Photo Credits: Pixabay.com
The world has shared a rather peculiar relationship with technology with the tides constantly shifting from one end to the other. Now we’re at a point where the modern-day individual has come to terms with the ever-changing mediums of technology.
One of these mediums is the many forms of reality that are shaping our everyday realities. In particular, we’re referring to augmented and virtual reality.
Many have come to understand the two as coming under the same umbrella – a resounding mistake!
We’re going to dive into the world of alternative realities to understand the difference between Augmented and Virtual Reality to see how both offer quite different experiences.
What Is Augmented Reality?
Defined as an “enhanced version of reality”. This version of reality uses technology to add digital information onto an image of sorts. Mostly available in applications for smartphones and tablets. AR utilizes the phone camera to portray a view of the world that is quite different from the actual reality.
AR however goes a little deeper by adding a layer of information, including text or images on top of that particular view. In simpler words, AR disguises the world’s viewpoint in line with what the user/individual is looking for. In doing so, it curates a user-centric environment that aims to offer the user exactly what they’re expecting.
If you’re unfamiliar with AR, the game Pokemon Go! might help you to better understand the idea behind AR and how it works in today’s world. The game would quite literally have players “catch” their Pokemon by going around their cities and walking around roads and parks to find the pokemon that they were on the lookout for.
This is a perfect example of AR whereby the actual reality Integrates with the animated world of Pokemon to help users experience a world like never before. AR and Pokemon Go are game-changers.
AR Destination Applications
The most common Augmented Reality use case is destination applications that offer interesting information about the places one can visit using AR. These experiences are there to help potential customers have a look at what they can expect if they visit these places. Not only does this help gain more customers. It also offers a distant yet close experience for everyone and anyone across the globe.
With augmented reality in place, the world has found a way to “escape” from what everyday offers. Something that all of us would like to do once in a while.
What Is Virtual Reality?
Defined as the “use of technology to create a simulated environment”. This form of reality offers a completely different reality than the one you find yourself in.
So if AR was a slight escape from the world. VR is a total escape and offers individuals an environment that is completely removed from the reality they’re living in.
Virtual reality may just be artificial, such as an animated scene. Or even Photographs of an actual place and available through a virtual reality application. With virtual reality, you have full control of your experience. This means you can move around, look in every direction and sometimes even interact with the environment. In other words, it’s quite literally like you’re there (without really being there).
Virtual Reality Viewer
Virtual reality can be viewed through a special VR viewer such as the Oculus Rift which helps you to immerse into the world and create an experience suited to your wants.
Technology has now got to the point where with virtual reality applications you can explore places that you’ve never been to before, such as the surface of Mars, the deep areas under the sea, the Pyramids or even climb Mount Everest!! How cool is that?
Difference Between Augmented And Virtual Reality
At the moment you’re probably thinking, “What is the factor that really differentiates between AR and VR?”
Well, we’ve got that sorted out for you:
Augmented Reality adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on whatever device you’re using. In other words, it creates an interaction between animation and reality and offers users a curated experience.
Virtual Reality aims to provide a complete immersion experience that does away completely with the real, physical world. Through the usage of VR devices, users can quite literally be transported into several real-world and imagined environments. Taking users to worlds that they might never really ever get to experience.
AR Vs VR: Pros And Cons
Both augmented and virtual realities come with their own set of baggage – neither of them is quite perfect.
Augmented Reality Technology
Augmented reality is popular for its ability to provide an experience that offers the best of both worlds. By bringing together the real and virtual world, AR can create an environment that is not completely detached from reality but also just unique enough.
The immersive communication that AR offers is something that many have got behind – through AR the consumer can still establish communication that is rather in-depth and immersive i.e. the experience duplicates to their needs.
On the other hand, AR is under criticism due to the massive privacy and security concerns that come with the experience.
Since this is an experience that brings together two seemingly separate environments under one roof. There is always a risk of one overpowering the other or the leakage/sharing of information from “reality” to the “open, insecure” network that exists.
While its costs are also something that many disagree with. What’s even more concerning is its potential to promote behavior that can actually be risky in nature. Since it muddles the difference between reality and pretends, there is a risk that users might begin to practice behavior in the real world that might actually be harmful to them.
Augmented Reality And Cyber Security: A New Era Of Issues
Virtual Reality Technology
Virtual reality is appreciated for its ability to provide an experience that is completely separate from reality and offers a rather engaging sensory ride. There are actually no limits when it comes to VR since the usage of CGI can create images/worlds/spaces that can stretch imaginations to the nth degree!
In the world of education, VR holds the potential of making learning an even more immersive/experiential experience for the students by allowing them to engage with content like never before.
However, this is a rather fragmented market due to the multiple options available but the inability of these options to work in cohesion with each other. What this means is that the tools aren’t inline with each other, and will always work separately. This also has to do due to the market being relatively new and therefore the technology is still at its earlier stages.
The VR experience, no matter how fun, is a rather isolated experience i.e. it takes you to a world far removed from reality. Furthermore, it ends up taking the user further away from people and society – a possibly scary outcome.
Finding A Balance
We’re always looking for new opportunities. We also need to find a balance where we can bring these opportunities together. In order, to create an experience that combines the best of both worlds.
It is that umbrella that covers all of the various technologies to enhance our senses. Moreover, provide support/additional information to our world or sometimes even create an entirely new simulation for the users to experience.
The world of technology is like a gift that never stops giving. With multiple opportunities and endless room for innovation. The road ahead is uncertain but it’s an uncertainty that many have welcomed with open arms.
It is an uncertainty that offers hope for experiences. Moreover, willing to create waves in the world by offering users the chance to explore the world like never before – the world of augmented and virtual realities are those waves.