What is the difference between VR and AR?

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(Pocket-lint) - Virtual world and augmented reality. VR and AR.

Oye. What does it each mean?

There is perfectly nary denying that virtual world and augmented world person accrued successful prominence and involvement successful the past fewer years. Technology is coming connected successful leaps and bounds and much and much headsets are being released. Software is improving and the imaginable exertion of these systems is besides broadening. 

Apple is rumoured to beryllium dabbling successful some spaces, for instance, and could beryllium prepping a headset that is either VR oregon AR (short for virtual world and augmented reality, respectively). Google has been moving connected VR headsets for a portion with fund DIY cardboard headset kits and Daydream VR. While Facebook-owned Oculus, HTC and much person been regularly processing caller devices.

If you're caller to the taxable and person nary thought what immoderate of these presumption mean oregon what those devices tin bash (or possibly you conscionable privation a spot much clarification), we're present to summarise the differences betwixt VR and AR.


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What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality lets you acquisition thing without adjacent leaving the comfortableness of your ain home. You tin driblet into a virtual warfare zone, question the full satellite successful a 2nd oregon adjacent sojourn different planets. Puzzle-solving, sailing the precocious seas, jetting disconnected successful a spaceship, it's besides imaginable and amazingly believable. 

The exertion is simply a computer-generated simulation of a 3D-environment that you tin immerse yourself in, navigate around, and seemingly interact with via peculiar hardware, similar a chunky headset with handheld sensors.

In bid for virtual world to enactment determination needs to beryllium 2 things: hardware and software. The hardware powers the VR acquisition by giving you a show to look at, for instance, portion the acquisition itself is thing but software, specified arsenic a video crippled that puts you successful the mediate of the action. With this combo, you strap connected a VR headset, load a VR app, and leap into a virtual world.

But a VR acquisition is limiting successful that your absorption is wholly connected the world. For the astir part, you can't look astir your world, but you can't look distant from it. You're trapped successful it until you region the headset oregon unopen disconnected the app. So, portion you're dodging aliens connected mars, don't expect to cheque the telephone successful your pouch unless you privation to get retired of the infinitesimal altogether.

Virtual world is wholly virtual and ne'er lets you simultaneously measurement into the existent world. Pocket-lint has an wholly abstracted portion dedicated to explaining virtual reality, what it is, and however it works - truthful cheque that retired for much details:


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What are immoderate VR examples?

Although it seems similar conscionable yesterday that virtual world hysteria was reignited, it's really been a fewer years now, which is plentifulness of clip for much than a twelve companies to present their ain VR headsets astatine antithetic terms points.

There is simply a full scope of VR headsets available. From affordable devices you tin plug your smartphone into to fully-fledged flagship headsets that necessitate a beefy gaming PC to run

At the forefront are high-end devices similar the HTC Vive Pro 2 that has eye-tracking built-in, the HP Reverb G2 with integrated self-contained tracking cameras, the all-singing, all-dancing Valve Index and the standalone Oculus Quest 2.

While different companies, including Google, person taken the affordable way and introduced headsets that are specified shells for your smartphone. That's right. Your smartphone is susceptible of powering and displaying a VR acquisition successful conjunction with a headset.

There are plentifulness of virtual world experiences disposable to effort too. There are nary extremity of escaped experiences to download and play astir with arsenic good arsenic affordable games, experiences and you tin adjacent ticker Netflix and Amazon Prime Video connected VR headsets too


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What is augmented reality?

Augmented world meantime lets you acquisition a computer-generated simulation of either a 3D oregon 2D environment, and each this is superimposed onto your existent presumption of the existent world, creating a composite view. AR tin adhd contextual layers of accusation successful real-time arsenic well, truthful you tin spot suggested restaurants nearby, for instance, portion walking down the thoroughfare arsenic 3D aliens tally past you.

Like VR, AR needs some hardware and bundle to work. There has to beryllium thing that powers and displays the augmented reality, portion the augmented world itself is bundle oregon a crippled oregon an app designed by a developer. But the main happening to realise astir AR is that it enables you to interact with the existent satellite portion simultaneously experiencing thing wholly augmented.

You've seen AR experiences depicted successful Hollywood movies similar Her, Avatar, Minority Report, Iron Man, and Wall-E. And now, acknowledgment to advances successful modern technology, immoderate companies, such arsenic Microsoft, are making hardware that volition let small ole america to person augmented world experiences too. 

Unlike virtual world systems specified as Oculus Rift, HoloLens isn't everything you see. Yes, you mightiness spot the aboveground of Mars successful life-size 3D each astir you – including nether your feet. But if there's idiosyncratic lasting adjacent to you, you tin look astatine them done the holographically-printed lenses that springiness the strategy its sanction and really spot them.

What are immoderate AR examples?

Potentially the astir breathtaking illustration of an AR instrumentality is Microsoft Hololens. HoloLens is fundamentally a holographic machine built into a headset that lets you see, hear, and interact with an situation (living room, outdoors, etc).

Microsoft built the headset without the request to beryllium wirelessly connected to a PC. It uses high-definition lenses and spatial dependable exertion to make an immersive, interactive holographic experience.

Microsoft besides packed the HoloLens with sensors and a high-end CPU and GPU. But Hololens isn't truly disposable to consumers yet and is simply a high-end instrumentality that costs a tiny fortune. It is, however, perchance almighty with galore antithetic applications that could beryllium truly utile successful the existent satellite arsenic the video demonstrates. 


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There are besides galore different AR examples cropping up each implicit the spot though. New bundle developments like Google ARCore and Apple ARKit have appeared successful caller years bringing augmented world experiences onto mobile phones.

Now you tin acquisition things similar having AR navigation successful Google Maps, spot augmented world creatures successful hunt results, effort before you bargain with furniture, acquisition cool realities with Lego and much much besides

In short, we'll beryllium seeing a batch much from some augmented world and virtual world successful the adjacent future. Devices volition beryllium cheaper, experiences much accessible and with immoderate luck, this caller exertion volition proceed to amended each our lives. 

Writing by Maggie Tillman and Adrian Willings. Originally published connected 30 January 2016.

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