The terms virtual reality and augmented reality are confusing to lots of people out there, because even though they might be a lot similar, they still end up being different in the world of technology. It is known that both, virtual reality and augmented reality, could be experienced on the same device, depending on how much on the real world is necessary, and that is exactly where the confusion comes from. Let’s get introduced to both technologies and learn more about their differences.
The history of virtual reality might go way beyond what you might think, since there were popular peer-through toys in the 1950s and some people believe that the idea of virtual reality goes even far behind this. Virtual reality might be the most well-known when it comes to these types of technologies and it is the one that tricks your senses in order to give you the feeling that you are in a different environment.
Virtual reality is experienced through head-mounted display (HMD) or headset and it takes you to a computer-generated experience that is all about imaginary sounds and worlds. It is defined as the use of computer technology in order to create a simulated environment that gives you the feeling of being in a totally different reality than the one you are actually in.
It is referred to as virtual reality because even though it is not real, you could move around the place as if you are really in it, going right, left, up and down as if you are physically there. The environment that you might experience could be related to an animated scene or it could be about an actual place that has been photographed before and inserted into that specific scene.
The interesting thing about virtual reality is the fact that it can give you the chance to travel to places that you have never been to before or even go through experiences which you might have never tried.
Augmented reality might be one of the most famous technology trends at the moment and this is mostly about adding objects and elements to a live view, which means that it requires the presence of a camera on a smartphone. Augmented reality actually is an interesting type of technological experience because it gives you the chance to see real-life environments and feel everything, like the movement of objects around you.
In the world of technology, augmented reality is defined as an enhanced version of reality that is created by technology in order to be added to an image by adding a layer of text or even an image on top of the view which you are viewing through your smartphone or tablet camera, such as the different filters which are being used now on different social media platforms, such as Instagram.
This might be a bit similar to virtual reality in that it gives you the chance to experience places you might want to visit through a specific app. There are even some brands which provide the feature of trying on their products through the augmented reality technology, you just place the camera on yourself to try a specific outfit, or on your hand to try some accessories for example.
One of the most famous examples for augmented reality technology is the game Pokémon Go which was released in 2016, where in the game players can locate Pokémon characters that pop up in the real world beside the players in their environment.
Looking into the pros and cons that come along with virtual reality, there are actually a couple of things to consider, starting from how easy it manages to help you learn and work, and ending with the loss of human interaction it might cause on the other hand. It is important to manage using such technology in order to reduce the amount of negative effects it might carry along.
When it comes to virtual reality, there are some important benefits that come along which we should definitely consider, such as stimulating dangerous environments for training purposes, so for example firefighters can experience a real environment and apply their skills before getting into a real fire.
Other benefits for virtual reality include the convenience of trying things on or in a specific space at home, like checking if a specific piece of furniture would fit into your room or not, without having to go to the store and keep wondering. Also, making conferences from the comfort of your place is another benefit introduced by virtual reality which is now needed to prevent the spread of pandemics.
On the other side, there are some cons for virtual reality which people should consider, such as getting addicted to using this type of technology and thus affecting the real human interactions and even affecting the health of the person, since spending a lot of time using virtual reality might actually cause nausea, dizziness, and disorientation because one will be seeing all the movements in the game but not feeling them.
Even though the pros and cons of augmented reality might be a bit similar to virtual reality, there are still some differences to be spotted between them. One of the important benefits to consider when it comes to augmented reality is the fact that it brings the best of both worlds by overlaying the real environment with the virtual information, such as the filters used in social media.
In addition to this, augmented reality is also important when it comes to supporting businesses in showing and demonstrating their products, which is also important for those who are trying to promote their work remotely.
On the other hand, just like virtual reality, there are some drawbacks to augmented reality which should be paid attention to, such as promoting risky behavior, being too costly, having some concerns related to privacy and security, as well as being sometimes too intrusive since AR might sometimes record real environments and thus capture images of random individuals.
As much as virtual reality and augmented reality might seem interesting, easy to use, and might make the world a much better place, you should always take care while using them in order not to get affected by the cons.
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