Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality


Technologies for enhancement of sensory perceptions are opening up a new realm of possibilities in various facets of life. Augmented Reality has enabled digital avatars of things and situations, while Virtual Reality has enabled simulation of real things and situations. However, for most people, virtual reality and augmented reality are still shrouded in mystery. This calls for a comparison between these two types of sensory enhancement. 

Augmented Reality 

Augmented Reality adds digital dimensions to the live view of things and situations by using a camera, often that of a smartphone. There are a number of examples of augmented reality in real life. It is used in assisting drivers to ascertain routes, play games like Pokemon Go, etc.

How Augmented Reality Works?

Augmented Reality works by layering computer-generated enhancements of real-life views on the real-life object or scenario and making it more meaningful by enabling interaction with the object or scenario. It is possible to develop Augmented Reality apps and use them in mobile devices in order to superimpose digital components onto real world views where one enhances the other but can be distinguished from one another easily.

The technology is used to display score overlays in sports games telecasts, display text messages on mobile devices, using motion-activated commands, designing holograms, etc.

Virtual Reality

On the other hand, Virtual Reality completely immerses the person into an experience by completely shutting out the physical world. For experiencing Virtual Reality, you need to use VR devices like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Google Cardboard, etc. As you wear one of these headsets, you are transported to a world with imaginary environments. This can be and is used to simulate environments. So pilots can fine-tune their flying credentials by simulating a real flying scenario. Train drivers can simulate real driving scenarios and enhance their effectiveness. More such scenarios are possible and being used. 

How Virtual Reality Works? 

Virtual Reality is about computer-generated simulations. The technology recreates real-life situations and environment and immerses the user into it. It stimulates the hearing and vision senses of users and makes them feel like experiencing the simulated reality.

To experience VR, the user has to wear a headset equipped with VR technology. It works by:

  • Creating an imagined reality for entertainment, gaming, etc.
  • Creating imaginary environments by simulating reality for people to practice for training purposes.

It is made possible by a coding language called Virtual Reality Modeling Language. This is done by creating a series of images and specifying the interactions to be carried out.

How do Augmented and Virtual Realities Differ?

Although both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality enhance the viewing experience, they do it differently. AR adds digital images, graphics, etc., as a layer of interaction with the real world. On the other hand, virtual reality generates an imagined reality.  


Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are the emerging technologies of the future. In fact, both of these technologies promise tremendous growth in their respective areas. AR and VR have the potential to enhance the experience of gaming, simulating training and more.

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