The Difference Between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

With the coming tide of new technologies flooding in, two are looking to bring much hype. There’s the advent of augmented reality and the resurrection and eventual realization of virtual reality. Both seem to be what people are anticipating the most in recent years, even though it may take quite a bit more time before they start taking over much of the world.

While they both have the word “reality” in their names, they do have substantial differences that can be easily explained and even better understood when shown well in action. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but both certainly have their place in our technological future.

Augmented Reality

It’s a relatively new term that’s now gaining traction due to its potential in blending virtual reality and real life. You can have applications that create images that blend with the real world. Just imagine having a heads up display like that in video games, particularly first person shooters and more recent racing game.

You can get something like that too on your device to give you information on various things, and it may then come in form of glasses or even contact lenses that give you an actual HUD of sorts. You can also simply just have it on your smartphone, superimposing information on real world images through the camera.


It brings applications and what you see in the real world together to form something that brings even more functionality to everyday life. Augmented reality, as the name suggests, is all about adding to our reality as opposed to creating a whole different one altogether.

Augmented reality is great as a learning tool, interface for a live data retrieval application, personal organization, language translation, navigation, health tracking, and many more. There’s nearly boundless potential for the application of augmented reality technology, and it can be adopted by the dominant platforms in the market today.

Of course, the disadvantage of augmented reality is that it’s not fully immersive like virtual reality; it’s merely supplementary for the most part. While it can indeed take precedent to a certain degree when called for and not just be playing a supporting role.

Virtual Reality

Most people who know of virtual reality hark back to the 90’s when the idea became mainstream but the actual technology seemed foolish at best. Flash forward 20 years and it seems that not only has it come back with quite a vengeance, but has regained new life as it has gotten very close to realizing its intended purpose; close to how people imagined it to be.

The current progress with devices that simulate 3D environments that fully immerse users is starting to truly become an actual reality. Virtual reality is all about immersing people into a whole new 3D world of its own. This has the effect of the viewer perceiving this virtual reality as currently his own, thus taking over his senses and perception.


This makes for both practical and recreational uses that range from gaming and entertainment to exploring various environments for the purposes of study and research. The consumer market obviously have great interest in this, and various fields like medicine, architecture, aviation, and so on can use it as well.

While gaming is an obvious application, this also is great for rendering events and concerts as it really does simulate being there; trials have been very promising on this end. With this in mind, you can also go on virtual tours that make you feel as if you’re actually there. This makes experiencing the world so much more accessible for so many people.

The obvious disadvantage of virtual reality is the equipment itself, which can get fairly expensive and have to be worn on your head. As of now, the technology is still under development, so the equipment is still fairly clunky and unfamiliar. There’s also no standard format yet since there are different companies working on their own thing. Hopefully, a standard will be established so consumers need not be confused.

There’s also the issue of motion sickness, which is a constant challenge in VR development. So far, developers have been looking for various ways to make sure that as many people will be able to comfortably use VR as possible. Putting a dot in the middle of the field of view does help in preventing simulation sickness, but that can only go so far. Hopefully, they’ll be able to figure something out soon enough.


Both technologies are currently being developed in the hopes of spearheading a new way of presenting content and tackling problems to everyone throughout the whole world. It’s already reshaping how we perceive reality in this day and age, and it doesn’t even stop there. Soon, AR and VR will dominate much of our lives, from how we consume content to the tools we use for various purposes.

If you have something to say about augmented reality and/or virtual reality, please share your thoughts on the comments section below. Thank you for dropping by.


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