The world of technology is changing so fast that, sometimes, it can be hard to keep track of all the advances. You might have heard the terms Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) thrown around as if they refer to the same thing. They’re not. Below, we will go into some of the differences between these two technologies and how they’re applied in our daily lives. From gaming to on-the-job training to remote classroom learning – the potential of AR and VR hasn’t been fully realized but these two technologies are already making a huge impact in our world.
AR stands for Augmented Reality and it differs from Virtual Reality in a number of ways. First and foremost, augmented reality adds to your visual reality. If you’re curious what Augmented Reality examples would be, think about AR games like Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go uses your phone’s camera to track your location and surroundings while simultaneously adding additional visual information on top of it.
AR can be just a data overlay you see through your glasses or it can even be a hologram. HoloLens and other smart glasses put floating app windows and 3D decor all around you, for example.
The major drawback of AR is the lack of visual immersion. AR can only work through a display.
With that said, AR is still a fun additional layer to add to your gaming experience. Here are some of the most popular mobile AR games:
Instead of adding to your reality like AR, VR actually changes your reality. For both games and online applications, virtual reality completely alters your surroundings and environment. In fact, virtual reality can take you to places around the world regardless of where you’re coming from.
How does VR change gaming?
Gaming is changing — and we think, for the better. With VR, you’re not just playing a game, you’re in the game. You’re no longer in a gaming chair with a controller. Instead, you’re the character controlling an environment with your own two hands.
Usually, a VR headset works in conjunction with a console or PC but soon, you can experience VR as a standalone VR headset.
Where else can VR be used outside of gaming?
Here are some examples of how it’s being used to revolutionize our lives:
- Remote learning: VR allows for global education opportunities where students can join a virtual classroom to learn.
- Storytelling: VR offers a completely new avenue for the narrative form to flourish. VR-users can take control of a story or simply stand by and be absorbed in different elements of a story.
- Training: If you’re in an high-risk industry like firefighting, it makes sense to have new firefighters train in virtual reality situations before throwing them into a real-life situation. It provides a low-risk way to practice different maneuvers where lives aren’t at stake if he or she makes a mistake.
- Art: A-Painter allows you to create art in a completely different world than your own.
- Data visualization: Sure, charts and graphs are great but can you imagine what it would be like if you could virtually explore data sets?
- Archaeology: Ancient civilizations can be brought back to life using VR tech.
- Meditation: Do you ever wish you could just… escape it all? There are apps like QuietSpace of course that help you relax but VR allows you to go to a virtual “happy place” where you can fully unwind.
The future of gaming is here, whether you’re ready for it or not. Besides gaming, both virtual and augmented reality are ready to completely change how we view the world – in the most literal sense. Maybe you want to dip your toe into ancient Greece and see the Pantheon in all its former glory or visit a recreation of the Luna Park on Coney Island. With just a click or gesture, you can go back in time.