Difference between virtual reality and augmented reality

The differences between augmented reality and virtual reality have been debated for years, and the debate will continue for a few more years.

As they share a goal (eg to create realistic digital environments), people insist on highlighting the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality, creating a rivalry between these two technologies. In reality, the two can coexist in the same space and serve different purposes.

Just like you can like different game genres like robot games, browser games or adventure games, you can also like both virtual reality and augmented reality without any problem.

In order to understand that it is not necessary to confront these two technologies, we have to look at what both inventions offer and, at the same time, what are the differences between virtual reality and augmented reality.

What is the main difference between virtual reality and augmented reality?

The debate about virtual reality (VR) vs. augmented reality (AR) is based on the perception that one is better than the other, when in fact both are impressive.

The obvious difference lies in how the digital elements are presented to the user. AR systems mix digital elements with the physical world, merging the two rather than separating them.

  • AR serves a different purpose than VR in that it creates a bridge between the physical and digital worlds.
  • VR immerses users in a virtual world that is disconnected from reality, or more specifically, a world that is designed to be a reality on its own.

What is augmented reality (AR)?

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes digital elements on physical objects. AR is typically used on mobile devices, although glasses such as Google Glass can also be used. Still, the main feature of AR is that it maps animations onto the world around the user.

If you want more information about AR games, visit our blog post that we have dedicated to this topic.

What is virtual reality (VR)?

Virtual reality (VR) is a completely immersive experience. VR software is attached to a headset or goggles designed to isolate you from the physical world. They disconnect the user from reality and, in turn, make the virtual world they are in seem real.

VR isolates you from the world, its goal is to flood the user’s senses creating an immersive 360-degree world.

Is AR more complicated than VR?

It is more difficult to create AR because the digital elements have to interact with physical objects. And aside from having to process data quickly and efficiently, AR software has to project sharp images into the physical world.

The difficulty of the games themselves will vary depending on what you have to do.

It doesn’t have to be an AR vs. fight. VR

Virtual reality and augmented reality can often be the subject of debate among techies, but it doesn’t have to. On a technical level, there are arguments to discuss the differences between virtual reality and augmented reality. However, consumers do not have to see it the same way. They are similar inventions that offer different experiences.

AR brings you a digital experience. VR takes you into the digital experience. AR makes the world around you feel like a game. VR takes you to a different world. Therefore, as a user, you have to choose the experience that suits you best. It’s not AR vs. VR, it’s fusion vs. total immersion.

What you choose is a matter of personal taste.

Do virtual reality and augmented reality work together?

Finally, to show that talking about the differences between augmented reality and virtual reality is a sterile debate, we can look at the mixed reality vs. augmented reality. Mixed reality (MR) goes one step further than augmented reality. In classic AR, you can’t interact with digital items.

They work on their own initiative, but you cannot manipulate them. Instead, MR allows you to touch, move, and interact with objects in the digital world; this is the direction AR is going today.

That is why it is better to see it as a debate between mixed reality and augmented reality, rather than talking about the differences between virtual reality and augmented reality. Merging the digital with the physical and being able to interact with both unlocks new ways of playing. It is something positive.

However, in the end it doesn’t matter if you think about AR vs. VR or mixed reality vs. augmented reality, everything is positive. In fact, all of these inventions are taking video games to a whole new dimension!