You can be forgiven for thinking these two terms mean exactly the same thing. This post aims to clarify the difference between these two technologies.
VR or Virtual Reality is a simulated environment. The goal of VR is to “remove” the person from the existing reality and transport the person to “another reality” or “another world”. It does this by stimulating the vision and hearing of the user. A video game is a perfect example of a virtual reality, like Grand Theft Auto.
For an immersive Virtual Reality experience, a VR headset, like the Occulus Rift, is used to block off the real world and show artificial or simulated videos and images to the user.
Augmented Reality or AR on the other hand, doesn’t try to create an “alternate reality”, but rather, adds to it. It does so by overlaying computer generated elements on top of existing reality. When installed on a mobile phone or tablet, an Augmented Reality app will use your camera view finder and will add digital images or videos.
An example would be the 2016 hit Pokémon Go. If you turn ON the AR feature, it will utilize the camera. You can see your surroundings and at the same time, see Pokémons on the screen. If you turned off the AR feature, then we can consider it as an example of Virtual Reality. Another good example of an AR app would be Snapchat with its filters.
Kevin Heart Hart
Hope that clears things up for you. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.