AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) are technologies created and used to alter our perception of the real world by integrating digital content. But what kind of reality do they create? How are they similar - or different?
AR is a technology that overlays digital information, such as images, videos or 3D objects, onto the real world. It allows users to see and interact with the real environment while also seeing and interacting with digital content. AR is commonly experienced through smartphones, tablets, or dedicated AR glasses. An example of AR is when you can use your smartphone or tablet camera to see the size of furniture in a room or space.
AR provides an enhanced real-world experience with overlays of digital information onto the real world, adding extra layers of information and interactivity. AR can be used to increase productivity across varying industries to assist with tasks, provide live data or offer instructions. With the capability of being able to provide extra layers of objects projected into reality, AR can enhance learning and education with visualizations, simulations and 3D models. AR experiences offer a feature of convenience by being accessible on everyday devices like smartphones and tablets.
There are limits to how much AR can do to alter the current reality of users. It can add layers, but can not fully create a whole new environment, Depending on the level of advancement the AR offers, there may be a requirement for special devices or glasses to be used to see the added layers.
VR, on the other hand, creates a completely immersive digital environment that isolates users from the real world. By wearing a VR headset, users are transported to a simulated reality where they can perceive and interact with a computer-generated environment. VR often involves controllers or hand-tracking devices to enhance user interaction.
The experience that VR provides is fully immersive, meaning that the environment the user sees is completely different from their real environment. VR allows users to feel like they are in a completely different universe, which allows them to have a unique and immersive gaming and entertainment experience. Not only does VR allow users to visit environments that are fictional, but it also allows users to explore real-life places they may not be able to travel to physically. Similar to AR being able to enhance learning, VR enables training simulations for students to practice in a safe environment. This includes flight simulation and medical procedures.
ConsWhile using VR the world is completely blacked out, which can limit social interaction and be isolating. While using VR, this can cause motion sickness or discomfort due to the disconnect between visual and physical sensations. Plus, the system and the technology devices to be able to utilize VR can be expensive.
Similarities of AR and VR
Overall, AR and VR are technologies that provide a different environment than true reality. Both of them provide the opportunity to be used across multiple industries and have the capability to enhance education.
Differences Between AR and VR
AR has the capability to blend or add objects into the real world, while VR creates a completely new environment through digital simulation. This means AR users can see the physical environment around them while using the equipment, but VR users are isolated from the real world. The device requirements between the two differ. AR requires a smartphone, tablet or special AR glasses, while VR requires a specific headset which includes a display to view the images, speakers or headphones, handheld units to track arm movements and even microphones.
AR and VR are fantastic technological inventions that can really help improve education as well as help support many industries. As technology continues to evolve, we will always be looking for better ways to implement and use these technologies.
At EOX Vantage, we are always looking for ways to continuously improve and incorporate all innovations and new products coming to market, AR and VR have many potential benefits for companies, including improving the customer experience. Let us know in the comments how you would use AR or VR!