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The Difference Between AR and VR

The Difference Between AR and VR

Posted on May 25, 2017 by

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality blur the line between reality and fantasy. VR transports our perception into another realm, and AR introduces elements of illusion into the lens of our everyday scenery. Whichever technology you choose to alter your reality, this concept is gaining attention in the digital world. VR goggles went from an idea in a lab to a Christmas present in an incredibly short time period. AR has come a long way as well—it went from being a simple concept to the star of the hit iPhone app “Pokemon Go”; however, even these seemingly new forms of technology are beginning to be replaced by new advancements.

Virtual Reality

When a new and innovative product hits the market, it’s typically targeted at high-end spenders and technology-hungry consumers. Virtual reality has just made itself available to the common consumer with the introduction of Google Cardboard. This contemporary contraption allows you to turn your smartphone into a VR headset. While it may seem like a minuscule development in the VR/AR grand scheme, the ability to give the average consumer a sense of virtual reality at a low cost is really a bold step forward. For example: compare Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, and Samsung Gear VR. These headsets all require the use of a smartphone and have price tags that range from $15-$99 but are still priced on the lower end compared to the headsets that die-hard gamers go for.

PS lovers, of course, have the option to stick to their ways and purchase the PlayStation VR headset. Branding itself as a PlayStation accessory rather than a VR competitor, this console introduces a new outlook of VR to big time gamers. PlayStation VR offers PS fanatics the chance to play their favorite games virtually for $399. Bought by Facebook, the Oculus Rift has surmounted the competition with the ability to plug into a computer and display 3D images on all screens by tracking your head movements. This next-level Oculus Rift VR experience that comes with the convenient aspect of mobility stands at the price of $599. Next, the HTC Vive is among the VR top picks with approximately 70 sensors, 360-degree coverage, the option to place sensors around your home for the most effective game play, and functions to reduce motion sickness. This top-notch VR headset runs with the price tag of $799. In the world of gaming, big name companies are moving quickly to find the next big thing in virtual reality.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality and mixed reality have slight differences, but together they are moving up on the must-watch list. Rather than being limited to the world within a game, AR and MR allow features within the game to be displayed on your kitchen table, or on your bathroom wall. At a whopping $3,000, the Microsoft HoloLens is the top trending product in the realm of AR. For a slightly lesser $599, the FoveO uses eye-tracking sensors to form a new way of connecting to the console.

Just like with the introduction of “Pokemon Go”, augmented reality is working toward a casual transition into your everyday life. Snapchat filters are the most commonly used forms of AR, and most of us don’t even realize it. Along with the filters, the new introduction of the Snapchat Spectacles, or Snapchat glasses, allows your eyes to become your Snapchat lens for $129, thus the colloquial future of augmented reality.

There are a lot of ideas for the future with augmented reality, most of which we’re hoping to see once Apple joins the game. Presently, the merging of smartphones and AR seems to be the biggest trend in this idea of distorted perception. In the near future more ideas will become reality; along with Apple, the auto industry is not too far behind. With digital screens displaying vital information and self-driving cars on the horizon, things will be shifting very quickly. Whether it’s virtual, augmented or mixed reality, the reality of it all is that the industry is constantly updating and adapting—follow our Facebook page to keep up!

Alyssa Zucker

Public Relations student at UT Austin; Social Media and Marketing Intern at HMG Creative; California native, coffee addict. Follow her on Instagram @alyssazucker

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