Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality – What’s the difference?


Written by Hemendra Singh on February 28, 2018 | Updated on: October 15, 2019


Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality – What’s the difference?

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) seem to be two related terms, but these are different from each other on several grounds. Both AR and VR have a major thing in common –these technologies have the amazing capability of altering the perception of our world. One of the biggest confusions in the current world of augmented reality is the difference that exists between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Both the technologies are gaining a lot of media attention and are promising potential growth. So what is the difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality?

What is Virtual Reality (VR)?

VR (Virtual Reality) is a computer-generated, artificial simulation process or recreation of some real-life situation or environment. It aims at immersing the users by giving them the feel of experiencing the simulated reality, majorly through the stimulation of the hearing and vision senses.

Virtual Reality development basically consists of a headset device like the Facebook’s Oculus that is equipped with the necessary technologies.

what is virtual reality

VR (Virtual Reality) is primarily used in two different approaches:

  • For creating and enhancing some kind of imaginary reality for the purpose of entertainment, gaming, and playing (like the computer and video games, hand-held device, a head-mounted display, and others).
  • For enhancing the training for particular real-life environments through the creation of a simulation of some reality wherein individuals are able to practice in advance (like the flight simulators meant for the pilots).

VR (Virtual Reality) development is made possible through the coding language known as the VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language). This virtual reality development language is used for creating a series of several images and specifying the particular types of interactions that are possible for the given set of images.

What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

AR (Augmented Reality) is another specialized technology that is used for layering the computer-generated and computer-oriented enhancements over some existing reality. This is done for making the given technology more meaningful & functional through the given ability to interact with the same. Most of the high-end simulation technology developers have this question “How to develop augmented reality?

Augmented Reality development is brought about by developing the same into respective highly interactive apps. As such, this AR app development can be used on mobile devices for blending the digital components into the given real-world scenarios in a manner such that these are able to enhance one another in an effective manner, at the same time can also be differentiated apart quite easily.

what is augmented reality

The augmented reality app development in the current era is quickly gaining impetus in the mainstream. There are several applications of effective augmented reality development. For instance, it can be used for displaying score overlays on the telecasted sports or games and even for popping up 3D emails, text messages, or photos on mobile devices. The leaders of the mobile application development industry are making use of the AR development technology for implementing amazing & revolutionary applications with the use of motion-activated commands and holograms.

Read More: How Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are Transforming the Enterprises

Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

Though both of these might appear the same, there are some points of difference between the two. AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) are considered to be inverse reflections of one in the other technology with respect to what each of the given technologies aims at achieving as well as delivering to the end users. VR aims at offering a high level of digital recreation of some real-life setting. On the other hand, AR is aimed at delivering virtual elements as some kind of an overlay to the real world.

Read More: Augmented Reality VS Virtual Reality | AR VR Infographic

How do AR & VR Differ from Each Other?

There are several points of differences that exist between the given two leading technologies. Here are some points for you to consider:

  • Purpose: AR is aimed at enhancing the overall user experiences through the addition of using virtual components like the digital photos, graphics, or even sensations as some new layer of interaction with the real world. On the other hand, VR is aimed at creating its own reality technology that tends to be generated and driven by the computer system completely.
  • Method of Delivery: VR is primarily used for being provided to the end users through some hand-held/head-mounted controller. This device is used for connecting people to the technology of virtual reality. As such, it also allows the end users to bring about an effective control as well as the navigation of their respective actions in the given guided environment for stimulating the real world.

On the other hand, the technology of augmented reality (AR) is being utilized for enhancing the services by several mobile devices including smartphones, laptops, and tablets by changing how the real world, as well as the digital forms of images & graphics, interact and intersect with the end users.

How do VR & AR Work Together?

There is not the scenario of AR vs. VR in most of the cases. Sometimes, these technologies are not able to operate independently or free from one another. In fact, these technologies are mostly blended together towards generating an increasingly immersing user experience. For instance, haptic feedback –referred to as the vibration & the sensation that is added to the interaction with high-end graphics –is regarded as the form of augmented reality technology. Similarly, it is also commonly used within a specialized VR setting for making the overall user experience appear more lifelike in touch & sensation.

AR & VR are great instances of amazing interactions and user experiences fueled by the need for becoming greatly immersed in some simulated land for the purpose of entertainment & playing experiences, or towards adding a completely new dimension of user interaction between different digital devices & the given real world. Whether independent or blended together, these high-end technologies are undoubtedly opening up several high-tech scenarios for both the real as well as virtual worlds alike.


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