If you have any idea what Virtual Reality is let me explain it. Virtual Reality is a state of mind where a person has the feeling that he/she is somewhere other than his/her physical surroundings. In short, the technology use to achieve Virtual Reality is the use of computer graphics and videos with specialized software to give the user an experience that are far beyond the’real world’.
Let us take an example of how we use virtual reality and augmented reality in IKEA store. In this case, we are not talking about augmented reality where in you are inside an IKEA showroom and they are providing you information on their latest line of products. Rather, we are talking about augmented reality or digital reality where you are inside the showroom and there are objects in front of you which are very much like the ones you would find in your living room. The concept is simple, when you go to an IKEA store, you will be able to see a virtual television screen in your display window, when you move your head to one side the screen will move accordingly to show you what is on the other side, almost as if you are looking at a physical TV in your living room
But there is a key difference between augmented reality or digital reality and virtual reality. In the case of digital reality, the system takes your photo or a video of whatever you are viewing on your computer screen and feed it into the system. This way you are able to enjoy the virtual world with all the same features and advantages of a real life experience. When you go to an IKEA store you are not seeing a 3 dimensional object, but an exact replica of it. It can be any type of material – cloth, wood, steel, glass, stone, etc.
So when you ask the question is there a difference between augmented reality technology and virtual reality technology, the answer lies in the customer experience. In the case of digital screens the difference lies in the ease with which the information can be displayed. In the case of headsets you will find the same advantage in viewing the information, however, you also have the advantage of having the freedom to move your head and see around the area in front of you.
So how does one decide between augmented reality (ar) and virtual reality (vr) and just which one is the better option for their individual needs? The simple answer is that each of these technologies has their pros and cons. However, before taking the advantages and disadvantages into consideration it is important to first define the differences between these technologies. Virtual reality is where you are literally inside a game or environment – you are not in your living room.
When it comes to Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality there is no real fundamental difference between them. Virtual Reality headsets use something known asense which permits the display of digital content on your retina from the outside world. This content can be anything from a game to a film to 3D images. The next step up in smart glasses is the development of what is known as theauVR, this is a more advanced set of smart phones or tablets which provide users with the ability to display digital content on the retina of the eyes. Once again, the content can be anything from the world of a film to a game. The final step in the progression from simple glasses to smart glasses is the development of digital content interractive lenses, this consists of two small lenses which enable the display of digital content on one eye.
In the case of Augmented Reality the difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality is the interaction. With the former you are literally able to “place” items within the real world; with the latter you are able to “place” items within an artificial world but also interact with it through the use of sensors or devices. Examples of devices used for the interaction of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are the Google Glass and Magic Leap. These gadgets enable people to interact with the digital content on the screen, for instance you can play games, reply to emails or even surf the web.
The biggest difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality however is that with the latter you have the luxury of being able to walk inside digital worlds where your physical presence is entirely removed. You can step inside these digital worlds by wearing either a pair of glasses or even a pair of virtual reality headsets. This removes the need for you to actually step into the real world which means you can go wherever you want whenever you want. It has however, some drawbacks, the biggest being that these headsets do not allow you to truly experience real world activities which means you are restricted to what you can see and what you can do in the games.