Is Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality the Same Thing?

Technology has evolved quickly after the beginning of the new millennium. Today you can do many things with technology that were not even imaginable before. One of the latest technological developments that is poised to redefine the retail digital and physical landscape is augmented reality along with virtual reality.

Tango, Google’s augmented-reality platform, is an example of how the retail world is about to undergo a radical transformation. It uses computer vision to allow mobile device apps to detect the relative position of the devices within a detailed 3D environment.

This can be used for such tasks as in-store navigation, visual presentation, and product related interactive games.

Judging by the amount of money that tech companies have committed to developing augmented reality technology, it can be predicted to greatly change the consumer retail experience.

A lot of people wrongly presume that augmented reality is similar to virtual reality sets such as Microsoft’s Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and Sony’s PlayStation VR.

The fact is that they are totally different technologies. There are subtle differences between the two that makes them very different.

So, what’s the difference between the two?

Let’s find out.

Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality: The Difference

Augmented reality represents a technology whereby computer-generated enhancements are layered on top of an existing reality.

In other words, augmented reality fuses the real world with the digital one. If you have seen Ironman interacting with JARVIS in the latest Marvel movies, you will have an idea of what augmented reality is.

Virtual reality, on the other hand, is a computer generated simulation of a real life environment. It does not augment reality but totally replaces it to create a whole new world, a virtual world.

VR sets such as Oculus Rift and others create an immersive experience making the user experience a simulated reality firsthand.

In addition, James Scully’s conscious immersion in a Na’vi body in the movie Avatar represents the concept of virtual reality.

The current virtual reality technology hasn’t advanced as much as depicted in the movie.

Virtual Reality

From the above, you should now have grasped the fundamental difference between augmented reality and virtual reality. The purpose of augmented reality is to enhance or augment user experience using visual imagery. In contrast, virtual reality creates a totally new virtual world using computer generated imagery.

Despite their differences, the two technologies have certain similar features.

Both of them rely on computer generated images. In addition, they deliver the content through a head mounted device, also known as HMD. In some cases, the two technologies overlap thereby generating more immersive experience to the users.

In the end, it can be predicted that both augmented reality and virtual reality will completely change the user experiences as we know today. Whether blended together or alone, they are indeed opening up new possibilities in both virtual and real world.

If your real estate development or project needs to develop an augmented reality campaign or virtual reality for your business contact SM Digital Partners at 561.404.9787.

SMDigital Augmented Reality Examples:

Automotive Augmented Reality for Artist Laurence Gartel 2012

Real Estate Augmented Reality for Kolter Homes (Two City Plaza)


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