Innovation drives technological progress in tremendous ways. The new technologies of the world are shaping different industries like healthcare, gaming, education, manufacturing etc. It is quite difficult to find where to draw the line. There are a lot of possibilities which are there to be achieved. Among the recent technologies are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). With the advancement of these technologies, the opportunities are endless. They are slowly gathering pace and coming into the mainstream. So, the question arises that what are these technologies and how are they different? The new paradigm Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality that these technologies define needs to be understood.
AR technology is rapidly turning mainstream. The best example of AR being used is the popular Pokemon Go along with the filters in Snapchat. It is currently being used to display sports score overlays on the telecasted games as well as pop-out photos, along with 3D emails and text messages on the smartphones. The various technology industry leaders are now utilizing AR to achieve great results with motion activated commands as well as holograms.
In the case of Virtual Reality, the technology is actually leveraged to create a virtual world where the user can interact with. VR is generally made possible through wearing VR helmets such as Oculus Rift. With Virtual Reality, you are taken away from the real world and introduced to an entirely new world. It actually immerses the user primarily through stimulating their hearing and vision by making them believe that they are actually living in a simulated reality.
A VR helmet generally uses one or two screens which have to be held close to the user’s face and then viewed through the lenses. Then it employs different sensors to track the head as well as the body of the user as they move through space. With this particular information, it then renders correct images to create a vivid illusion which the user is actually navigating an entirely foreign environment.
Now, we have defined what AR and VR actually are. Before we move on to the differences between these technologies, it is vital to look at their similarities.
Both AR and VR leverage a lot of similar kinds of technology and they actually exist to serve the user with an enhanced experience. Both of these technologies utilize head tracking in order to follow the movements of the user. However, AR often requires less processing power in comparison to VR since it doesn’t require to render an entirely new environment. Also, both AR and VR have immense potential in changing the entire landscape of different practiced fields like medicine through making things possible like remote surgeries a possibility. These technologies are now being used to treat as well as heal various psychological conditions.
Augmented Reality actually enhances the user experience by means of layering on different virtual components like graphics and images as a new interactive layer over the present real world. In case of virtual reality, it creates its own computer-generated environment. Also, virtual reality is generally delivered through the head-mounted or handheld controller. This equipment connects you to the virtual reality that allows you to control as well as navigate your actions in an environment which is meant to simulate the real world. In the case of Augmented Reality, it uses mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops to influence how actually the entire real world and the digital world interact.
At present, Augmented Reality has been able to achieve more success in the entire consumer space in comparison to Virtual Reality. There are different applications of AR along with video games and different hardware devices like Google Glass. When it comes down to Virtual Reality, this particular technology is just stepping up in the market. It is quite far from being a real thing for the customers to get social encounters in a virtual world.
However, there is a place for both AR as well as VR in the marketplace. AR is able to find commercial success quite easily as it doesn’t have to take the people out of the real world. Along with this, it doesn’t have to be a comparison between both technologies. They don’t actually always operate independently on one another. In fact, they are usually fused together to generate a highly immersive experience.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are essentially inverse reflections of one in another, considering what each of these technologies wishes to achieve. Augmented Reality essentially overlays the virtual elements in the real world while in the case of Virtual Reality, it digitally creates an entirely new real-life setting.
Both of these technologies are surely going to become mainstream in the time to come. Things are already evolving, and before we know it, we are certainly going to be witnessing an entirely new world which is more virtual, than real.