Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality Difference: Know The Key Differences


With the everyday advancement in technology, there is not just the real world where we can wander but also the virtual world has started marking its existence in the contemporary world.

Many people in the world spend a large part of their day in front of a mobile or desktop screen for their work. But now the technologies are developing to improve or enhance the user’s experience by adding new features to the screen.

We are interested in understanding ‘ what they mean individually?’ and ‘ what is the difference between Augmented and VR?’.

Augmented reality and virtual reality are two of the most popular example that has changed the way we use the screen. The screen is acting as a gateway for entering into virtual reality or making the virtual world combine with the real world which is one of the AR and VR difference.

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality let the user to get immersed into a completely new world which might not even exist in real life. With the aid of computer technology, we can create a completely larger than life world.

But with the VR technology, we can experience ourselves of being inside that world or anywhere around the real world from right where we are and without any time constraint.

One of the earliest examples of VR technology is ‘ the Sensorama’. The Sensorama’ was a device that uses multiple sensors to let a user smell and experience air blowing while looking at the screen.

The Sword of Damocles is another one of the initial development in the direction of VR. It was developed by Ivan Sutherland in 1968 which has a display mounted over the users head, termed as the head-mounted display.

augmented reality
Image Source: theburnin.com

The VR technology has existed for many decades but in the initial decades, the technology was not developed enough and affordable for masses to have a significant impact.

Now, the scenario has changed, we are empowered with the technology to create a world of our imagination which looks real. 

In the last couple of decades, VR technology has marked its presence not even in the gaming industry but also in other fields. 

Application of Virtual Reality

  • The joy and excitement of watching a movie or playing a game have been taken to another level with the help of VR technology.
  • We can have the pleasure of travelling by just sitting on the couch in our comfort place.
  • Conducting research has become more easy and interactive as you no longer can just read about your topic of research but can transmit yourself to the place to experience it.
  • Even VR technology can be used to treat acrophobia, the fear of height. To do this, the patient is made to feel like being on the height by staying at a safe place.
  • The medical students can also practice complex surgery with the aid of VR.
  • There are various other fields where the trainees are made to operate a machine virtually on a simulator before operating it in real life.

The VR headsets are available in both wired and wireless mode. On one hand, where wired VR headsets have quick processing, but they are expensive and also allows limited movement.

On the other hand, wireless VR is easy to use. The user just needs to fix their mobile phone on the VR headset and experience the 360 videos.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality does not take you away from the real world, even it adds virtual elements to the real world. So what comes up is the mix of the real and virtual world which makes the world look more beautiful when watched through a device with a camera and screen.

One of the most popular and common examples application of AR is the game like Pokemon Go and social media sites like Snapchat that has a lot of filters which add a virtual graphic with the real image to generate a mix of it.

The virtual objects augmented can be interacted by the user like any other real object. The enterprises are using this technology to let user solve some small problems on their own, like repairing the car or finding your way on the streets.

Some common examples are Google Lens, Google glass, etc.

With the help of Google, Lens users can search for what they want by just scanning the object with the Google Lens and application will generate the result based on the image captured.

Difference Between Augmented and VR

Augmented RealityVirtual Reality
Augmented reality adds computer-generated virtual elements to the real-world environment.Virtual reality takes the user completely away from the real world.
This technology can be directly used with the help of smartphones, or taIt requires the smartphone to fix in the VR headset to provide as real as possible experience.
Augmented reality does not take you away from the real world, the user can interact with the virtual world with staying where he/she belong.Virtual reality immerses the user into the fictional virtual world and isolates him from the real world.
Examples: Snapchat, Airline Pilot Helmet, Pokemon Go, etcExamples: Facebook’s Oculus, Google’s Cardboard, Samsung’s Gear, etc.

There are differences between VR and AR but both of them have a lot of usability in the coming future. Augmented reality can be easily combined with the current technology we are using.

To use AR we need nothing more than our smartphone or tablet which enhances the real world when virtual objects are added to it.

Presently, of course, Virtual reality is used less widely by people but it does not reduce the impact it can have in the medical therapy, gaming industry and other fields to allow the user to explore in the 3D virtual world. 

But now this process is also extending, a new technology called 4D virtual reality will not only let the user view the 3D World but can also move around that space. Currently, it is being used in the interior designing field.

Both of these will be used more frequently by users and will have huge market value in future.