Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality- Similarities and Differences.

Virtual reality and augmented reality have similar features though with a few differences. Both are AI Technologies used in almost all spheres of human activity ranging from marketing down to education. Research by Deloitte has it that almost 90 percent of companies with $100 million and $1 billion as revenues, leverage either augmented reality or virtual reality.

One can’t deny the time and energy saved with these realities. Just like other technologies, it has come to ease the burden off humans.
In this article, we will look at virtual reality, and augmented reality, their roles in today’s world, and their similarities and differences.

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality makes use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Virtual Reality has her fingers in education, science, commerce, and many other industries.
In virtual reality, the user gets a 3D experience. In the place of the viewing, the user is immersed in the 3D world.

Thinking of carrying out some actions in a digital environment and still feel as if you are immersed in a physical environment, virtual reality is your go-to technology.
It gives room for you to experience and manipulates your environment as if it were the real world.

A virtual reality environment is experienced through the sensory stimuli provided by the computer and the virtual visitor can influence what happens in the digital environment. Interaction with virtual reality is achieved using a VR headset or a heptic glove.

How Does Virtual Reality Work?

Virtual reality consists of both hardware and software. The hardware supports sensory stimulation such as sounds, touch, and smell whereas the software gives the environment. Virtual reality hardware includes controllers, headsets, treadmills, 3D cameras, hand trackers, and many others.

Virtual reality regenerates computer images and videos to produce real-life visual experiences. This is accomplished using computer vision and advanced graphics to generate 3D images and videos.

A special 3D video/image camera is used to create a dimensional world that any user can manipulate and explore using the VR headset. The generated images and videos are cast to a lens mounted on the headset. This headset is now strapped on the user’s head over the eyes such that the user is visually immersed in the content they are viewing.

Applications of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has been applied in almost all areas of human activity. Some of them include:
1. Virtual Reality Gaming.

2. Pain Management.
VR visuals help in distracting patients’ brains to confuse the pain pathogens from suffering. It helps in soothing the pain of patients.

3. Training and Learning.
VR is good for demonstration, especially in surgical classes. The students go through training without exposing the lives of patients and trainees to danger.
Soldiers in training are taught how to respond to different situations without being in danger physically.

4. Therapy for Paraplegics.
Paraplegics get to experience and have a feel of the outside world, of outside their environment without having to physically be there to experience it.

5. Tourism.
Tourists and people who want to visit a particular country or areas get to make their choices among many options using virtual reality. Travelers get to experience places before they visit.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality comes to light where designs enhance part of the user’s physical world with computer-generated input. The design creates input ranging from sound to video, and graphics to overlays.

Augmented realities are enhanced versions of the real physical world. It involves overlaying visual, auditory, or other sensory information onto the real world to give the user an experience.

AR combines a view of the real world with computer-generated elements in real-time.

How Augmented Reality Works

AR works by making digital content look as if it is part of the physical world. This is achieved using computer vision which transports users into a completely digital world using headsets.

Applications of Augmented Reality

Just like virtual reality, augmented reality has been applied to all spheres of human activity. Some of the areas include:

  1. Retail
    With AR, clients and customers can try the product before they buy. It allows consumers to find out how the products will look in their homes before purchasing them. Example: Ikea allows you to place furniture in your real-world using augmented reality.

2. Mapping and Investigation
Most transport industries are introducing vehicles that overlay navigation information on the windshield. With this, one can drive without looking away from the road.

3. Education
Textbooks are marked with codes that when scanned by a smartphone can display additional contents or display 3D visuals.

4. Medical Training
Students are taught about the ins and out of anatomy using AR glasses or headsets. Students make use of AR to delve into the human body with no need of dissecting cadavers.

5. Weather Broadcasting
AR brings to life subjects being talked about. It makes the understanding of some subjects easier.

Virtual Reality Vs Augmented Reality

AR and VR are technologies bent on changing the normal way of doing things.

With VR, full immersion is experienced. The user feels as though they are part of the digital environment. They interact with the digital content and virtual 3D life-size objects as one would in the real world.

Just as the name sounds, AR is an augmented representation of the real world. The real world is augmented by laying 3D virtual images on top of the real-world environment seen by the user. The user sees in front of him or her the virtual images or holograms being part of the real-world environment.

Difference Between VR and AR

Virtual reality is completely virtual.
Augmented reality uses real-world settings.

  1. Virtual reality requires a headset device.
    AR can be accessed with a smartphone and also a head device.

2. VR enhances a fictional reality
AR enhances both the virtual and real world

3. VR users control their presence in the virtual world.
AR uses can control their presence in the real world.

Similarities Between VR and AR

  1. 3D contents are required
  2. Both make use of life-sized objects.
  3. They both offer immersion to the user.
  4. Both can make use of headsets.


It is safe to say that Augmented and Virtual reality technologies are gradually becoming the new normal. None is better than the other. Each has a particular purpose and function to fulfill, and they are generously doing that. They are adding colors to technology and our world.


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