People often get confused by the term virtual reality and augmented reality. Although they are related in nature, they are in fact quite different. The factor that they have in common is that they both have an ability to alter the way that people have a perception of the world.
Virtual reality has the ability to transpose the user, transporting them somewhere else in a believable manner. This is done through the use of VR goggles or headsets. The user will put one on and this will alter their perception of reality in 3D. They will either see something completely different through the goggles, as it blocks out the user’s current surroundings completely.
There are many companies that provide this technology including Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR and many more. It has come a long way since its beginnings, and the effects that it can create can be quite impressive. The immersion can be very dramatic in some cases, and can trick the brain into believing you are elsewhere, resulting in the feeling of movement.
Augmented reality however will take the current reality of the user, and change it or add something to it in a believable manner. It will not ‘transport’ the user somewhere completely different like VR does, but will ‘augment’ the current presence of the user, giving visions adapting what can be seen. The results here are often not so dramatic, but still convince a user that they are seeing something that is not really there.
AR provides more potential to businesses as it will provide more freedom to the user as in order to be used, it does not need a head mounted display, the effect can be created in different ways. In the coming years both technologies will continue to develop and provide a lot of potential for businesses.