Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality Part 1: Background


Confused as to what virtual reality is? Having difficulty understanding how augmented reality technology works? Well fear not as we have a multipart blog for you dedicated to all things virtual and augmented. In today’s entry, a little background on both types of technology.

What’s What?

VR stands for virtual reality, an artificial simulation of an experience or environment typically delivered through a headset like the Oculus Rift. Virtual reality programmes are designed to immerse you in a simulated world that for all intents and purposes looks and sounds like it’s real.

AR on the other hand stands for augmented reality, a type of artificial simulation that adds computer-generated content to our current reality, often through use of clear visors such as the Google Glass. You can interact with augmented reality content much the same as you would with virtual reality content, but you remain in our current, real world.

What’s the Difference?

Although VR and AR are very similar in terms of technology, performance and programmes, they offer slightly different experiences. Virtual reality users are transported to a computer-generated world while augmented reality users interact with computer-generated content in our world.

Virtual reality is commonly used for gaming and entertainment in addition to training simulations such as flight simulators for airplane pilots. Augmented reality is being increasingly used to supplement mobile devices such as smartphones and laptops by adding visible information i.e. pop-up text messages or 3D emails.

Simply put, consumer virtual reality headsets are designed more so for home entertainment whereas consumer augmented reality glasses are designed to assist users and make their interactions with technology simpler.

However, it’s likely that as VR and AR technology advances we will start to see an overlap of both types and what they are used for.

For the very best in VR, shop in-store or online.

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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