Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

4 minute read
Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

We are living in the digital age of new emerging technologies that have transformed almost every aspect of our lives. The most important invention of the digital era is the Internet which has changed the way we communicate with others, learn new things as well as perceive the world around us. Artificial Intelligence is working towards simulating the human brain and making machines smarter. Amongst the popular technology trends, Augmented and Virtual Reality aims to alter our physical environment and bring an individual into a virtual world. If you have been wondering how these two can possibly change our perception of the real and virtual in the coming year, read on this blog which brings you a detailed comparison between Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality!

Also Read: Computer Science vs Software Engineering

Understanding Virtual Reality

To begin with, virtual reality corresponds to changing the physical reality with a near-reality emulation. It implements a three-dimensional and computer-generated environment which aims to simulate the actual reality. It is widely used in different fields such as design, medicine, engineering, training, education and entertainment. When we bring the comparison of augmented reality vs virtual reality, it is important to highlight that the former only augments the physical reality by enhancing and adding to it while virtual reality has a larger impact on altering the physical world. 

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Understanding Augmented Reality

The word ‘Augment’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Augere’ which is simply defined as “to add or increase”. As explained above, Augmented Reality strives to enhance the real world instead of changing it altogether. Augmented reality mixes the real world with virtual objects creating a  beautiful and interactive environment for us to engage in. Now when a person’s real environment is supplemented or augmented with the computer-generated virtual images, these effects are brought by augmented reality. This is a major point of difference between augmented reality vs virtual reality since the latter transforms the whole environment to bring an immersive experience while the former works towards implemented only virtual objects or images to the actual reality.

Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Applications of Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality

While both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have proved extremely helpful in different areas of study from education to medicine, there are unique differences deem them fit for varied purposes as well. In this discussion between augmented reality vs virtual reality, we have to agree to the point that virtual reality is much expansive as a technological trend as compared to augmented reality since the latter is only to add to an environment. Let’s first take a look at some of the uniquely devised uses of virtual reality:

  • Research & Therapy
  • Recruitment & Training
  • Forecasting Trends
  • Pain Management
  • Treatment of PTSD
  • Social Cognism Training for Autistic Patients
  • Anxiety Management
  • Military Training
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Teaching & Learning

Now that you know how pervasive the use of virtual reality is, glance through the following applications of augmented reality:

  • Medical Training
  • Surgical Operations
  • Retail
  • Machine Maintenance and Repair
  • Visualisation of Designs
  • Tourism
  • Classroom Learning
  • Gaming & Entertainment

Key Differences between augmented reality vs virtual reality

Now, let’s explore the major differences between Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality through the following table:  

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality
Enhances the real world by adding digital images.  Transforms the physical world completely into a near-reality experience.
Handheld devices, monitors, display systems, etc. VR Headsets, goggles, hand-controllers, etc.
The user is enabled to interact with both the spaces, i.e. real and virtual. It is extremely hard to differentiate between real and virtual.
Snapchat lenses, Pokemon Go, etc. HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard, etc.
An enhanced version of reality Aims to create a simulated environment

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[Bonus] Building Career in Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

Once you are familiarised with augmented reality vs virtual reality, the next thing you must explore are the shining career opportunities they offer! In order to pursue a career in Augmented reality or virtual reality, there are numerous specialised programmes one can choose from. Some of these top courses at the bachelor’s and master’s level are listed below:

Course University
BSc (Hons) Virtual and Augmented Reality University of Bradford
Bachelor of Information Technology
(Virtual and Augmented Reality)
Deakin University
Bachelor of Science in Virtual and Augmented Reality
Cardiff Metropolitan University
BSc (Hons) Virtual and Augmented Reality University of Portsmouth
Bachelors in Virtual Reality Design Staffordshire University
MSc in Virtual and Augmented Reality Goldsmiths, University of London
MA in Virtual and Augmented Reality Goldsmiths, University of London
Masters in Computer Graphics, Gaming & Virtual Reality Rey Juan Carlos University
Masters in Virtual Reality University of the West of England

Career Prospects 

Apart from the prospective courses you can pursue, check out the following career opportunities you can explore in the field of AR and VR:

  • Design Architect
  • Software Designer
  • System Validation Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • 3D Artist
  • AR/VR content developer
  • AR/VR project manager

Also Read: Computer Science Engineering Syllabus

Hope this blog has helped you gain a deeper understanding of the differences between augmented reality vs virtual reality. Planning to pursue your career in Virtual Reality? Let the experts at Leverage Edu take your dream in the right direction. Book an e-meeting with our experts and we will help you choose the right course and university as per your interests, preferences and career aspirations!

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