Virtual reality v/s Augmented reality

With the advent of technology, the definition of reality is changing. What is reality? Something which exists naturally and experienced by us with our five senses. But now these senses are super powered by technology to make us feel the things in the real world which are actually not there. Bewildered? Well, the world has been swept to the domain of simulated reality by the latest two technologies, called Virtual reality and augmented reality. Said, owing to the fact that both these technologies can accentuate or modify the physical reality around a user, people are getting confused with them.

So, virtual reality as the name suggests, entirely immerses you to a different visual world that is artificially created and enhanced. It completely transports you from your physical surroundings to the world where you become a part of it and interact there in various ways. The technology capture number of your senses like smell, touch, seeing, and hearing to make it more engaging for its users. It is prominently used in two different ways:

  • To create and enhance an imaginary reality for gaming and entertainment like video games and 3D movies.
  • To train for real life environments by creating a simulation of reality where people can practice beforehand like done for pilots before actually allowing them to fly.

The coding language which makes it possible is known as VRML ( Virtual reality modelling language). This coding is used to create a series of images or environment which engages different senses for interaction in order to get the feel.

Augmented reality does not replace the real world with simulated one like the virtual reality does. It just enhances your present real world surroundings by adding simulated inputs into it. Basically, it refers to the reality that has been augmented through artificial means. It is mainly used in the following three ways:

  • AR games: The Pokemon Go game is the best example of it where players use the mobile device’s GPS capability to locate and capture the Pokemon. This Pokemon appears on the screen as if it is there in the same real world location as the player is.
  • AR browsers: The Wikitude, an AR browser app, basically fill your screen with all the nearby geographical relevant information which you may otherwise look on Google while travelling at a new place.
  • AR viewer: The snapshot showroom app is built on this technology, where it allows the users to place life-size 3D models in the existing environment on the screen. For example, you can check how the furniture will look in your house.

Talking about another difference, both AR and VR operate with different gear. Your AR gear won’t support VR and vice versa. Oculus Rift is the most advanced and popular gear to experience virtual reality. This rift covers both eyes and ears when you wear it and has a resolution of 1080 X 1200 per eye so that you get a wide-angle view of the virtual world you entering into. To experience AR, the best gear till date are Hololens. They are Microsoft product and are very similar to visor glasses in appearance.

Thus, with all the above-said differences and the competition that is thriving between the two technologies, it is also evident that they have immense potential to digitally enhance our world of future.