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General Published on: Fri Feb 10 2023

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Technologies of the Future

The world is advancing faster than ever before, and it is hard to keep up with day-to-day technological advancement, so there are many new technologies at any given time. We are surely spending most of our time looking at screens, be it laptops, TV, or cellphone. They have become a big part of our lives, and AR and VR are the two technologies that change the way we use screens, creating new and exciting experiences.


Virtual Reality comes from two different words, Virtual – Not an actuality, Reality- Which means real. It’s a computer-generated simulation or replacement of one’s environment. Example: You wear a headset; it blocks your worldview and substitutes the digital world, designed to fool your senses. From the point of view of your brain, you are somewhere else, but in Reality or physically, you are there only. Virtual Reality tends to be completely immersive with no real-world stimuli affecting the experience; its real goal is to make users feel like they are in another place. Sensorama was the machine that is one of the earliest known examples of immersive multi-sensory technology, which could be considered to provide the experience of virtual Reality. Talking about the types of VR technologies available right now, we have wired and wireless, connected to a processor, and usually work faster and smoother. Still, the thing about wired headsets is they are expensive. The movement is limited as the headset is connected to a heavy computing system; popular examples for this category are HTC Vive and PS. When it comes to wireless, we use mobile phones and talk them into the VR headset. However, it doesn’t provide high definition and fast processing content. Still, it provides the ability to move and can be carried anywhere; popular examples for this category are Samsung gear and Google data in the view.

Augmented Reality(AR)

The word ‘Augment’ has derived from a Latin word which is to ‘Add’ or ‘Increase,’ It doesn’t cut out the real world, but rather it’s an enhancement to the real world where we mix the real world with virtual objects, and that creates beauty that’s why it sometimes referred to as mixed Reality. Augmented Reality was created to be able to interact with items on the internet without having only to use a button on our device or a screen. It is an enhanced version of Reality created by technology to add digital information to an image of something. With AR, you can deal with stuff right in front of you as if it was an object in the room. You can manipulate it completely, creating a new environment around you. We have a wide range of examples for it; some of the famous ones are the Pokemon Go game and Snapchat filters, which have various face filters that are all AR-based; what it does is that it presents a layer of Reality over the Reality in which we ar

Difference between AR & VR

AR enhances what you see by adding computer-generated graphics to the view using different devices, whereas VR provides users a fully digital environment with no elements from Reality. 

AR only requires AR-compatible smart device to enjoy the experience, whereas to experience virtual reality VR headset or additional equipment is used to get a fully immersed experience. AR needs lower cost in creating an AR experience, unlike VR.

Fields in which AR/VR is widely used –

1. Automotive industry

VR offers engineers and designers to experiment with the look and build of vehicles before commissioning costly prototypes. Several companies, including BMW and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), have used virtual reality (VR) for years to conduct early design and engineering reviews to assess the visual design and object obscuration – before any money has been spent on producing the parts physically.

2. Healthcare

VR has a remarkable influence on the healthcare industry. In November 2021, the FDA approved prescription-use EaseVRx to treat pain reduction in adults. In addition to cognitive behavioral therapy, other behavioral principles such as deep relaxation, attention shifting, and interoceptive awareness are employed to reduce chronic pain. Virtual Reality has even been used to treat burn injuries.

3. Tourism

A global pandemic and lockdowns can rob you of the freedom to travel to other countries, visit world-famous landmarks, and experience another culture.

If you live in Singapore or California, you could take a guided tour of Barcelona or Budapest from your home. You could even take a Harry Potter tour of Edinburgh from anywhere. With VR, you can do just that.

4. Real estate

You can look around properties from the comfort of your own home if you prefer to stay close to home – no need to sacrifice your weekend or make estate agent appointments.

People are exploring houses online and getting a sense of the space, thanks to companies like Matterport. The comfort of being able to look at houses that are smaller, darker, or otherwise not what you expected is greatly reduced. By doing so, you can concentrate your time on viewing only the properties you’re most likely to love.

5. Entertainment

VR has been used in the entertainment industry to enhance experiences with 360-degree films (examples on YouTube) and to increase the emotional connection with characters and films. The Disney Movies VR app, for example, allows the user to experience red carpet events and an interview with ‘The Jungle Book’ cast.


Which is more attractive, AR or VR?

Both have their place and have different functions.

VR is when you immerse the person in an entirely virtual computer-generated world. Immersive Virtual Reality replaces the world you see around you with a virtual one, making you feel as if you are somewhere else. Augmented Reality doesn’t replace the world around you; it just adds information or context. Augmented Reality can instantly translate signs for you from Spanish to English. Virtual Reality can take you to Spain. AR is better done with glasses; look up a magic leap. They are closely related but not the same.


In VR, you want people to disconnect from Reality. In AR, you want to keep people in a super-reality. They may seem the same, but it’s like extreme opposites. AR will be a winner because AR doesn’t need any specific device in the long run. It can be experienced through cell phones, and if we look at VR gears, only a few people have it. So if anyone wants to target the mass, AR is the technology. But if one wants a completely immersive experience, VR is the technology.