Explained: Augmented Reality Vs Virtual Reality

4 Mins read


Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are the two primary and vital terms in the digital world to describe a user’s visual experience. These terms are a subsidiary of Extended Reality (XR), an umbrella term for AR, VR and Mixed Reality (MR). There is a difference among these terms regarding their use and applicability in the real world. However, these terms have become synonymous with each other.

What’s VR?

VR is the fundamental 3D visual experience phenomenon introduced in the 1950s. It is considered the first step to exploring a new 3D world using some haptic touch, headsets, or glasses. In the VR experience, a 3D world is created by computer technology which can mimic realistic images and sounds to make it like real life.

What’s AR?

AR is opposite to VR and can simultaneously create a mixture of digital and physical worlds. In AR, a new reality is not created, but a digital reality is implemented in the physical world. With the help of specially designed smartphone apps supporting AR, you can focus on any physical object to implement effects, such as a bear on a banknote or an elephant on the table.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR)

How does AR Work?

A camera-equipped device such as a smartphone, tablet or smart glasses is essential to implement VR technology. The device must support the installation of special AR software. When a user focuses the camera lens through AR software, video steam is created to be analyzed. The required information about the objects in the stream is downloaded from the cloud. The process is similar to loading a web page via URL, but the difference is that AR presents a 3D experience rather than 2D. The user is now experiencing a mixture of the digital and physical worlds.

Modern AR software offers the command option to users for a better visual experience. The users can pass commands such as ‘stop’ for a particular physical object to integrate with a digital avatar. AR automatically adjusts the focus through cloud data as the user moves around.

Uses / Applications of AR

  • Printing and advertising agencies
  • Translation of texts into other languages
  • Construction (maps, designs) and logistics
  • Communications
  • Presentations and projects
  • Medical field (scanning and imaging)
  • Entertainment industry

Advantages of AR

  • Enhanced user experience
  • Easy to use on mobile phones
  • Increased accuracy and efficiency
  • The enhanced learning process in education
  • Knowledge can be shared over long distances

Disadvantages of AR

  • Implementation cost is very high
  • Low-level performance on many devices
  • Lack of user privacy
  • Security issues
  • More health issues


How does VR Work?

With the help of a particular type of glasses or haptic touch, VR creates an environment of digital movements to manipulate the human mind into accepting them as reality. VR technology enables users to perceive and interact in a virtual world. A particular lens type is required, one for the user and the other for the screen. The lenses interpret the movement of eyes to adjust them with VR.

User can move their head to the right, left, up and down to replicate the motions inside the VR. Sensors on the controller can collect the stimuli and send them back to the VR system to improve the user experience.

Uses / Applications of VR

  • Military purpose (for flight simulators)
  • Sports (training devices help athletes)
  • Medical field (scanning the data, medical training)
  • Education sector (classroom activities)
  • Fashion industry (designing)
  • The entertainment industry (movies, cinemas)
  • Automotive industry
  • Digital Marketing
  • Architecture

Advantages of VR

  • Immersive learning in an interactive environment
  • Increased knowledge area
  • No distractions in study
  • Creates a realistic world
  • Enables users to explore new places
  • ‘Try before you buy the concept
  • Lowest risk factor
  • Cost-effective

Disadvantages of VR

  • No realistic interaction is possible
  • Mental health issues
  • Implementation is expensive
  • It can be an addiction
  • It cannot replace the real-world experience
  • Complex technology
  • Develops skills, not interaction

Comparison Between AR and VR



Presents a real-world scene Creates an immersive virtual environment
Use only 25% virtual environment Use only 75% virtual environment
It doesn’t require a headset device Requires a headset device
A mixture of the real-world and digital world Completely fictional world
Requires higher bandwidth Requires less bandwidth
Fewer applications for gamers More options for gamers
Business Revenue Generation up to $30B Business Revenue Generation up to $150B


How to Choose a Better One Between AR and VR?

VR is a fully immersive experience in an environment created by a computer. You strap on a VR headset and are transported into a different world of 3D, where you can interact with objects and people. AR, on the other hand, places computer-generated images onto the real world. This allows you to interact with digital objects in your physical world.

Which one is better for you? It all relies on the purpose for which you intend to use it. VR is fantastic for exploring new areas, playing games, and watching movies. AR is perfect for productivity software and overlaying information on the physical world. Both technologies can change your visual experience drastically.


Technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality are quickly rising in popularity. They have some significant differences despite their unique advantages and disadvantages. While virtual reality delivers an immersive experience, augmented reality enables users to engage with digital information while out in the real world. While augmented reality offers a wide range of potential uses in industries including education, healthcare, and business, virtual reality is frequently utilized for gaming and pleasure. Keeping in mind the pros and cons of both technologies, one should choose carefully.

Check out the implementation of cybersecurity.

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