Today, both terms are used by the mainstream media, and some may wonder if they are interchangeable. In fact, virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) types of reality are very different types of environment. Here is how the two technologies compare.
VR will immerse you in a fully digital environment that you explore with the help of a headset. Think of VR games with lifelike graphics and 3D worlds. Even YouTube now features 360-degree videos. If you click on the cardboard icon and don a headset, you will experience immersion.
A good example of AR is Pokemon Go. Not long ago, millions of people pursued pokemons overlaid on the real-world environment. Basically, you would walk around, waiting for the character to appear on the map, and tap it to initiate the encounter.
- VR will immerse you in a synthetic digital environment;
- AR will overlay virtual objects on the real environment.
Once you strap on a VR headset, you find yourself completely enveloped in a computer-generated world. The technology implies a multisensory experience. Sophisticated VR gear enables freedom of movement. Not only can you explore this artificial environment, but you can also hear sounds, and there is more.
Today, there are even sex toys manufactured specially for VR-enhanced porn. Users may sync up their vibrations with the movements in their favorite porn videos. These haptic (i.e., touch-related) devices deepen the immersion and intensity of sensations.
To enjoy the benefits of VR, you need a headset. This eliminates all background distractions and tricks your brain into perceiving the digital environment as real. There is a wide range of models on the market, from the cheapest cardboard options to fancy hi-tech gadgets.
Headsets delivering the highest quality must be connected to a PC or a gaming console (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or Playstation VR). Others may be used with your smartphone – just slip it into the device and enjoy. However, the main difficulty with basic headsets like the Google Cardboard is that you need to hold it close to your face.
AR environment is a combination of real and virtual elements. Digital content is simply added to the real world, and users only interact with the actual things around them.
Aside from the Pokemon Go, you must have heard of Google Glass. With this headset, you were able to see digital content projected on the screen in front of your eyes. Although the product failed, it exemplified what augmented reality may feel like.
There are many AR apps available for your smartphone, so install one and try it yourself. For example, with IKEA Mobile App, you can see how pieces of the Swedish furniture would look in different places in your house.
Thus, AR overlays digital elements on the actual environment. VR, on the other hand, fully immerses you in a virtual world, creating a realistic multisensory experience. Both technologies have radically changed human perception of reality.