AR vs VR: What Difference Does it Make? (Part 1)
Nowadays there are several technologies that can change our perception of reality. Whether it’s the immersion in the virtual world, adding interactive components to the real world or something in between. Increasingly, virtual and augmented realities are becoming a topic of discussion. Which of these two technologies will bring more benefits to large companies? Both are good, and it will be useful to consider the basics of these new advanced technologies.
First thing is to understand what virtual and augmented reality is and how they differ. Augmented reality is achieved through technologies that complement the vision of the real world with information created by a computer. A first well-known example of augmented reality was Google Glass — smart glasses that combine a touchpad, camera and LED display. Due to the display, Google Glass users have access to the Internet and to services such as navigating and sending emails to the addresses indicated within sight.
New generation devices, such as Microsoft HoloLens, open up truly magical possibilities. People who use these glasses sees the whole world around them through the transparent glass, but in addition to this, there is a different number of holograms, graphs, images and three-dimensional objects in front of them.
Of course, they don’t appear in the real world, and no one except the owners of the glasses can interact with them. However, if the other person also wears Hololens, he will be able to find himself in the same virtual world as the other users of the glasses. This illusion is created by displaying the necessary objects on the glass, which are subsequently perceived by the user’s brain as if they were real.
A major domain of application is architecture and construction. Now, when conducting presentations, there’s no need to poke your fingers into small objects, telling about their incredible benefits, or trying to explain what is inside the building. It is enough just to give each of the people present at the presentation these glasses and start talking about all the advantages of the future project. Poorly visible windows — enlarge them, incomprehensible construction — “open” the building and show each element, etc.
Hololens glasses are suitable for doctors who can easily demonstrate all aspects of the human body to young trainees; teachers trying to explain something too difficult for students or poor tourists who don’t have the opportunity to go on a world tour.
As the name suggests, the concept of virtual reality encompasses technologies that allow the user to interact with the virtual environment. In contradistinction to augmented reality, the real world is absent, there is no direct or indirect contact with it — everything that the user sees, hears and feels is a computer program. However, the way we interact with the virtual environment is largely dependent on the platform used.
Most headsets are designed for the static position of the user and at the same time transmit the image to the glasses screen, using controllers when the user is immersed in a virtual head. One example of a virtual reality device is Oculus Rift development, owned by Facebook.
But in order to use it, you need both a computer (to which the headset is connected) and a separate controller for operation. In fact, this is a screen in front of your eyes, which is mounted in a helmet, allowing you to surround yourself with a virtual 360-degree world. PlayStation VR works in a similar way.
Comparison of AR and VR
User interaction with natural reality
- VR – Users are isolated from reality and submerged by means of a device in a fully digital sensorial universe
- AR – Interaction is with real-world based on the digital information added to the same
Level of immersion in a digital experience
- VR – Implies a complete immersion in a fully digitalized parallel reality
- AR – Depends on the digital density added to reality
- VR – VR Headsets
- AR – Smartphones that support AR, AR Glasses
Source of image
- VR – Computer graphics or real images
- AR – The combination of computer-generated objects and real-world images
- VR – Fully digital
- AR – The combination of objects of the virtual and real worlds
Perspective / Angle
- VR – Virtual objects change their position and size in accordance with the position of the user in the virtual world
- AR – Virtual objects behave based on the user’s position in the real world
- VR – Photorealistic virtual can hardly be distinguished from real
- AR – Virtual objects can be recognized based on their qualities and actions, for example, text that follows the user.
- VR – Readjustment after the initial bubble
- AR – In expansive exploration
We have reviewed the main differences between augmented and virtual reality experiences, and how they compare to each other. In the second part of the article, we will gasp on the usage of the technology and some issues that businesses are facing while adopting immersive digital transformation.