AR vs VR- What’s the Difference Between Them?

You’ve probably heard the terms “AR” and “VR” thrown around in relation to technology. And you might be wondering: What’s the difference?

AR stands for augmented reality, which is when a digital image is overlaid onto the real world. VR stands for virtual reality, which is when you’re completely immersed in a computer-generated environment.

Both technologies are exciting, but they have different uses and applications. Let’s look at the differences between them in greater detail!

What is AR?

AR, or Augmented Reality, is a technology that allows users to superimpose computer-generated images on top of their real-world surroundings. This can be done through the use of AR headsets like Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap One, or by using an AR app on a smartphone.

The potential applications for AR are endless. For example, you could use it to view 3D models of buildings and products before they’re built, or see how furniture would look in your home before you buy it. You could also use AR to play games in new ways (such as Pokémon GO), get turn-by-turn directions without ever taking your eyes off the road ahead, or even just have some fun with filters and effects like those found in Snapchat.

No matter what its eventual purpose ends up being though, there’s no doubt that augmented reality is one of the most exciting technologies around today – so if you haven’t tried it yet, now is definitely the time!

What are Some Real World Applications of AR?

AR, or augmented reality, is a technology that allows users to superimpose computer-generated images on their view of the real world. AR has been used in a variety of gaming and entertainment applications, but its potential goes far beyond those industries. Here are some examples of how AR is being used in the real world!

  • Retail Stores: AR can be used to help shoppers find products they are looking for and provide information about those products. For example, Ikea’s Place app uses AR to allow shoppers to see what furniture would look like in their homes before they buy it.
  • Healthcare: Doctors and surgeons can use AR to overlay patient data (such as X-rays) onto their field of vision during procedures. This helps them make more informed decisions and improve accuracy rates. Additionally, medical students can use AR simulations when studying for exams or practicing surgery techniques without putting patients at risk.
  • Education: Students can benefit from using educational apps that utilize AR features. For example, the Chemistry Augmented Reality Periodic Table allows users To learn about the elements by viewing them in 3D with accompanying audio information. This makes learning interactive and engaging!

What is VR?

Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Applications of virtual reality include entertainment (e.g., video games) and education (e.g., medical or military training).

Other distinct types of VR-style technology include augmented reality and mixed reality, sometimes referred to as extended reality or XR. The primary component of any virtual reality system is the head-mounted display (HMD), which presents stereoscopic images—two slightly different views of the same scene that are combined in the brain to give depth perception—to each eye while blocking out all other sight.

The HMD also tracks head movements so that objects in the digital environment appear stationary even when you turn your head, providing what’s known as six degrees of freedom tracking; this gives users a naturalistic sense of movement within VR space. Combined with hand controllers or gloves fitted with sensors, this allows for full immersion into an artificial environment!

What are Some Real World Applications of VR?

Some real world applications of VR are:

  • Virtual reality can be used for training in various fields such as the military, medicine, and law enforcement. It can provide a realistic environment for people to learn and practice skills without putting them in actual danger.
  • It can also be used for entertainment purposes, allowing people to experience things that they otherwise couldn’t. For example, you could go on a virtual roller coaster or take a tour of ancient Rome.
  • There are also educational applications of VR. You could use it to explore different parts of the solar system or visit historical sites like Pompeii without having to leave your home.
  • Finally, VR can be used for therapeutic purposes. It has been shown to help people with conditions like PTSD and anxiety disorders.

How is VR Different from AR?

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two emerging technologies that are quickly gaining traction in the consumer market. While both VR and AR offer immersive experiences, there are some key differences between the two.

  • VR is a completely simulated environment that can transport users to different worlds or allow them to experience things that would otherwise be impossible. AR, on the other hand, overlays digital information onto the real world around us. This allows users to interact with virtual objects as if they were actually present in their physical space.
  • One of the most obvious ways VR and AR differ is in how they are experienced. VR requires wearing a headset which cuts off all outside stimuli and transports you into another world. AR can be experienced through dedicated hardware like Microsoft’s HoloLens or Google Glass, but it also works with smartphones and tablets using apps like Pokemon Go. Because of this, AR has a much lower barrier to entry than VR.
  • Another key difference is the level of immersion. VR is much more immersive than AR because it completely blocks out the real world and replaces it with a digital one. AR, on the other hand, allows users to remain aware of their surroundings while still interacting with virtual objects. This can make AR less disorienting and more suitable for use in public spaces like museums or retail stores.
  • Finally, VR and AR differ in terms of cost and availability. VR headsets are still relatively expensive and require powerful computers to run properly. AR hardware like HoloLens is even more expensive, although there are some cheaper options available for smartphones. However, as both technologies continue to develop, we expect prices will come down across the board.

The Bottom Line

Virtual reality and augmented reality are two sides of the same coin, but they will ultimately live in different worlds. The best way to understand the difference between augmented and virtual reality is to think about what each one offers.

Virtual reality gives you an immersive experience completely cut off from the real world. It’s like stepping into a video game, where you can interact with an artificial environment as if it were real.

Augmented reality uses technology to overlay digital content onto the real world around us. It’s not as immersive as VR because you’re still interacting with your surroundings, but AR does let you see digital information in relation to real-world objects!

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