| March 16, 2022

Virtual vs Augmented Reality: What’s the difference?

Ever heard about augmented reality and virtual reality? They have been taking the tech world by storm! The terms “virtual reality” and “augmented reality” are tech-common and have an exciting future. From Pokémon Go to Oculus Quest; they can light up the world of tech for you! 

VR headsets like the Oculus Quest or Valve Index and other AR apps and games like Pokémon Go are heard round about the town a lot. The amalgamation of the two offers a whole new world. 

When the perfect blend of your headset gets mixed with the frequency of the brain- it completely takes over your vision to give an impression that you’re somewhere else! Virtual reality is one such tech-amaze feature. 

What is Virtual Reality?

If you want to be completely out of the zone; opaque headsets like HTC Vive Cosmos, the PlayStation VR, the Oculus Quest, and the Valve Index can help. (You may feel blindfolded the minute it’s switched off!) 

Once you turn the headsets on, the LCD or OLED get refracted by the lenses to fill the vision field. These virtual spaces of platforms can be just another virtual interface, game, or 360-degree video. 

Virtual reality offers six degrees of freedom- You can track the motion with the 6DOF by the tethered VR headsets like Index and PS VR, and standalone VR headsets like the Quest 2. 

Here the tech is extrasensory with external senses and cameras (or outfacing). Any movement you make in the virtual direction will get detected. 

A combination of 6DOF with these tech-amaze products can let you move in the virtual world and virtual hands. This space is typically only a few square meters across, yet it is far more immersive than simply standing still and staring. 

The disadvantage is that you must be cautious not to trip over any cables connecting the headset to your computer or game system.

Virtual reality transports you to different worlds and dimensions ( no matter where you are physically). In video games, one may land in the cockpit of a starfighter.

You may virtually tour distant sites as though you were there, using these apps. VR has a plethora of possibilities that help you experience a world full of possibilities. The creativity it offers is endless. 

What Is Augmented Reality?

Here your perception isn’t replaced- augmented reality augments the perception. AR systems, like the Microsoft HoloLens and other enterprise-level “smart glasses,” are transparent. It allows you to see everything in front of you and the experience is just as if you were wearing a pair of sunglasses.

The technique is designed to allow for unfettered movement while projecting graphics over whatever you are looking at. 

The concept is extended to smartphones with augmented reality apps and games, like Pokemon Go, which use your phone’s camera to track your surroundings and overlay added heads-up on top of it; on the screen.

AR displays can range from as simple as a data overlay that shows the time to as complex as holograms that float in the midst of a room. 

One of the reasons why AR is preferred is because AR can always be extended to VR, not the other way around. It is also extremely user-friendly where even the not-so-tech-savvy individuals can use it hassle-free. Whereas VR is intimidating as people lose a sense of belongingness to the real world. Hence they cannot and must not use VR headsets at length.

While VR entirely covers and replaces your field of vision, AR apps only appear on the screen of your smartphone or tablet. The HoloLens can also make you see visuals in any area. 

Basic augmented reality that overlays simple information over what you’re looking at can work quite well with 3DOF. Most AR apps, on the other hand, require 6DOF in some form, tracking your actual position so that the program can maintain consistent images positions in 3D- the reason why HoloLens uses a stereoscopic camera and advanced recognition pattern. 

It can easily detect location, and why more modern, AR-centric devices measure depth with several rear-facing cameras.

Augmented reality has unlimited possibilities. For years, phone-based augmented reality software has been recognizing surroundings and providing additional information about what it sees, such as live translation of text or pop-up evaluations of restaurants as you look at them. 

Dedicated augmented reality headsets, like the HoloLens, can go much farther, allowing you to virtually position different programs as floating windows around you. They effectively provide you with a modular, multi-monitor, and computer configuration.

AR is extensively used on smartphones and doesn’t have the vision-augmenting aspect of enterprise-level displays. 

To sum up

Although both the programs have the same designs but accomplish different things. VR replaces reality- it takes you to another dimension, and AR adds to the reality. It projects information on the actual existing scene. Both are powerful technologies that have helped humans to get tech-advanced. 


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