Many people are familiar with the term “Virtual Reality” for it has been mentioned in many situations. As a very common theme in science fiction movies, virtual reality is often used a way to turn the fantastical into something that seems totally real. It gives audience a more exciting and realistic experience. However, compare to VR, there are a few people familiar with augmented reality (AR), let alone the use of this technology. Actually, augmented reality has a multitude of use cases; it focuses on product visualization to provide businesses with the ability to show virtual products in real-time in their real environment.
The application of AR in shopping experiences may one familiar case you have heard. Both in-store and online, AR has a sudden impact for retail merchants by enabling consumers to have a direct experience to the products. Some of you who have read this far will by now be confused about the difference between VR and AR. Continue to get my brief illustration of:
What is virtual reality?
What is augmented reality?
Difference between AR and VR
What is Virtual Reality?
In brief, virtual reality is a simulation of a real life environment or situation which created by computer. By wearing a VR device, users are immersed in the virtual environment and feel like they are experiencing the simulated reality firsthand. In theory, users can have context awareness from their five senses, but with the limitation of technology, it makes impact by stimulating people’s vision and hearing. Nowadays, VR is typically achieved by wearing:
VR headset: it provides immersive virtual reality for the wearer. VR headset is widely used with computer games but they are also used in other applications, including simulators and trainers. They comprise a stereoscopic head-mounted display, stereo sound, and head motion tracking sensors. Some VR headset also have eye tracking sensors and gaming controllers.
VR glasses: it is widely used with smartphones and has similar effect with VR headset.
VR is used prominently in two different ways:
Create and enhance an imaginary reality for gaming, entertainment, and play.
Enhance training for real life environment by creating a simulation f reality where people can practice before hand.
What is Augmented Reality?
Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it. It is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. AR is developed into apps and used on mobile devices to blend digital components into the real world in such a way that they enhance one another, but can also be told apart easily. Some AR achieved devices you may have ever heard are Google Glass and Meta Glass. Augmented reality is being used more and more in mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets to change how the real world and digital images, graphics intersect and interact.
Difference between VR and AR
By knowing what are VR and AR, you may have gotten the difference between them. To conclude, augmented reality and virtual reality are inverse reflections of one in another with what each technology seeks to accomplish and deliver for the user. VR offers a digital recreation of a real life setting; by contrast AR delivers virtual elements as an overlay to the real world.
Both VR and AR have much to expect in the future. We can look forward to the age when we can communicate with our friends face to face even though they are thousands miles away from us, and from that age, computer and smartphone are not necessary to exist in our life at all.