmenting aspects from an environmental perspective.

In simple words, it is a more advanced replica of the real physical environment created by the use of numerous components. Digital visual components, music, and other sensory stimulation transmitted by technology are examples of these aspects.

You probably would have used Augmented reality without even knowing. For example, Pokémon GO, the game launched in 2016, was based on augmented reality.

Augmented reality is evolving and becoming increasingly popular. We will be looking at the present and possible uses of augmented reality below.

Uses of Augmented Reality

In recent years, the rise in popularity of augmented reality (AR) applications can be ascribed to solutions that allow customers to envision things. It also lets them imagine how it would feel to own or use them before making a purchase.

Many developers are producing augmented reality apps, which has opened the technology to a wider range of applications and users. We have listed down some of the areas in which augmented reality is used or can be used –

  • It can be used for training medical professionals. Using Augmented reality will help in improving the skills and knowledge of the medical student.
  • Augmented reality can be used for the repair and maintenance of complex machines. It can also be used for teaching people about those machines and the way of maintaining them.
  • It has found its application in the retail field. People use their phones to know more about the product, its prices, and its features. Augmented reality gives the user the liberty to interact with the specific features of a particular product.
  • It is being used in the field of designs and modeling. It is used by interior designers, engineers, and other professionals. These professionals are making the best use of it and can make out their final designs or work.
  • Augmented reality is also being used in the entertainment industry quite successfully. The best example is the game Pokémon GO. It has the potential of spicing things up and making the users a lot more interested.

Pros and Cons of Virtual Reality

Man playing HP virtual reality

VR is being used in various industries and has been found quite successful. However, to make it short and simple for you, we are listing down the pros and cons of virtual reality below-

Pros

  • You can simulate the roughest and the toughest scenarios using VR and can practice safely. It removes the element of mishappening, and hence the concerned person can operate without any fear. In this way, it brings out the best abilities of the individual.
  • It can give you detailed and crisp information about a particular topic or environment.
  • It provides some of the best visual effects and makes the entire experience more than real.
  • It is useful in enhancing the user experience. You can experience the end product before actually buying it. Therefore the chance of you disliking it is less.
  • It has opened new doors for various fields and adds a new learning curve to our everyday lives.

Cons

  • It can become a source of addiction.
  • It is quite expensive.

Pros and Cons of Augmented Reality

man wearing Augmented Reality glasses

Augmented reality has changed our world in quite a lot of ways. As there are always two sides to a coin, we have listed both the pros and the cons below-

Pros

  • It is very easy to use, and anyone with basic technical knowledge can use it.
  • Augmented reality is being used in various fields for enhancing the experience.
  • We can use it to improve the social interaction between the masses.
  • It has changed the way people used to learn things. However, there is still a lot of work left in this industry.
  • Augmented reality has changed the way technology was. It has improved the way we used to interact with electronic devices.

Cons

  • It is also expensive.
  • It might lead to mishappenings if not used properly. (Consider the case of Pokémon GO)

Final Verdict

The key difference between these realities is that AR uses the real-world setting while VR is completely virtual. There is no way in which one can choose between these two.

VR is more immersive than Augmented reality and AR, on the other hand, provides more freedom.

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