Science and Technology

Augmented Reality versus Virtual Reality: Differences, Similarities, and Prospects

                                                                  Augmented Reality versus Virtual Reality: Differences, Similarities, and Prospects

Augmented Reality versus Virtual Reality: Differences, Similarities, and Prospects.

All of us are more or less familiar with the terms Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. But we often confuse between the two terms.

Virtual Reality is the recreation of a real-life scene by the computer. Here, the user is immersed in the new world with the simulation of their hearing and vision. Augmented reality, on the other hand, is the combination of real and virtual worlds where the real-world image is added to some extra layers of digital add-ons. 


In virtual reality, you will find yourself engrossed in a different world, irrespective of whether you look down, up, sideways or behind. There are special viewers for VR such as the Oculus Rift. Additionally, there are VR apps like Daydream View and Google Cardboard.  

It helps you visit places where you can never visit in reality but have always dreamt of, such as the peak of Mt. Everest, the surface of Mars and the areas beneath the sea.

So, the basic difference is, virtual reality is a computerized simulation of a real-life situation while Augmented Reality is a combination of reality and layers of computer-generated worlds. 

A few examples of Virtual Reality include Google Earth and the virtual reality app by the New York Times. 

Augmented Reality

The best way to explain Augmented Reality is the app ‘Pokemon Go’ which uses AR for fun. You can find Pikachu right inside your home. So, here the virtual world of Pokemon is combined with the real world, which is, the interiors of your home. Even the Snapchat filters are an example of Augmented Reality.

Also, there is an app called Layar App which can help in showing information about the places you visit. It also helps you to find money machines, find real estate for sale, look for restaurants and use the app for more such applications.

Augmented Reality versus Virtual Reality


Both AR and VR are based on the same type of technology and help in serving the user with an enriched experience. Also, both technologies help for entertainment purposes. They even find use in medical science for applications such as remote surgeries to help in treating psychological diseases.


They also have certain dissimilarities. For example, Augmented Reality enriches the experience with the help of graphics, digital images, and sensations for interacting with the real world. Virtual reality, on the other hand, is computer-driven and does not need to connect with reality. Hence, it does not involve any such component.

In case of Augmented Reality, it is possible to differentiate between real and virtual worlds. In the case of virtual reality, an entire virtual world is created and you cannot differentiate between the two worlds here.

Augmented Reality has various fun applications including games on the smartphone. So, you don’t need goggles or helmet which is required in case of the other one.  


Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Future In the coming few years, we would find AR and VR to be applied in almost every sphere. Presently, the target audience of AR and VR are mainly young people. Though the ever-reaching development in the field of blockchain is making people across age groups aware of it and avail of its benefits.

It has a chance to include voice control features and work on the same. Also, with the reduction in a number of ions and menus entering the virtual world, more voice control stemming from AI Natural Language Processing is supposed to be included. 


VR and AR will also find immense applications in the field of teaching. Students will be able to learn everything starting from surgery and flying to construction. Students will be able to gain deeper knowledge about the objectives, best practices, and hazards through real-time environments.

Entertainment and Gaming:

In the field of entertainment, we find that VR adoption has remained steady since the consumer headsets came in the market. However, hardware and applications are yet to reach a decent position as far as creating the VR “Killer App” is considered.

In near future, we can expect to see more realistic and accurate simulations of the real-world within our virtual world. It will mean a more engrossing experience of our entertainment along with more realism in the games based on Virtual Reality.


New VR headsets are being developed and sold across e-commerce platforms. The count is expected to rise further in the future. New features and functionalities are being added to these headsets.

Collaborative and Social:

VR and AR are found to have their impact in the world of social media too, the purchase of Oculus by Facebook is a great example. 

To end with, it can be said that AR and VR have a number of similarities as well as dissimilarities between them and both have huge applications as well as future prospects.

Also Read: What Is Artificial Intelligence? Get To Know More


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