Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

Friday, October 16, 2020

Augmented Reality Vs. Virtual Reality: An Introduction

  • Ever wonder, what these terms: Augmented Reality(AR) and Virtual Reality(VR) means? The terms which are most often used today with reference to mobile smartphones in the field of computer science and information technology.
  • Also, people tend to get confused with these terms and often understand that both augmented reality and virtual reality are same. This is, in reality, is not true. They both are quite different.
  • Confused? Don’t be. We will try to provide you with enough insights into augmented reality and virtual reality which will help you to clear all your confusions. We will be starting with the concepts of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality first and then the comparisons between these two. Finally, we will try to justify the statement “ Which one is better” along with the conclusion. So, let’s get started.

Virtual Reality

  • Let’s start with Virtual Reality first aka “VR” as it came into existence way before Augmented Reality. The term Virtual Reality comprises “ Virtual + Reality”. Here, “Virtual” means something which does not appear physically in the real world but can be made appear using various software technologies.
  • Virtual Reality can be defined as an artificially simulated environment generated through software technologies and is presented to the user such that it appears to be an original or real environment where users can interact virtually using specially made Virtual Reality “Headsets”.
  • What Virtual Reality does is, it cuts off the person from the real world and puts the user into a separate space using goggles/headsets and provides a completely different 3-Dimensional view virtually.
  • Google Cardboard was one of the first VR enabled headset launched by Google which was later succeeded by various headsets like Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift. Oculus Rift is the most advanced VR headset till date providing the most immersive experience through VR.

Augmented Reality

  • Augmented Reality is quite different yet the same yet more advanced version of Virtual Reality. It is derived towards enhancing the users live view and experience. Augmented Reality is responsible for providing much immersive and consciousness to the without hindering the actual real environment by adding graphics or images or audio or video. It appears like natural to the current view and is achieved using smart mobile phones and various software applications.
  • It means, If a user is walking through streets of new york city and puts his/her smartphone camera in Augmented Reality mode, point it towards the live view, images or directions or locations or animals or plants may appear on the screen of the smartphone in real time which might not be present on that street of new york city. This is what Augmented Reality is.
  • Augmented Reality tries to superimpose virtual information such as images or graphics or text without hampering or blocking the user's view. It does this in the already present natural environment of the user.

Augmented Reality Vs. Virtual Reality: The Comparison

  • Since we had discussed what actually Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in previous sections, now it’s time to compare both of them on the basis of some characteristics. 
Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality : Comparison

Augmented Reality Vs. Virtual Reality: The Conclusion

  • Both Augmented Reality, as well as Virtual Reality, have some offerings which enable them to get used in the practical environment. Both have some advantages and some disadvantages too. Augmented Reality is very costly as compared with Virtual Reality but it is more technologically advanced and efficient.
  • So we cannot say which is good or bad. They both have different objectives and functionality which are possessed by them individually as well as in combination.
  • Along with this, various companies like Google, Oculus, Sony etc. are trying to invoke more features and develop more functionalities in both the technologies.
  • Augmented reality and virtual reality is the future as like Internet of Things and Cloud Computing. With so much to offer and these technologies are quite great in their own ways. There is so much to adopt from these technologies.
  • An example could be the famous Pokémon Go game which uses the concept of Augmented Reality and became famous overnight. This is what technology can do and we must appreciate it.
  • On the closing note, see what great minds have to say about this:
We’re making a long-term bet that immersive, virtual and augmented reality will become a part of people’s daily life.
--- Marc Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook
I regard Augmented Reality as a big idea like the smartphone.
--- Tim Cook, CEO of Apple
Virtual Reality is the first step in a grand adventure into the landscape of the imagination.
--- Frank Biocca
You can learn more about these headsets here:
  1. Oculus Rift 
  2. Google Cardboard
  3. Samsung Gear VR
You can learn more about other future technology blog posts here:
  1. Internet Of Things(IoT).
  2. Cloud Computing.
  3. Agile Methodology
Hope you have enjoyed reading this article. Keep supporting and Keep loving. Thanks a lot.
--- Ganesh Upreti---