Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality (AR vs VR)- 5 Realistic Comparison of The Two Future Technologies You Must be Aware of in This Digital Era | Augrealitypedia
In this digital era, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are the two prominent terminologies that you hear frequently. And, each one of them is capable of bringing the technological revolution in this digital world. But, one of the biggest puzzle is to differentiate Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. In this post, I will help you to solve this puzzle with clear understanding of each term. So, go ahead and learn the difference between Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality.
Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality
Well, before proceeding into technicality, I will first explain the literal meaning of each term. Augmented means Enhanced and reality means the real world around you. And, obviously, virtual means something not real. Thus, the literal meaning of Augmented reality is the enhanced real world. And, this enhancement is done by adding digital contents like, image, video or even realistic 3d models into the real world objects. Whereas, the literal meaning of Virtual reality is the virtual world resembling the real world. In simpler words, Augmented reality is actually the real world enhanced with virtual contents whereas Virtual reality is completely the virtual world created in such a way that user resembles it as the real world. Still not clear? OK, to distinguish AR and VR, I can quote the below extracts from my reply posted on Quora.
“To understand Augmented reality, simplest example is the live telecast of any cricket match with the virtual line or curve representing the path of a ball. Similarly, “360 degree videos” (that you enjoy on VR headsets) are the simplest examples to understand Virtual reality.”
OK, now you must have understood the basic difference between Augmented reality vs Virtual Reality. Lets move ahead with 5 realistic comparison of AR and VR, the two future technologies.
#1. AR vs VR in terms of Technology
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality both are the emerging technologies in the current scenario. And, both can provide a digitally enriched experience. In AR, virtual or digital contents are overlaid or infused into the real environment and in the real-time. Whereas in VR, the real environment is first digitized and then virtual elements are added into this already digitized virtual world. In other words, Augmented Reality technology keeps your real world untouched and just add virtual information into it (remember the example of adding virtual curve in the live telecast of real match) whereas Virtual Reality technology isolates your real world and put you in a complete immersive virtual environment (remember the example of watching 360 degree videos on your VR headset).
#2. AR vs VR in terms of their Applications
Augmented reality and Virtual reality both have numerous applications in various fields. And, each can provide you an unforgettable experience. However, due to its complete immersive behavior, VR is best suitable for gaming and entertainment purpose (e.g PlayStation VR). Whereas, due to its interactive characteristics in the real-time, AR is mostly suited for education, medical, marketing, advertisement and real-estate applications. Moreover, a lot of Augmented Reality Apps are also available to solve many practical problems in a very interactive manner. Nevertheless to mention that nowadays companies are experimenting a lot with AR & VR. Thus, Augmented reality is getting entry into gaming field (e.g Pokemon Go) also. And at the same time, Virtual reality extends its wings into the medical, retail and skill training applications also.
#3. AR vs VR in terms of Hardware requirement
Hardware requirement plays a major role to distinguish Augmented reality vs Virtual Reality. You can experience AR with your android or iPhone. Thus, any smart phone or tablet with a good camera and RAM is sufficient enough to enjoy basic functioning of AR. And, there is no need of any special hardware for AR. Whereas, to enjoy Virtual Reality, Head Mounted Display (HMD) is also necessary in addition to mobile devices. VR headset is one of the simplest commercial form of HMD. Although a number of VR headsets are readily available in the market, you can start with the basic VR headset, Google Cardboard.
Tip:- Microsoft helps you to experience Augmented reality with the help of stand-alone wearable smart-glass, Microsoft HoloLens.
#4. Major contributors AR vs VR
Augmented reality and Virtual Reality both seems very lucrative for companies. undoubtedly, this is one of the reason behind the huge investment done by the Giant companies like Google, Microsoft, Alibaba, Facebook, Qualcomm etc. Nevertheless to mention that a lot of companies are also developing custom applications and hardware to add value in the field of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies.
- 5 Major Contributors in the field of AR are:- Apple, Microsoft, Google, Qualcomm and Daqri.
- 5 Major Contributors in the field of VR are:- Google, Facebook, Samsung, HTC and Sony.
Apart from above mentioned developments, many companies are utilizing the another important aspects of these technologies. Yes! AR and VR put a very effective footprint in the video gaming industries. For example, most popular Augmented reality game, Pokémon Go was developed by the well-known Augmented reality company Niantic. Whereas, the Virtual Reality company Owlchemy has developed the most popular Virtual reality game, Job Simulator.
Related Article:- 5 Most Innovative Augmented Reality Companies.
#5. AR vs VR in terms of Current Market share and Future prospects
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality both have started penetrating into the digital market. AR is still in the experimental stage with technical enthusiasts. Whereas, VR has already materialized into the commercial format (e.g, Samsung Gear VR headset, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, etc). Thus, in terms of number of products, currently Virtual reality shares a larger portion of market than Augmented Reality. But, a number of interactive AR applications and AR headsets like Microsoft HoloLens has already introduced to this tech craving market. And, this is the reason market experts predict Augmented Reality as a leader in the long run.
Furthermore, according to ReportLinker, “The Global AR and VR market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 41.2% during the forecast period 2016-2025 and accounts for US$ 130.01 Bn in the year 2025.“
In summary, I can say that Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality though sound similar, they actually differ in their basic working principle. Unlike VR, practical utilization of AR is not limited to gaming and entertainment purpose only. In fact, due to real-time integration of virtual contents with real environment, AR is the most preferred technology for education and other engineering purpose. And, yes! you can enjoy Augmented reality on your Android/iPhone whereas VR headset is mandatory in the case of Virtual Reality. Also, many Giant companies are heavily investing in AR and VR technologies. Nevertheless to mention that this healthy competition between Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality will certainly create new and more innovative ways to utilize these future technologies.
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