Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

augmented reality vs virtual reality
augmented reality vs virtual reality

Table of Contents

Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are important terms in an increasingly digital world. Although they are two different technologies, both terms are often used as synonyms. But what are the differences and similarities between AR and VR?

Definition: What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) combines the digital world with real elements. It is a technology that is equally suitable for mobile devices and desktops. What makes it special is the fact that it offers the possibility of reflecting digital components in the real world.

How does Augmented Reality (AR) work?

One difference between VR and AR is that AR displays different content in the real world. Computer vision, depth tracking and mapping play a key role within this process. All data can be collected in real time via cameras, for example, and processed directly. This makes it possible to display digital content whenever the user needs it.

Special devices are required to fully use the functionality of AR. Smart Glasses, for example, are often used, which provide the data via Smart Glasses software.

Augmented RealityVirtual reality
3D content required3D content required.
AR headset required and in some cases not mustVR headset required but in some cases not a must
Magnified, life-sized objectsMagnified, life-sized objects
Smartphone, AR headsets, PCs, tablets, iPads, lens, controllers, accessories, usedSmartphone, VR headsets, PCs, tablets, iPads, lens, controllers, accessories, used
Hand, eye, finger, body tracking, and notion tracking on advanced AR headsetsHand, eye, finger, body tracking, and motion tracking on advanced VR headsets
Offers immersion to user.Offers immersion to user.
Skillset: 3D modeling or scanning, 3D games engines, 360 degrees photos, and videos, some maths and geometry, programming languages, C++ or C#, software development kits, etc.Skillset: 3D modeling or scanning, 3D games engines, 360 degrees photos, and videos, some maths and geometry, programming languages, C++ or C#, software development kits, etc.

Augmented Reality (AR): Advantages and disadvantages of the technology

If AR or VR is better is a question that cannot be answered in general terms. Both technologies have their advantages and disadvantages. These are some of the pros and cons of Augmented Reality:

Advantages:

  • Enables individualized learning and enhances the learning process.
  • AR offers a wide range of applications that are continuously being improved.
  • The technology makes it possible to increase accuracy and efficiency.
  • Experience or knowledge can be shared over long distances.

Disadvantages:

  • The costs of implementing AR are comparatively high.
  • Many devices have only a low level of performance.
  • A key disadvantage is the lack of user privacy.
  • If the focus on security is neglected, the introduction of augmented reality can lead to a security breach.

Application: Augmented Reality (AR) in practice

In practice, augmented reality offers a wide range of possibilities. This makes it interesting for both private and business users. Special apps can embed images, text or videos.

  • Fading in digital content over real magazines already works well in the printing and advertising industry.
  • Users who want to translate texts into other languages can use modern translation apps thanks to AR technology.
  • Augmented reality in construction and logistics is an attractive way to increase the efficiency of employees and the business processes.
  • Augmented reality is an easy way to get in touch with customers, colleagues or technicians.

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Virtual world: What is Virtual Reality (VR)?

The main difference between AR vs VR is that VR is a computer generated simulation. This means that reality or an alternative world is generated graphically.

By using appropriate hardware, it is possible for the user to be fully immersed in the digital world. Therefore, there are also important differences between AR headsets vs VR headsetsHardware geared towards VR requires sensory devices that translate real-world movements into a modeled reality.

Here’s how virtual reality (VR) works

The focus of VR is to simulate a new reality. By using a VR screen, the user can perceive and interact in the digital world. This requires two lenses between the user and the screen. They interpret the movement of the eyes and adapt the individual movement to the VR. Therefore, in this case, extensive hardware is necessary to isolate the user from the real world.

Virtual Reality (VS): Pros and Cons

Every new technology has its very own pros and cons. This is also true for VR.

Advantages

  • Immersive learning is possible in an interactive environment.
  • Users can explore the virtual world in all its facets.
  • The education sector benefits from these new possibilities.

Disadvantages

  • genuine interaction in the virtual environment is not possible.
  • It is tempting to transfer one’s life completely to the virtual world.
  • Even though training or learning in the VR environment is very beneficial, it cannot completely replace the real training experience.

Practical application of virtual reality (VR)

Virtual Reality enjoys great popularity especially in the field of video games. Nevertheless, VR offers many other possible applications:

  • In the military, this technology is used in flight simulators or battlefield simulations.
  • In sports, digital training devices help athletes improve their own performance and analyze their techniques
  • In medicine, VR can be used for post-traumatic stress or anxiety. At the same time, the technology allows trainee doctors to train surgical techniques.

Augmented or virtual reality? A direct comparison of the two technologies

AR and VR differ from each other in key aspects. However, this stark difference does not mean that one of the two technologies is better than the other. Instead, both technologies stand out in different application spheres:

  • VR creates an immersive virtual environment, while AR augments a real-world scene.
  • VR is 75 percent virtual, while AR is only 25 percent virtual.
  • VR requires a headset device, while AR does not.
  • VR users move in a completely fictional world, while AR users are in contact with the real world.
  • AR requires higher bandwidth than VR.
  • AR is intended to enhance the virtual world and the real world. VR replaces the real world with a fictional reality, which is primarily intended to enhance games.

AR and VR: A successful symbiosis

The combination of AR and VR results in a symbiosis of excellent systems. While they also work separately, when combined they offer users an enhanced and more engaging experience. The basis for this is to create a fictional world that still allows interaction with the real world. TeamViewer offers you great software solutions to implement both augmented and virtual reality.

Mixed Reality: A perfect Mixture

The perfect cross between AR and VR is the so-called mixed reality. This technology is expected to become mainstream for consumers and businesses soon. It’s based on enabling instinctive interaction with data, while eliminating screen-based work. Instead, handheld devices can take over these stationary device tasks. The clear advantage is that it will be easier to target centralized data anywhere and anytime.


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What’s the Difference Between AR and VR?

VR vs AR Blog Header Image - Tulane School of Professional Advancement

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have exciting potential in the future of gaming, marketing, e-commerce, education, and many other fields. Both technologies are known for their enriched experience that brings together a virtual world and the real one with enhanced, 3-D visuals. Although it can be easy to mix up the two, there are some significant differences.

What Is AR?

Almost any person with a smartphone can get access to augmented reality, making it more efficient than VR as a branding and gaming tool. AR morphs the mundane, physical world into a colorful, visual one by projecting virtual pictures and characters through a phone’s camera or video viewer. Augmented reality is merely adding to the user’s real-life experience.

Man using VR set - Tulane School of Professional Advancement

What Is VR?

Virtual reality takes these same components to another level by producing an entirely computer-generated simulation of an alternate world. These immersive simulations can create almost any visual or place imaginable for the player using special equipment such as computers, sensors, headsets, and gloves.

What’s the Difference Between the Two?

The distinctions between VR and AR come down to the devices they require and the experience itself:

  • AR uses a real-world setting while VR is completely virtual
  • AR users can control their presence in the real world; VR users are controlled by the system
  • VR requires a headset device, but AR can be accessed with a smartphone
  • AR enhances both the virtual and real world while VR only enhances a fictional reality

Jobs in the VR and AR Industry

These new, evolving technologies produce endless opportunities for businesses and employment—By 2022, the AR and VR market is projected to grow to $209.2 billion. VR and AR are transforming industries through software and hardware development, graphic design, research, and more.

In-demand careers developing and improving VR and AR technology include:

  • Software engineering and development
  • Project management
  • Software maintenance
  • Graphic design

As virtual and augmented reality become more entwined in how we work, play, and learn, the industry will only continue to grow. The digital design program at Tulane School of Professional Advancement connects design and innovative technology to help students stay on the cutting edge of these industries while turning their passion into a career. Take the first step and request more information about SoPA today.

What Are Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality?

Published Date: March 1, 2020

Augmented reality and virtual reality are reality technologies that either enhance or replace a real-life environment with a simulated one.

  • Augmented reality (AR) augments your surroundings by adding digital elements to a live view, often by using the camera on a smartphone. 
  • Virtual reality (VR) is a completely immersive experience that replaces a real-life environment with a simulated one.

In AR, a virtual environment is designed to coexist with the real environment, with the goal of being informative and providing additional data about the real world, which a user can access without having to do a search. For example, industrial AR apps could offer instant troubleshooting information when a handset is aimed at a piece of failing equipment.

Virtual reality encompasses a complete environmental simulation that replaces the user’s world with an entirely virtual world. Because these virtual environments are entirely fabricated, they are often designed to be larger than life. For example, VR could let a user box with a cartoon version of Mike Tyson in a virtual boxing ring.

While both virtual reality and augmented reality are designed to bring a simulated environment to the user, each concept is unique and involves different use cases. In addition to entertainment scenarios, augmented reality is also increasingly being used by businesses, because of its ability to generate informational overlays that add useful, real-world scenarios.

We’ll delve into how both of these reality technologies work, with a specific focus on the business cases for AR, in the sections that follow.

AR and VR Overview

What is the difference between AR and VR?

While both technologies involve simulated reality, AR and VR rely on different underlying components and generally serve different audiences.

In virtual reality, the user almost always wears an eye-covering headset and headphones to completely replace the real world with the virtual one. The idea of VR is to eliminate the real world as much as possible and insulate the user from it. Once inside, the VR universe can be coded to provide just about anything, ranging from a light saber battle with Darth Vader to a realistic (yet wholly invented) recreation of earth. While VR has some business applications in product designtraining, architecture and retail, today the majority of VR applications are built around entertainment, especially gaming.

Augmented reality, on the other hand, integrates the simulated world with the real one. In most applications the user relies on a smartphone or tablet screen to accomplish this, aiming the phone’s camera at a point of interest, and generating a live-streaming video of that scene on the screen. The screen is then overlaid with helpful information, which includes implementations such as repair instructionsnavigation information or diagnostic data.

However, AR can also be used in entertainment applications. The mobile game Pokemon Go, in which players attempt to capture virtual creatures while moving around in the real world, is a classic example.

What are some examples of augmented reality and virtual reality?

Augmented reality entails abundant — and growing — use cases. Here are some actual applications you can engage with today.

  • Ikea Place is a mobile app that allows you to envision Ikea furniture in your own home, by overlaying a 3D representation of the piece atop a live video stream of your room.
  • YouCam Makeup lets users virtually try on real-life cosmetics via a living selfie.
  • Repair technicians can don a headset that walks them through the steps of fixing or maintaining a broken piece of equipment, diagramming exactly where each part goes and the order in which to do things.
  • Various sports are relying on augmented reality to provide real-time statistics and improve physical training for athletes.

Beyond gaming and other entertainment cases, some business examples of virtual reality include:

  • Architects are using VR to design homes — and let clients “walk through” before the foundation has ever been laid.
  • Automobiles and other vehicles are increasingly being designed in VR.
  • Firefighters, soldiers and other workers in hazardous environments are using VR to train without putting themselves at risk.
automobile manufacturing vr image

When were virtual reality and augmented reality first introduced?

While primitive virtual reality systems got their start in the 1950s and 1960s, the concepts of VR and AR began to gain momentum in military applications during the early 1980s. Motion pictures such as Tron, The Matrix and Minority Report all offered futuristic riffs on how these technologies would evolve in the years to come.

The first mainstream attempt at releasing a VR headset was the Sega VR in 1993, an add-on to the Sega Genesis gaming system. While it never made it to market, it did stoke consumer interest in the technology. It would not be until the Oculus Rift in 2010 that a VR headset would be successful with a consumer audience — though today these devices remain expensive and largely of interest to niche, gaming-focused users.

Augmented reality splintered from virtual reality around 1990, and was brought to the public’s attention in 1998, when TV broadcasters began overlaying a yellow line on the football field to better indicate the distance to a first down. Over the next decade, various apps around AR technology were designed for both military use (such as in fighter jet cockpits) and consumer use, when print magazines and packaged goods began embedding QR codes that could be scanned with a consumer’s cell phone, making the product “come alive” with a short 3D video.

In 2014, Google rolled out Google Glass, with an eye toward equipping everyone with a head-mounted display AR device. The AR headset, which was controlled via voice and touch gestures, was met with skepticism and criticism, attributed to the new reality that people were recording video 24/7 in public. Privacy suddenly became a major talking point in consumer AR. Google ultimately suspended the project and relaunched it a few years later with enterprise users in mind.

augmented reality and virtual reality image

How is augmented reality being used in business?

Today, business and enterprise use cases are the predominant reality applications for AR. Some key examples include:

  • Design and construction — Arguably the most common and fruitful application for AR today, designers are using augmented reality to see what hypothetical products (or structures) look like in real environments and to make virtual tweaks to existing products without ever laying a hand on them.
  • Maintenance and repairs — AR technology can guide technicians through the steps of repairing, upgrading, and maintaining a wide range of products, ranging from industrial equipment to entire buildings. AR allows technicians to work on equipment without having to refer to printed manuals or websites, overlaying detailed instructions – often visual – atop the machinery itself.
  • Training and education — Businesses are using AR technology to provide an immersive experience when training employees, allowing them to more comprehensively visualize new products and concepts. Schools are following suit.
  • Healthcare — AR technology has made its way into the surgery room, with overlays showing the critical steps of an operation, patients’ vital statistics, and more.
  • Retail — From virtual makeup to virtual changing rooms, businesses are using AR to give retail shoppers a revamped, modernized augmented reality experience when shopping.
  • Technology — Products like Splunk AR bring AR to major utility companies to improve responses during power outages, and gain full visibility into the entirety of their data.
  • Marketing — AR concepts on packaging, point-of-sale materials, and even billboards give businesses a brand new — and much more memorable — way to interact directly with customers.

(See how Splunk customers use data to forge their futures.)

What are the components of an augmented reality system?

Augmented reality varies depending on implementation, but the most common components include the following, categorized by hardware and software.

These hardware components comprise the backbone of augmented reality. Some of these components might already be supported if you are engaging in AR with your smartphone (more in the following section):

  • Processor – Augmented reality requires significant processing power to create the imagery needed and place it in the proper location for it to appear to exist in a real-world environment. Processors may be incorporated in a mobile handset or embedded into a wearable device (more on this below).
  • Display – In AR, imagery is created and then populated on some form of display. This can take several forms, depending on the specific application. These include:
    • Mobile handheld device – The smartphone or tablet screen is arguably the most common way in which AR hologram imagery is viewed. A user points his or her phone’s camera at a point of interest, and the live video hologram generated by the camera lens is overlaid with AR information.
    • Wearable device – Smart glasses such as Google Glass, Vuzix Blade, and Solos Smart Glasses are all designed as standard eyeglasses that also contain a small display only visible to the wearer. The person wearing the augmented reality headset can see the real world by looking straight through the lenses of the goggles, while the embedded display provides an informational overlay. VR headsets are less common in AR environments because they do not allow the wearer to see the real world directly; instead, it has to be recreated in video and displayed on the built-in screen, which is otherwise opaque.
    • Automotive HUDs – HUDs, or heads-up displays, are systems that use your car’s windshield as a screen. A device projects an image – speed, directions, etc. – from the dashboard upwards onto the windshield. The driver sees the reflection of this imagery as it bounces off the glass like a mirror.
    • Others — Looking ahead, more futuristic devices like smart contact lenses and systems that can project an image directly onto the retina may become viable.
  • Camera – As the primary sensor required for AR to function, the camera feeds the live video to the processor, which detects key facets of the environment on which the AR data is overlaid. The camera itself does not process any of the digital information; it merely provides the video feed.
  • Other sensors – AR is often designed for motion, so additional sensor types are required for operation. These may include spatial sensors, such as accelerometers and digital compasses, which indicate the direction the camera is facing; GPS sensors, which track the user’s location in the world; microphones, which incorporate audio data into the simulation: and LiDaR, which uses lasers to measure exact distance.
  • Input devices – A user on the move is often not at liberty to type commands into a computer. As such, AR systems have been devised to work with numerous types of input technologies. Foremost is the mobile device touchscreen, providing a natural interaction if a phone or tablet is available. Other options include voice recognition technology, so users can control the system via speech, and gesture recognition systems, which typically translate the motion of the user’s hand into commands.

Several types of software algorithms are needed to enable augmented reality. Broadly, these include:

  • Image registration – Software that takes a photographic representation of one’s surroundings and uses that information to determine various real-world coordinates and objects within it. Image registration maps the real world and determines what is in the foreground vs. what is in the background, where one object ends and another begins, and points of interest as well as additional information.
  • 3D rendering – With the real world mapped and categorized, the next step is overlaying the augmented reality information on top of it. The 3D renderer creates virtual objects and places them into the appropriate location within the live image. The programming language Augmented Reality Markup Language (ARML) is the current standard for setting the location and appearance of a virtual object.
  • Content management – Content management is a back-end technology incorporating a system that maintains a database of virtual objects and 3D models.
  • Interface – Whether it’s a video game or a technical management tool, the interface is the intermediary between the user and the video representation of the augmented reality environment.
  • Development toolkits – A variety of open source and proprietary technologies are used to give programmers a framework for building AR applications on the platform of their choice.

How does augmented reality work on mobile?

If you encounter an AR application today, it will probably be in the form of a mobile phone app: any smartphone owner has access to hundreds of AR applications on iPhone or Android mobile phones without the need for any additional hardware. All the core software capabilities needed to enable AR are built into the operating system.

In a typical use case, the AR user launches an application on his or her mobile phone or tablet. Most AR apps are fairly simple in design. The user just aims the mobile phone or device at a point of interest and waits for the application to populate the screen with additional context. This could be anything from walking directions to the identity of stars in the sky to dance steps.

(Read about what 5G means for the future.)

ar interface image phone

Hundreds of AR applications are available on mobile devices

Challenges and What’s Next

What are the challenges for AR/VR?

AR and VR are still in their infancy, and they have a long timeline of development ahead of them before they become true mainstream technologies. Some of the most frequently cited technology and business challenges include:

Technology challenges

  • Limited mobile processing capability – Mobile handsets have limited processing power, but tethering a user to a desktop or server isn’t realistic. Either mobile processing power will have to expand, or the work will have to be offloaded to the cloud.
  • Limited mobile bandwidth – While cloud-based processing offers a compelling potential solution to the mobile processing bottleneck, mobile phone bandwidth is still too slow in most places to offer the necessary real-time video processing. This will likely change as mobile bandwidth improves.
  • Complex development – Designing an AR or VR application is costly and complicated. Development tools will need to become more user-friendly to make these technologies accessible to programmers.

Business challenges

  • VR hardware’s inconvenience – Putting on a virtual reality headset and clearing a room often detracts from the user experience. VR input devices, in the form of modified gaming controllers, can also often be unintuitive, with a steep learning curve.
  • Building a business model – Outside of video gaming, many AR and VR applications remain in early stages of development with unproven viability in the business world.
  • Security and privacy issues – The backlash over the original Google Glass proved that the mainstream remains skeptical about the proliferation of cameras and their privacy implications. How are video feeds secured, and are copies stored somewhere?

Despite these challenges, however, significant progress is being made to expand both business and commercial use cases for AR and VR, and further drive them into the mainstream.

What’s next for AR and VR?

AR and VR have a decidedly bright future, and the years to come will bring many new capabilities and more widespread usage.

Improvements in video quality, processing power, mobile bandwidth, and AR/VR hardware will drive more mainstream acceptance, and falling development costs and complexity will provide more options for creators to explore. Systems that track eye movement and facial expressions will slowly make clunky joysticks and other controllers obsolete.

While video gaming and entertainment will continue to drive this market, AR and VR will also see emerging practical applications. In the world of virtual reality, these include fully virtual surgery, in which surgeons perform their jobs only in a simulated environment and robotic systems do the actual work. In the world of AR, the ability to virtually travel anywhere is made possible by an emerging tech platform called Mirrorworld, which aims to replicate the physical universe on a 1:1 scale.

Education will likely continue to shift to a virtual model on AR and VR platforms both in academia and in the corporate world. And finally, retailers will continue to rely on AR applications to upgrade virtual shopping applications, slowly rendering the need for physical storefronts obsolete.

The Bottom Line: AR and VR are poised for growth

AR and VR are both fairly niche technologies today, but both have impressive futures ahead of them as they mature. With increasing momentum around innovative VR video games and AR navigation aids, consumers are increasingly ready to experiment with future applications of these technologies. In industry, AR especially is finding applications in everything from design to maintenance to healthcare.

Looking ahead, it will be exciting to see what new AR- and VR-driven tools come to fruition.

Augmented reality vs. virtual reality: Key differences

Augmented reality vs. virtual reality: Key differences

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that enriches the user’s perception and provides a live view of the real world with digital information, aiming to expand it by adding images, sound, video and other virtual details. 

The purpose of AR is to augment the environment and let virtual elements interact with real objects to create intended meanings. In AR, informatively-designed virtual environments coexist with the real ones by providing additional data about the real world. So, how does augmented reality work?

Most often, special equipment is not needed to create an AR, which is usually generated by common devices, mainly smartphone cameras, instead. Virtual three-dimensional (3D) objects and environments are superimposed by AR systems on real-world objects in real time based on their geometric relationships since the systems calculate the position and orientation of objects relative to others. 

Today, AR technology is commonly complemented by mobile phone technologies such as GPS, 3G, 4G and remote sensing. The combined image is usually projected onto mobile screens, augmented reality glasses and other devices.

Examples of AR systems are those that are used in photography and editing like Snapchat filters, virtual dressing rooms, interior decoration applications like IKEA mobile as well as virtual battlefields, and games such as Nintendo’s Pokémon Go. Moreover, AR is also widely used in marketing, and medical and healthcare applications.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology and method that regenerates 3D digital images and videos to create real visual experiences for users. So, how does virtual reality work?

The purpose of VR is to create an illusion of immersion in a life-size 3D digital environment. To make 3D images and videos, much of which reproduce the real or imaginary world, VR systems usually use computer vision and advanced graphics that add depth and reconstruct the scale and distance between static two-dimensional (2D) images. All this together is designed to replace a real-life environment with a simulated one, creating an immersive effect that feels like you are part of the particular computer-generated digital environment that you are viewing. 

To explore and control 3D environments, users utilize computers and sensory devices like VR headsets and gloves. Due to the special lenses in the VR headset and controllers, which have sensors, users can experience virtual content and interact with it naturally just like in the real world.

Some modern VR devices are more advanced than 3D. They have real-time tracking features that enable the use of VR in real-time explorations and allow users to experience their VR environment through all five human senses.

Examples of VR include entertainment applications, particularly video games, education applications such as classroom training, and business applications that are generally used for virtual meetings.

Augmented reality vs. virtual reality

While both AR and VR are designed to provide users with a simulated computer-generated 3D experience, each technology is unique and includes distinct use cases. So what is the main difference between AR and VR?

An important distinction between them is that VR tends to replace the real world up to total immersion, while AR attempts to add the virtual by projecting digital information on top of the environment already being viewed by the users.

Also, since VR tends towards full immersion, devices require shutting users off from the real world by blocking their field of vision to present VR content instead. Thus, VR is best explored with special equipment such as a VR headset or gloves. At the same time, it is possible to use AR in two-dimensional (2D) and 3D environments very easily, such as on a smartphone.

Difference between augmented reality and virtual reality

Advantages and disadvantages of augmented reality 

AR can help create an entirely new, interactive experience for users, and as with any technology, AR has its pros and cons, which are usually compared to those of VR.

One of the main benefits of AR is that it is a great educational tool that can provide rich content and context. AR has the potential to increase users’ knowledge and awareness by providing an enhanced experience. It offers personalized learning, fostering the learning process. Due to AR technology, users can share experiences with others in real-time over long distances. 

Among its other benefits is that its applications are really easy to use as AR systems are usually less affected by device limitations. AR provides more freedom for smartphone users and more opportunities for AR developers and marketers since there is no need for a head-mounted display. 

Users just need to point their camera at an object, and the AR app will show what it does with that particular item. Nevertheless, a high bandwidth is still required to create high-resolution and life-like objects for top-quality experiences.

Moreover, AR’s great advantage is that it is now used in a wide variety of fields like gaming, marketing, education and healthcare, and has multiple applications for training, learning, navigation, design and entertainment (Snapchat, Google Lens, IKEA Place, et cetera). However, the lack of privacy and security is a major drawback of AR. It may seriously affect the overall augmented reality principle.

Among its other disadvantages, low adoption and application in day-to-day use remain. Current limitations of 3D systems that produce and support 3D visualizations, especially in real-time, slow down the spread of AR technology. It is still complicated and quite costly to develop, implement and maintain AR technology-based projects and their applications. 

And it is worth noting that extreme engagement with AR can cause health issues. Too frequent and intense pastimes in AR can lead to major healthcare hazards such as eye problems, obesity, mental health problems, et cetera.

Advantages and disadvantages of virtual reality 

VR does come with several merits, and various areas have already been positively affected by the implementation of this technology.

First of all, VR helps create a realistic world so that users can explore and experiment with an interactive artificial environment. VR is more immersive than AR in terms of immersion and a virtual sense of presence. It gives users playing games or watching videos the impression of actually being in a different world.

One of the most important advantages of VR is that it makes education and practice easier, safer and more comfortable for users. The possibility of conducting training and practicing potentially dangerous real-world operations like surgery, plane flight or combat without any risk by simulating them is one of the technology’s best benefits.

On the other hand, training in a VR environment never has the same result as practicing and working in the real world, and this is one of the technology’s significant drawbacks. In this way, if a user does well with simulated tasks in a generated 3D VR environment, there is still no guarantee that a person would perform the same tasks as well in the real world.

Furthermore, the high price of VR systems discourages regular and ordinary usage. Not everyone can afford VR devices as they do not come cheap. Irrespective of the decrease in the price of VR technology over the years, it still has not been widely adopted. Low adoption means there are not many VR systems out there, and this then limits customer options.

There are also a lot of health concerns. VR could affect users’ health; the technology must be improved before it can be used without its users experiencing temporary side-effects such as blurred vision, headache and nausea.

The possibility of progressive escapism is another issue. It became a long-term commonplace among VR users who then started to live in virtual environments instead of dealing with the real world. After spending significant amounts of time in the virtual world, they tended to enjoy it more, and as a result, spent even more time using VR, which eventually led them to become isolated from the real world.

Applications of augmented reality

Essentially, AR applications allow users to do interesting, location-specific things at their location or things that connect virtual and real-life objects and experiences. 

Types of AR applications vary. For instance, AR applications are widely used in retail and advertising. By presenting 3D models of products and helping consumers to make better choices, AR has the potential to improve customer experiences. AR applications can be used to lead customers to virtual stores and rooms. 

They can boost remote design, give users a virtual walkthrough of a given piece of real estate or  a better idea of how a sofa will fit into their house, or allow them to look at furniture from home and select suitable items to match their space.

Printing and advertising industries use AR technology applications to display 3D digital content on top of real-world newspapers and magazines to help companies popularize their brands to users.

In addition to placing advertisements on AR content, AR applications can be used by tourists for navigation, by providing data on destinations, directions and sightseeing. They may allow users to get suggestions for hotels that they can visit or preview a menu from which they might order. On top of that, AR enables virtual tourism.

Also, for drivers, AR applications can give directions to locations or show statistics about speed, assist in advanced navigation and help mark objects in real-time.

There are also a lot of AR games like Pokémon GO, Jurassic World Alive, et cetera and plenty of them are blockchain-based, such as DogemonGo and Terra Virtua, among others. The technology facilitates the development of real-time 3D games for better gaming experiences. Due to AR, gaming grounds in virtual environments are being improved so that users can perform real-world activities.

Another use case is remote collaboration. In manufacturing and maintenance, professionals can direct repair technicians to perform repair and maintenance work using AR applications without the technicians being on site. 

AR can help train healthcare workers, or diagnose patients, and plan and monitor critical health situations. For regular users, fitness AR applications can show users’ heart rates and other healthcare data on-screen while the users exercise.

Other examples are architecture and urban design, as now, AR more and more often aids in visualizing building projects. It is also used for urban regeneration and planning as well as for transportation projects.

Applications of virtual reality

Virtual reality applications provide an immersive sensory experience that digitally simulates an artificial environment. Such applications can be developed in various fields. 

Entertainment is the most common and popular use case for VR applications. Immersive experiences in video gaming, virtual music concerts, travel simulations and an opportunity to view films and scenes in 360 degrees are just some notable examples.

VR can present high definition, 3D interactive imaging, which recommends itself as a great opportunity and an alternative channel for digital marketing and advertising needs. 

Due to VR technology, employees can meet and collaborate remotely while feeling they are in the presence of others. Businesses can use it as a brainstorming tool, to test new ideas before the launch or discussing them with partners and collaborators. VR allows engineers and designers to experiment easily with the look and build of a vehicle before commissioning expensive prototypes.

What’s more, VR is a proven way to rehabilitate. Immersive virtual reality technology is capable of recreating life-like natural experiences, and real-time 3D rendered environments. It is used in social sciences, psychology and clinical therapy since VR visuals can help distract patients from their suffering and affect the pathways by which pain travels to the brain.  

In recent years, VR has become a primary method for treating post-traumatic stress disorder. Now, VR applications are widely used to soothe patients, manage anxiety symptoms and treat social and autism disorders. With the rise of social distancing, VR systems are used as digital training devices for medical simulation. 

Apart from healthcare simulation, VR is used for training and learning in many different fields. For instance, the military uses VR for flight and battlefield simulations. It is also used in sports, creating the necessary conditions to play, and helping athletes to measure their performance and analyze their techniques. Such training develops skills without real-world consequences, saves costs, and does not put users in danger. 

Furthermore, VR could revolutionize and democratize education by enabling users to learn interactively and experientially from anywhere in the world. 

What is mixed reality (MR)?

The term mixed reality (MR) refers to a hybrid of AR and VR, the merging of the virtual and physical environments to produce a new environment where interactions among virtual and physical items are enabled in real-time.

Unlike VR systems, which immerse users in completely virtual worlds, or AR, which overlays digital content on top of the real world without taking into account its unique and dynamic structure, MR systems constantly collect new information about the environment and what is occurring within it. MR unites the virtual and physical worlds so that they are intertwined.

MR is a rapidly growing field. A number of MR applications have been used in entertainment, education, design, healthcare, military training, marketing and remote working, to name a few. 

Furthermore, AR, VR, and MR phenomena are inextricably linked with extended reality (XR). XR merges all digital and physical and combines human-machine interactions through the use of wearables such as headsets and devices.

Role of virtual reality and augmented reality in the metaverse

The metaverse refers to a simulated digital environment that combines multiple elements of technology, such as AR, VR, MR and blockchain, along with social media concepts to create spaces that enrich users’ interaction by mimicking the real world. 

As a shared 3D virtual space with online infrastructure and real-time events, and with ever-evolving aspects which are collectively shared by its inhabitants, the metaverse is expected to change the way people interact with each other, connecting the virtual and physical worlds.

The real and virtual are merged in the metaverse using AR and VR technologies, which play a key role in the metaverse’s formation. Augmented reality technology allows for embedding 3D visualizations into the real physical world, and offers real-time interaction.

VR is seen as an integral component of the new metaverse ecosystem, providing an immersive experience for users in a dynamic 3D virtual environment. Generally speaking, the metaverse is something users could leap into (via VR) or deliver to users’ reality (via AR).

The metaverse concept has been one of the hottest trends in the tech space lately, especially after Facebook’s announcement that it was rebranding to Meta, and giant companies like Microsoft, Google, and Sony dived into the metaverse with their unique platforms or started investing. 

Currently, there are plenty of metaverses out there, for example, the popular virtual world Decentraland (MANA), the Pokemon-inspired play-to-earn metaverse game Axie Infinity (AXS) and the digital gaming platform The Sandbox (SAND).

Alif Vasaya provides expertise in business strategy, community growth hacking, content production, content strategy, digital ads through acquisitions, raising capital, monetizing the Metaverse, NFT affiliate marketing, consulting, and marketing advising for start-up companies.Highly skilled and results-oriented professional with solid academic preparation holding a bachelor's degree in arts and extensive experience in digital marketing, content production, business transformation, and human resource. Proven ability to assess and manage complex obstacles; viewed as a decisive troubleshooter. Successful in intense and demanding environments, providing strong team leadership and structure with a track record of motivating and developing soldiers.

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