What is the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality?

What is the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality?

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What is the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality?

Within the last two decades, humans have made enormous progress in technology and devices. First, we got to experience desktop computers and laptops, then shrunk down to the size of our palms in the form of smartphones. By now, we are living in the era of development of advanced artificial realities.

The two primary names that come to our minds after hearing artificial reality are virtual and augmented reality. These two terms are almost the same for many of us, but that is not the case. In this article, I am going to tell you what is the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality. Both technologies are taking over every modern industry, whether e-commerce, gaming, education, or any other. 

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality is an artificial reality simulation that shows you an unrealistic and imaginary world. You can wear the virtual headset and access a world you have never thought of by just standing in your room. You can roam around, see new things, and hear unique sounds but can not feel or touch those things. It completely cuts you off from the real world.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality is an artificial reality simulation with a mixture of the real-world and virtual worlds. It can be experienced on any device with a camera. In this reality, you can see various computer-generated objects in the real world, even on your smartphone.


Before differentiating between these technologies, we have to check out what they have in common and what makes people believe that these are the same technology. 

  • Both of these technologies are artificial reality-based and show a world consisting of computer-generated images.
  • Both are rapidly taking over all the modern industries.
  • Both technologies have almost the same application in the industries. The industries these targets are:
    • Gaming
    • Education
    • E-commerce
    • Health-care
    • Tourism
    • Real-estate
    • Interior designing and architecture 
    • Art and design
    • Entertainment
  • Algorithms, motion detections, cameras, sensors, lenses, and controllers of these technologies, are almost the same.


There are many prominent differences between these two technologies which distinguish them. So here is a list of “what is the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality:

  • Both of these have different reality settings. Virtual reality shows an imaginary computer-generated world, while augmented reality shows the real world with some computer-generated objects in it.
  • Augmented reality users are present in the real world and are conscious of their surroundings. But virtual reality users can not see from the real world while wearing the headset.
  • Virtual reality needs a headset, while augmented reality can operate on any device with a camera and augmented reality support.
  • Virtual reality only focuses entirely on the world of fantasies, while augmented reality improves both world experiences, the real and the imaginary.
  • It needs much better and more expensive machines, animators, and graphics to create virtual reality compared to augmented reality.
  • In virtual reality, a user can manipulate computer-generated objects in the virtual world, while in augmented reality, a user can manipulate these objects in the real world.
  • Augmented reality users are physically present in the world they are looking at and also move around freely. Virtual reality users can not physically enter the world they see and can not move in the environment.
  • Virtual reality is mainly for individual usage. The information and objects in augmented reality can be accessed by the public. It increases the concerns of privacy of an individual.

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