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Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality


The phrases “virtual reality” and “augmented reality” are frequently used interchangeably. Virtual reality headsets, such as the Oculus Quest or Valve Index, and augmented reality apps and games, such as Pokemon Go, remain popular. They sound identical, and as technologies advance, they become increasingly indistinguishable. However, they are two completely distinct notions, each with specific qualities.

What is Augmented Reality, and how does it work?


Augmented reality enables you to experience the world around you through the lens of digital images superimposed on it. Several augmented reality headsets are currently available, including the Microsoft HoloLens and the Magic Leap. Without using a headset, augmented reality can be used on devices such as smartphones and laptops. You may have already utilized augmented reality without recognizing it when playing a game like Pokemon Go or while using Snapchat filters.

How is Virtual Reality defined?

Virtual reality transports you to a virtual world with the use of a headgear equipped with some form of display that displays a virtual environment. Additionally, these headsets incorporate a feature called head tracking, which enables you to see around the surroundings just by moving your head. The display will rotate in lockstep with your movements, providing a 360-degree perspective of the virtual environment. These devices incorporate a screen inside the headset and are connected to a computer and perform optimally with a reasonably powerful system. The Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, and the PlayStation VR, which links to the PlayStation 4 game console, are just a few prominent examples.

What is the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality?

While both technologies utilize simulated reality, AR and VR utilize distinct underlying components and are geared toward distinct consumers.

Virtual reality nearly always requires the user to wear an eye-covering headgear and headphones in order to totally replace the physical environment with the virtual one. The goal of virtual reality is to eliminate as much of the real world as possible and to isolate the user from it. Once inside, the VR environment may be programmed to give almost anything, from a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader to a realistic (yet entirely created) replica of the planet. While virtual reality has particular business uses in areas such as product creation, teaching, architecture, and retail, the majority of VR applications today are centered on leisure, particularly gaming.

On the other side, augmented reality blends the simulated world with the real one. In the majority of applications, the user accomplishes this by pointing the phone’s camera at a location of interest and generating a live-streaming video of that scene on the screen. The screen is then covered with helpful information, such as repair instructions, navigation directions, or diagnostic data.

However, augmented reality can also be employed for amusement purposes. A notable example is the mobile game Pokemon Go, in which players attempt to capture virtual critters while wandering around in the real world.

What are the challenges for augmented and virtual reality?

AR and VR technologies are still in their formative stages, and they have a long way to go before becoming really widespread. Among the most commonly mentioned technological and commercial issues are the following:

Technological difficulties

Limited mobile bandwidth — While cloud-based processing represents an intriguing possible solution to the mobile processing bottleneck, mobile phone bandwidth is still too slow in the majority of locales to support real-time video processing. This is expected to change when mobile broadband speeds increase.

Complex development — Creating an augmented or virtual reality application is an expensive and time-consuming process. To make these technologies accessible to programmers, development tools must become more user-friendly.

Business difficulties

The inconvenient nature of virtual reality gear — Putting on a virtual reality headset and clearing a room frequently detracts from the user experience. Additionally, virtual reality input devices, which typically take the shape of adapted gaming controllers, can often be unintuitive, with a steep learning curve.

Constructing a business model – Apart from video gaming, many augmented and virtual reality applications are still in their infancy and lack commercial viability.

Security and privacy concerns – The response to the initial Google Glass demonstrated that the general public remains cautious of the proliferation of cameras and its consequences for privacy.

What’s next for augmented and virtual reality?

AR and VR have an undeniably bright future, and the coming years will offer a slew of new features and increased adoption. High video quality, computing power, mobile bandwidth, and AR/VR technology will all contribute to increased popular appeal, while decreasing development costs and complexity will open up new possibilities for producers. Eye-tracking and facial expression recognition systems will gradually supersede clumsy joysticks and other controls.

While video gaming and entertainment will continue to drive this sector, applications for augmented and virtual reality will emerge. These include totally virtual surgery, in which surgeons execute their duties solely in a simulated environment while robotic equipment performs the actual operation. The capacity to practically travel anywhere in the world of augmented reality is enabled by a developing technology platform called Mirrorworld, which aspires to duplicate the physical cosmos on a 1:1 scale. Education will almost certainly continue to evolve toward a virtual paradigm based on augmented and virtual reality platforms, both in academia and in the business world. Finally, merchants will continue to rely on augmented reality applications to enhance virtual shopping experiences, gradually phasing out the necessity for physical locations.

The Verdict

AR and VR are expected to rise in popularity.

Both augmented reality and virtual reality are rather specialized technologies at the moment, but both have great futures ahead of them as they grow. Consumers are more willing to experiment with future applications of these technologies as interest in novel VR video games and augmented reality navigation aids grow. In industry, augmented reality is finding uses in a variety of fields, including design, maintenance, and healthcare. Looking ahead, it will be fascinating to see what new augmented reality and virtual reality capabilities become available.