Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

Much has been said about the Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in the last two years. The enterprises, the education, the researchers and investment groups… all of them are aware of the news that daily appears in blogs and in the mass media. But, do they really know what the difference between these two technologies is?


Augmented Reality is the technology that superposes virtual elements on the elements of our environment. This content, which must be designed and elaborated in advance, can perform the most varied thing. From objects 3D created specifically for the experience, as videos, music or informative labels.

Currently, three types of Hardware exist capable of making work an experience of Augmented Reality. We speak about the Smartphone, the tablets and the AR glasses- among which the expected Hololens stand out. Once in March, the virtual concept appears on the screen, joins with the environment and gives place to the Augmented Reality. The main characteristic of Augmented Reality is that the screen shows the reality during the whole process.

Augmented Reality is the technology that seeks to enrich our reality

Nowadays, already there are great sectors that apply the Augmented Reality. Among them emphasize the education, the marketing, the Industry 4.0, the tourism, the health and the architecture. But this one can manage to have content in many other aspects of life. Take a look to the following video, and interesting and futurist approach that won’t leave you indifferent.

Virtual Reality is the technology capable of immersing the user in a completely different world or place from the one that is in that moment. Nowadays, the devices that allow you enjoy this technology are the Virtual Reality glasses. Once we get started, the virtual content appears on the screen, joins with the environment and gives place to the Augmented Reality. The principal characteristic of AR is that the screen shows the reality during the whole process.

Virtual Reality takes us to other worlds, both realistic and imaginary

The main different with the Augmented reality is that VR seeks to replace the environment that surrounds us. The VR glasses completely block the vision of the user, presenting in front of them a new world- realistic or imaginary- with which, at best-with some HTC Vive-, can interact and move through it. We know, it might sound futurist or even fantasy, but VR is already on the market and everyday they appear more powerful and realistic devices.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, both faces of the same coin

As we have seen, these two technologies have different aims. Augmented Reality enriches our environment, whereas the Virtual Reality replaces it. Still, the common factors that have both modalities are numerous. Here a few examples.

·The need of hardware
No matter the objective is, in both cases you will need a device capable of showing you the additional content. Nowadays, the prize is the main difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. While Virtual Reality is still unreachable for many pockets-something that will probably start to change soon-the Augmented Reality has already entered in the majority of homes thanks to Pokemon GO. Who knows…maybe in the future none of this will be necessary, meanwhile we have to wait.

·The key, the additional content
All experience in Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality needs elements to show. These elements can be more complex-as simulations of reproduced or imaginary worlds in Virtual Reality- or simpler- as informative labels about our environment-. The key is to create an experience that contributes to the user the information, help or entertainment that is searching for.

Picture taken during the Augmented Reality experience with Kinect Technology in the project of Disney and Carrefour

·Processes
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality share stages in their development. What changes is the aim they pursuit. This allows the equipments of development to move in both areas and even to risk in the world of the Mixed Reality.

·Application
In marketing and entertainment has already been applied in both technologies. For its part, The Augmented Reality leads its expansion in the educational field, health and the 4.0 industry; whereas the Virtual Reality does it in the industry and health sector.

If you want to know more about this technology don’t forget to visit Imascono’s Youtube channel!

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