Difference Between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: AR vs VR

Difference Between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: AR vs VR-feature image

While both AR and VR offer immersive digital environments, they differ significantly in their approaches and applications. Understanding the distinctions between these technologies is crucial for harnessing their full potential and integrating them effectively into various fields.

What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

Augmented Reality is the enhanced version of the real environment created via computer generated digital data like visual, sound, sensory elements, etc. It utilizes hardware and software like apps consoles, screens, etc., to club digital data with the real-world environment.

One of the major goals of augmented reality is to highlight specific features of a physical product, improve the understanding of these features, and provide insights that could be applied to real-world applications.

How Does Augmented Reality Work?

No special equipment is required to create Augmented Reality experience. It is generated via camera with the help of AR software.

When you point the camera at the intended real-world object, the AR software will impose virtual three-dimensional (3D) objects and environments on the intended device depending on its geometric relationship. It calculates the position and the orientation of objects related to each other.

Augmented Reality Pros and Cons

  • AR creates more engaging experiences for users with digital information.
  • It helps improve the teaching experience by letting teachers show virtual examples of concepts for easy comprehension.
  • Augmented reality helps customers make an informed decision
  • The cost of providing AR experience is a bit high
  • Many devices that support AR have low quality of display.

What is Virtual Reality (VR)?

Virtual Reality is a type of technology that regenerates 3D images and videos to develop real visual experience. VR generates an illusion of immersion via a life-size 3D digital environment. To create 3D videos and images, VR systems utilize computers and advanced graphics which add depth to them.

Next, it reconstructs the scale and distance between two-dimensional (2D) images. Everything is designed together to replace the real-world environment with a simulated one. It creates an immersive experience that makes the user feel like a part of a digital environment which they are viewing.

To view and control 3D environments, you need to use sensory devices such as VR headsets and gloves. With special sensors present in the VR headset, you can experience the virtual content naturally just like you do in the real world.

How Does Virtual Reality Work?

VR applications and experiences are created using specialized software development kits (SDKs) and programming languages. These applications generate the virtual environment, including 3D models, textures, sounds, and interactions.

VR systems consist of a headset/display, input devices (like controllers or gloves), and sometimes additional sensors or trackers. The headset contains screens that display images or videos in front of the user’s eyes, creating the illusion of being in a different environment.

Sensors in the VR hardware track the user’s movements, such as head position and orientation to update the displayed visuals in real-time to match the user’s perspective and actions.

Virtual Reality Pros and Cons

  • It creates an immersive experience as users interact with the virtual reality as they are physically present there.
  • VR helps engineers to visualize the entire design and make necessary changes before the final production of a product.
  • VR can facilitate virtual meetings and collaborations, regardless of physical location
  • Any type of training provided via VR may not be reliable to the real-time training.
  • Prolonged use of virtual reality may result in health issues like eye strain and headache.

Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

Here is a detailed comparison of augmented vs virtual reality based on their purpose, immersion degree, supported devices, bandwidth, etc.

MetricsAugmented RealityVirtual Reality
PurposeAugments or enhances the real-world environmentIt replaces reality and simulates the entire virtual environment.
Control of the SenseYou have a sense of being in the real world.Your senses are controlled by the virtual reality system.
Degree of ImmersionYou are partially immersed in the experience.You are fully immersed in the experience.
Enhancement TargetIt enhances both virtual and real worldsIt enhances only fictional reality
DeviceNo special devices needed, only the camera of your phone.VR devices are needed like headsets and gloves.
BandwidthNeeds higher bandwidthNeeds lower bandwidth
Virtual and Real Experience25% virtual and 75% real75% virtual and 25% real

Applications of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are rapidly evolving technologies with a wide range of applications across various industries like gaming, entertainment, education, design, etc. Here is a detailed overview of all the industries that use AR and VR to create immersive experiences for their users.

Applications of Augmented Reality

AR is used in multiple industries to create immersive experience for users. For example, it is used in tourism to provide interactive information about landmarks.

It is also used in retail, gaming, education, design, etc. Let’s look at the AR use cases in detail:

  • Retail: AR enables customers to virtually try on clothes, makeup, or even glasses before buying, enhancing their shopping experience and reducing returns. You can also see whether a couch can fit in your room before purchasing it.
  • Gaming and Entertainment: AR games and videos are created to develop an engaging and interactive experience for users. AR is used to enhance museums, or historical sites by overlaying digital information, storytelling elements, and interactive features.
  • Design and Manufacturing: AR helps designers to visualize prototypes in real-world settings, iterate faster, and make informed design decisions. It also streamlines collaboration on design projects by allowing participants to view and interact with 3D models in real time.
  • Tourism and Travel: AR can be used to provide interactive information about landmarks, translate languages in real-time, and offer personalized travel guides to tourists.

Applications of Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is used in multiple industries to create an interactive experience for users. Industries like real estate, education, entertainment, and healthcare greatly benefit from VR. Let’s look at VR use cases in detail below:

  • Education and Training: VR allows students to explore virtual environments like the human body or historical events, making learning more immersive and memorable. VR can be used to train surgeons in complex procedures, pilots in navigating challenging situations, and technicians in repairing equipment, all in a safe and controlled environment.
  • Entertainment: VR is used in the entertainment industry to create immersive experiences for video games, virtual music concerts, travel simulations, etc.
  • Healthcare: VR simulations can be utilized for training medical professionals on procedures and decision-making in a realistic and risk-free environment. It can also be used to expose patients to phobias in a controlled manner, helping them overcome fears.
  • Real Estate: Potential buyers can virtually tour properties from anywhere in the world to make an informed decision before buying any property.

How to Use VR and AR in Business?

AR and VR technologies can help in providing personalized training for employees within any business setting. By simulating different scenarios of the real world, you can provide your employees with a better understanding of scenarios that can help them in polishing their skills.

  • Tailored Training Experience: VR and AR can help a business in providing personalized training experiences to their employees. It can help them to simulate real-world scenarios and offer their employees a hands-on experience in a controlled environment.
  • Supports Real-Time Virtual Meeting: AR and VR technology helps users in defying geographical boundaries and brings up people in a collaborative virtual environment. This will help them to conduct virtual project meetings, training workshops, etc.
  • Enhances Marketing Efforts: With these technologies in hand, you can create engaging and immersive marketing campaigns to grab your audience’s experience. You can also develop 3D virtual showrooms to test products before buying them.
  • Streamlines Product Designing Procedure: With AR and VR, you can comprehend your product in a better way. You can shape, design, and test the product right in front of yourself in a virtual environment. Moreover, you can also connect with other members virtually to boost the product development procedure.

What Role the Mixed Reality Plays in AR & VR?

Mixed reality takes the best parts of both AR and VR. It involves merging the virtual content with the real environment in an immersive and interactive manner. In mixed reality, virtual objects appear as a part of the real-world environment.

Real objects could affect the shadows and lights of virtual objects. This natural interaction between virtual and real objects paves a new way of experience that would not be otherwise possible within the separate realm of VR and AR.

Unlike VR and AR solutions, MR systems spontaneously collect the latest data about the environment and what is occurring in it. Mixed reality clubs virtual and real worlds so that they become intertwined.

Mixed reality is a growing field, and its applications are used in several industries like entertainment, design, training, marketing, etc.

Conclusion: What’s Next for AR and VR?

While AR and VR share the common goal of immersing users in digital environments, they achieve this through different means and cater to diverse use cases. AR enhances the real world with digital overlays, offering contextually rich experiences, while VR transports users to entirely virtual environments, enabling immersive simulations.

By recognizing the unique strengths and applications of each technology, businesses can leverage AR and VR to transform the way they interact with digital content and the world.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Difference: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the difference between AR and VR?

    Augmented reality utilizes a real-world setting whereas virtual reality is entirely virtual. AR users could control their presence in the real environment whereas virtual reality users are controlled by a VR system.

  2. What is the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality in education?

    With VR, learners can be transported to different historical periods, explore the inside of the human body, or practice complex skills in a safe and controlled environment. Whereas with AR, learners can see additional information about real-world objects, visualize abstract concepts, and receive step-by-step instructions overlaid on their surroundings.

  3. What is the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality gaming?

    In VR, players wear headsets that block their physical surroundings and project a virtual world instead. In AR, players use smartphones, tablets, or specialized AR glasses that overlay digital information, objects, or characters onto their physical surroundings.

  4. What does VR stand for?

    VR stands for Virtual Reality, under which a person can interact with an artificial 3D or visual sensory environment.

  5. What does AR stand for?

    AR stands for Augmented Reality, under which digital content is displayed onto the real environment. The content can be viewed by mobile phone with a dedicated AR software.

Was this article helpful?

Would you like to get latest offers on software?

Thank you for your feedback! Soon we will provide you best offers

  • 51
  • 1

Anything About Software… Ask Experts!!

Get answers from 10,000+ active Community Users & 4000+ sellers

Talk To Tech Expert