Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are both based on similar ideas on creating a virtual experience for the user, however, this is where their exact similarities stop. They both tend to come up in the same conversations and are confused between each other all the time by those new to the scene. We can promise you that they are both majorly different and there’s good reason to explain this as the world moves to adopt towards both sets of technology in everyday life.
So as stated, they both aim to enhance our interaction with the virtual world through visual experience, where they differ, id the perception of our own presence. Virtual Reality is intended to transport the user into a digital landscape. Through VR goggles you are now perceiving yourself to be in a virtual environment.
On the other hand, augmented reality takes our current reality and adds a virtual element to it. We are still perceiving ourselves to be in the same place. The tech just simply augments reality by adding digital effects to it. Clear visors that display live digital data relevant to the items you are looking at is a great example.
With the basics explained let’s have a further look at the two different technologies:
What’s the Real Difference?
Think about going to a Michael Jackson concert vs watching MJ moonwalk across your desk. With virtual reality, you can go to a live concert potentially with any of your favorite music artists and feel the atmosphere from your own bedroom. With augmented reality, you can watch a dance crew pop out of your business card performing summersaults. While VR is a more immersive experience, AR provides more creative options for the user and more opportunity for marketers as their audience does not require pricey VR headsets.
Which one is More Popular?
While both virtual reality and augmented reality are both increasing in popularity, they have still been considered toys in society. People instantly associate both VR and AR as nothing more than entertainment devices made for gaming and movies. We saw a revelation with the AR app Pokémon in the last few years which was great for boosting the awareness of AR, but this only reiterated the common perception of its relation to the gaming industry.
Ultimately, the reason is that both sets of tech are currently restricted by our ability to render 3D environments in real-time. VR requires a lot of time and resource to create a life-like environment that users can be immersed by. AR is less restricted as it only needs certain elements to be designed and the majority of the experience is created from real-world textures.
We hope this clears up some of the common misconceptions that people have about the difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Both are really exciting sets of technology that will help us evolve into the digital world. Whether one industry will make the other obsolete is unlikely but we will have to wait and see.