The common misconception around Virtual Reality(VR) is that it is the same as Augmented Reality(AR), well we’re here to settle the confusion and compare the similarities and differences between the two.

Augmented Reality Graphic

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality has a long history dating back to the 1960s and has recently exploded over the years. AR is rapidly growing in several areas, including: training, marketing and customer immersion. There are so many definitions to this technology as it combines real and virtual images in real time and in 3D; in other words, AR is display, interaction and tracking technology. Here is our definition, Augmented Reality is an enhanced version of reality. AR allows people to add digital elements into their actual environment.
Examples of Augmented Reality: Pokémon Go, Snapchat & Instagram Filters, GPS

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality came shortly after Augmented reality and was first used in the mid-1980s where goggles and gloves where used to create a VR experience. Virtual Reality is an immersive 3D experience that allows users to interact with the new virtual environment. VR includes interactive hardware and software to make this experience possible. A great example is Microsoft HoloLens which enables users/gamers to experience a virtual world.
The key elements of Virtual Reality are sensors, interactivity, and programmed virtual world.
Examples of Virtual Reality: Virgin Reality, Volvo Reality & Virtual Reality Tour

What is Mixed Reality?

Mixed Reality often refers as Hybrid Reality which is the merging of AR and VR to produce an environment with digital elements that co-exist in real time. A concept in the making, to make the impossible possible where real and virtual objects can create an immersive experience for users.

What are the differences?

Virtual Reality
Scene Generation – Requires Realistic Images
Display Device- Full immersive, wide field of view
Tracking – Low to medium accuracy

Augmented Reality
Scene Generation – Minimal Rendering
Display Device – Non-immersive, small field of view
Tracking – High Accuracy

How can AR benefit SMBs?

Employee Training – 40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year so it’s important to provide the best training experience for employees. Trainers can get a better understanding of how to get the job done with AR, they can get an interactive experience of what task they need to complete. Secondly, AR can help reduce training costs on resources as resources can be virtually programmed in AR.

Customer Immersion – An advantage of AR for SMBs is to help customers have the experience of the product or service before purchase. For example, furniture companies can show customers how furniture will look in their own home before making a purchase; improving customer experience and efficiency.
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