Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality [Tech Explained]

Even before the Virtual Reality can literally take off, we now have Augmented reality. Tech pundits say that Augmented Reality (AR) is the future. AR has so much potential for innovation. If you are confused between Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), here is an article explaining the differences.

Virtual Reality

To experience VR, you would have to wear a VR headset or use a VR-enabled mobile on a VR-capable headset. The headset is worn on your head, in front of your eyes and you may wear earphones, connected to it. The phone or the headset present a split screen view with VR rich content on a 3D perspective. With these wearable devices, you place yourself in the Virtual world and experience it.

Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

How it works

The VR app determines your point of view and your head movement using the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors in the mobile or the VR headset. The presentation layer on the App interacts with you accordingly. If you move your head in directions, the content also moves along with, giving you a virtual surround experience. A good headset and a capable DAC chipset on the mobile is vital for the best immersive VR experience.

What can you do with it?

VR applications are all over the play store. There are some VR enabled youtube videoes, which lets you watch videos in VR headset. VR headsets can also help you watch 3D content. You can walk virtually in a tourist attraction, watch a concert, take a virtual tour or just watch a movie in emulated large screen experience. With VR, the capabilities are limited. Wearing a VR headset can be uncomfortable after a few minutes. But you can get a VR headset for as cheap as 10$. Most mobiles are VR capable. They just need to have Gyroscope and accelerometer. But, the possibilities are limited and is already saturated.

Augmented Reality

VR puts in you a Virtual environment, by Augmented Reality(AR) put VR in your environment.  You take an AR-enabled mobile like the upcoming Asus Zenfone AR and point the camera at your surroundings and you would see virtual elements placed on your reality. You can interact with it and at the same time you will not miss out on observing your real world. Microsoft Hololens was probably the first commercial product that gave us a demo of how AR would be experienced. You can either augment virtual components on your real world or mix virtual components with the components already present in the real world. Either way, it qualifies to be called as Augment Reality.

Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

How it works

With a set of sensors and computer vision software supported on the Google Google’s Tango platform, Augmented reality apps augments the virtual world on your real world. The mobile or the device that supports AR sees the real world like we do. It tracks motions, recognizes objects and understands the physical surroundings. Once the ambiance is scanned, the virtual world objects are placed on it and it can be experienced from the AR supported devices like Microsoft Hololens or Asus Zenfone AR.

Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

What can you do with it?

The use of AR is not just limited to Gaming. It can be an infotainment system or a pure information system. It can help doctors diagnose patients, pilots fly a plane, tourists take a tour without human guides, etc… The possibilities are endless. You can just point the mobile at a thing, place or person and you are presented with a whole new set of information that will change the way you interact with the real world. Imagine wearing Iron-Man’s suit and scanning the world with it. If you can’t imagine, just wait for the Asus Zenfone AR to be launched.

Picture credits Designed by Freepik | Designed by Freepik



A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.

Related Articles