Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality: What’s the Difference and How They Are Used

In recent years, augmented reality vs virtual reality have become buzzwords in the technology industry. Both AR and VR technologies have gained significant popularity and hold immense potential for various applications, from gaming to healthcare to education. However, many people still get confused about the differences between AR and VR, their use cases, and how they work. This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of AR and VR technologies, their differences, and their use cases.

Augmented reality and virtual reality are two of the most popular and advanced technologies used in modern times. Both technologies have revolutionized the way we interact with the world, and their applications are vast and varied. However, there is still some confusion about what AR and VR actually are and how they differ. In simple terms, AR adds virtual elements to the real world, while VR creates a completely artificial world. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into what AR and VR are, how they work, and what their use cases are.

What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes digital information onto the physical world. In other words, AR allows you to see virtual objects in the real world. It’s a technology that enhances our perception of the world around us by adding computer-generated elements that are interactive and responsive to the environment. The most common examples of AR are Snapchat filters and Pokemon Go.

How Does AR Work?

AR technology uses sensors and cameras to detect the physical environment and overlay digital information on top of it. It relies on a device’s camera to capture the real world and then uses software to recognize and track specific objects. Once these objects are identified, the software can project digital information onto them. AR can be viewed through a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, or through specialized glasses or a headset.

Types of AR

There are three types of augmented reality: Marker-based AR, Markerless AR, and Projection-Based AR.

Marker-based AR

Marker-based AR, also known as image recognition, uses a camera and special markers to superimpose virtual elements on top of physical objects. The markers act as triggers that the software can recognize and use to determine the position and orientation of the virtual elements.

Markerless AR

Markerless AR, also known as location-based AR, uses GPS, compass, and other sensors to determine the user’s location and superimpose virtual elements on top of the physical environment. Markerless AR is used in applications like Pokemon Go, where virtual elements are placed in specific locations.

Projection-Based AR

Projection-based AR uses projection technology to overlay virtual elements on top of physical objects. This type of AR is commonly used in events and marketing campaigns where the projected images can interact with the physical environment.

AR Use Cases

AR has various use cases across industries, including gaming, education, healthcare, and retail. Some of the most notable applications of AR include:

  • Gaming: Pokemon Go, Minecraft Earth
  • Education: AR textbooks, interactive learning tools
  • Healthcare: Medical training, patient diagnosis
  • Retail: Virtual try-on, virtual shopping assistants