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What is the difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

What is the difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

by BlinkVRSeptember 15, 2017

Augmented Reality is technology where real-world elements are combined with or augmented by virtual computer-generated imagery creating a mixed reality. Augmented Reality enabled many companies to develop hi-tech apps including the new Apple iPhone X which provides full support to AR apps. Augmented Reality (AR) may have been considered as a fantasy some years back, but now it is not, with so many technological improvisations the augmented reality applications have now been included in the real world environment. This technology is currently dealing with the live computer generated images which enhance the display of certain computer software applications. Currently, there are three types of displays used by the augmented reality apps:

  1. Smartphone supporting iPhone X, and Android OS.
  2. Head Mounted Display, for example, Google Project Glass
  3. Generating imagery on any surface through the Spatial display.

Many applications have now supported Augmented Reality. From modern industry for the minimal gaming industry, augmented reality is playing an essential role in making the user experience of digital imagery vast.


Virtual Reality

VR takes data from the headset which is operated by a computer system or a mobile phone. While the headset is placed over your eyes and turned on, the display screen fills your entire vision (including your peripheral vision) and appears as though it is in reality further away from your eyes making it crystal-clear (so NOT like sitting close to the TV set where everything is pixelated). The sensors incorporated in the headset understand your physical point in space so as you turn your head, it sends that movement information to the device powering the VR headset which in turn translates those movements into actions.

Augmented Reality

AR uses a lot of the features of VR in terms of understanding your position in space, however instead of being engaged in a virtual world, with AR as you can see the real-world in front of you complete with virtual objects on top of it. For instance: if you are looking for furniture for your living room you can use an AR app to see which item would certainly look perfect in the room without having to buy it first. Therefore with AR, you are not carried to another world but are adding a layer of information on top of the reality. You are Augmenting the real world.

Mixed Reality

MR is a combination of VR together with AR . With Mixed reality, you can be in reality as well as have virtual objects that you can manipulate. The objects maintain their position in space so you can walk around them. For instance, a designer may have a motorbike in front of him/her and by putting on the headset, they will not only see the real motorbike but also utilize virtual tools to craft a new gas tank. They could then move around the bike to see how it would look from all angles and make changes to it thereby quickening the design/ prototyping phase considerably.

What are uses of VR, AR, and MR?

Since you see the main difference between these realities, the uses become crystal clear and go way beyond video gaming. For example, a tourist can use AR apps to achieve information about the particular location they find themselves in or translate the items on a menu in a foreign country, or they might point at a bus and see the route that it takes – all without needing to ask the locals.

Workers who work in the dangerous situation can be trained using Mixed Reality on how to handle their tools or harmful chemical substances all from the safety of the training facility.

Children could be worn VR headsets and be transported back in time to a virtual battlefield where they can walk around while the teacher explains the facts of the historic battle.

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