The terms “augmented reality” and “virtual reality” are most heard around a lot these days, gratefulness to the appearance of VR headsets, the use of AR games and apps like Froogipedia, Google translate, etc. Both sound alike, and as the technologies will improve, they will bleed over into one another. They are two very distinct concepts, though, with features that promptly differentiate them from each other.
What is Virtual Reality?
VR headsets effectively take over your vision to provide you with the intuition that you are somewhere else. The Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and other headsets are entirely opaque, obstructing out your surroundings when you hold them close to your eyes. If you wear them while they are switched off, you might feel like you’re having a blindfold around your eyes.
When you turn on the headsets, the OLED or LCD panels inside the VR got refracted by its lens and will fill your vision with whatever is being represented. It can be a 360-degree video, a game or just the implicit space of the programs’ interfaces. Visually, you reach a scenario that is completely different from your present surrounding.
Most VR headsets like the Vive, the PlayStation VR, Windows Mixed Reality, the Rift headsets use 6-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) action tracking. Thanks to outside cameras or sensors (for the Vive, PS VR and the rift) or cameras facing outwards (for WMR). This implies that the headsets don’t just sense the direction you are facing, but also the movement you make in those particular directions. This, merged with 6DOF motion controllers, lets you drive nearby in a practical space, with practical hands. This area is normally restricted to a few square meters, but it is much more adaptive than just looking in diverse directions and standing still. The disadvantage is that you require to be cautious not to tumble over any cable that unites the headset you are wearing to your game system.
Mobile-based headsets like the standalone VR headsets like the Oculus Go and the Google Daydream View are less persuasive than tethered VR headsets because they completely depend on smartphone-level processing that is either connected to or built-in, rather than an extremely faster system nearby. They also usually only offer three-degrees-of-freedom (3DOF), which means they only track direction and not a positional movement. They usually only have a single 3DOF motion controller remote or are designed to work with more conventional gamepads. The experiences are similar, but not nearly as immersive.
For both apps and games, virtual reality entirely replaces your surroundings, taking you to other places, and the best part is your physical location doesn’t even matter. In apps, you might implicitly tour different locations as if you were there. There are billions of probabilities in virtual reality, and they all include superseding everything around you with something different.
What is Augmented Reality?
Where virtual reality supersedes your sight, augmented reality appends to it. AR devices similar to the Microsoft HoloLens and several enterprise-level “smart glasses” are transparent and they let you see everything in your front as if you are wearing a pair of sunglasses on your eyes. The technology is created for a completely free movement while propelling images over things you look at. The concept increases to several smartphones with a huge variety of AR-based games and apps, which use your phone’s camera to trace your surroundings and superimpose extra information on top of your smartphone’s screen.
AR displays can show something as plain as a data overlay that shows the time, to something as complex as a hologram hovering in the middle of a room. In Pokemon Go shows a Pokemon on your screen, on top of whatever object the camera is gazing at. The HoloLens & additional smart glasses let you practically place floating app 3D decorations and windows around you.
This technology has a discrete drawback as in comparison with virtual reality and that is visual immersion. While VR effectively replaces and covers your vision, AR apps only show additional information on your tablet or smartphone’s screen. It isn’t very adaptive when a hologram vanishes once it goes out of a rectangle in the centre of your vision, or when you are required to gaze at a small screen and assuming that the object on that screen is actually present in front of you.
Basic AR that extends simple data over what you are seeing at can operate perfectly fine with 3DOF. However, most of the AR apps require 6DOF in some or other form for tracing your physical position, so that the software can control steady positions for the images that it throws in 3D space. This is the reason why the AR-centric smartphones like the iPhone X use multiple rear-facing cameras to track depth and the HoloLens uses a stereoscopic camera & advanced pattern identification to determine where it is at all times, and why more advanced.
For apps, augmented reality has nearly boundless possibilities. Phone-based AR softwares has been identifying surroundings and are providing additional data about what it sees for years are now, offering a live interpretation of the pop-up and text reviews of eateries as you look at them. Dedicated AR headsets can do, even more, letting you practically place diverse apps as floating windows around you, efficiently giving you a spontaneously modular multi-monitor computer setup.
For games, augmented reality can build experiences using your surroundings. The detective game parts scan your room and generate a crime scene based on its design, placing several set pieces around and producing an inappreciably different experience with each room. RoboRaid detects the presence of walls and outlines the holograms of robotic arms on them. Young Conker puts obstacles all over your movables, modelling its levels from your surroundings. In all of these situations, the games changes to fit into space.
The Difference Between AR and VR
Augmented reality and virtual reality achieve two very distinct things in two very diverse ways, despite the similar designs of the devices themselves. VR displaces reality and takes you somewhere else. AR adds to the authenticity, pitching information on the top of what you’re previously seeing. Both AR and VR are powerful technologies that have yet to make their impression on consumers by fulfilling a lot of promise. They can entirely revolutionise how we will use processors in the future.