VR & AR: How They Differ

VR & AR is going to explode.

For those that don’t know, VR stands for virtual reality and AR stands for augmented reality. A common misconception is that AR & VR are interchangeable terms. They’re not. Both AR and VR aim to alter our perception of the world, however, they do it through different lens.

Virtual Reality

VR uses special headsets to completely immerse the user into a fully virtual (digital) world and the technology aims to fully transport the user into the virtual world, with no sense of the real world.

Augmented Reality

AR may involve the use of a special headset, but it’s not necessary. AR combines computer graphics with real-life objects, thus blending the virtual world with real life. Virtual objects adjust based on the user’s real-world perspective. The user senses his or her presence in the real world, with an added element of digital objects.

VR vs. AR

  • Equipment – Since the user is supposed to be fully immersed in the virtual world, a special headset is needed for VR. However, AR utilizes the real world as a canvas and so a special headset is optional.
  • Visuals – VR is fully digital while AR is a mixed of a digital environment and real life.

The Reality of our Future

The fact of the matter is that AR & VR is going to explode. In 2016, AR took center stage with the viral sensation Pokemon Go and AR has since found mass market acceptance.  VR is more immersive, but AR provides the user and marketers more freedom. This key difference inclines many companies to work with AR technology. In fact, this is what Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, voiced about VR and AR, “I’m excited about Augmented Reality because unlike Virtual Reality which closes the world out, AR allows individuals to be present in the world but hopefully allows an improvement on what’s happening presently.”

Companies are aggressively invested in AR and VR. And as technological innovations continue, we will definitely be seeing a unique reality in our future.