AR Vs VR: What is the difference?Posted by
Just a couple of years ago, the terms virtual and augmented reality might have only been familiar to those with an interest in tech. These days, AR and VR, known collectively either as immersive technology or extended reality (XR), are just about everywhere, but some people still struggle to differentiate between the two.
In this guide, we’re going to explore the difference between VR and AR and identify some of the potential uses and business sectors that are suited to each.
What is virtual reality?
Virtual reality is the use of computer technology to create an entirely simulated environment. When you view VR, you experience a reality that is completely different from the one in front of you. It could be animated, artificial or an actual setting that has been recreated in virtual reality.
You can view virtual reality through a special VR headset, such as Oculus Rift or HTC VIVE, or by using your smartphone, a VR app or a headset such as Google Cardboard. Once you are in the virtual world, you can move around and look in every direction as if you were physically there.
What is augmented reality?
The key difference between VR and AR is that rather than creating an entirely new world, augmented reality supplements a real world view with virtual elements. Those virtual elements can include sounds, graphics, videos or GPS data. AR is viewed using a smartphone or tablet. The camera on a smartphone or tablet shows you the real world. An AR app is then used to overlay that image with additional information such as text or graphics.
Arguably, the most well-known example of AR in practice is the Pokémon Go game that took the world by storm in 2016. However, it’s also widely used in education and training applications. Similarly, Snapchat filters which overlay digital features on a live selfie are an AR technology.
AR vs. VR – which is right for you?
It’s not always a case of AR vs. VR, as these two technologies are often blended together to create a more immersive experience. For example, VR applications can be augmented with vibrations to add an extra dimension to the virtual experience.
What sectors are AR and VR commonly used in?
Virtual and augmented reality are becoming increasingly common in a diverse range of industries and sectors.
- Augmented reality
In healthcare, AR glasses can be worn by surgeons to provide the vital information they need while performing operations. In the manufacturing sector, AR has been adopted around the world. It can be used to project a digital operating canvas onto a work surface to provide audio and visual prompts that guide manual manufacturing processes. AR is also making huge leaps in the education and training sector, helping to make learning materials more accessible for visual learners.
- Virtual reality
Virtual reality is widely used in the gaming and entertainment industry, with the latest VR gaming stations now able to provide exceptional experiences at home. It has also become extremely popular in the world of marketing, helping brands add the wow factor to their promotional campaigns. Travel and hospitality firms have also been quick to realise the potential of VR to showcase destinations and accommodation before guests make a booking.
At Hire Intelligence, we stock a leading range of the latest virtual and augmented reality technology available on short-term and long-term rental deals. Get in touch to discuss your requirements or request a quick quote from our team.