Augmented Reality (AR) Vs Virtual Reality (VR) |The Difference

Technology can alter the ways you look at the world. This reality shifting is done by technologies named Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). These terms can be confusing sometimes and are often overlapped with one another. But there are major differences in the ways they project their technology in the real world interacting with humans.

AR and VR are increasingly used in technology developments and they are widely being used around the world for entertainment purposes. Both of them have one big thing in common that they both can alter our perception of the world and where they differ, is the perception of our presence.

These are the latest technologies playing their part fields like Education, Ecommerce, Healthcare, Business, and Entertainment. Both of these technologies keep demonstrating the solutions and applications they can provide. But there are some key differences in both of these technologies which we will discuss in this article.


1. VR is used to create a computer-stimulated environment in which the user is completely immersed. 
2. VR with its complete engagement tends to break the user contact with the external environment. 
3. In VR everything that users see is an artificial recreation in which a completely computer-generated world is given to the user experience.
4. In short, VR shut out the physical world completely by full immersion of the user into transparent computer-generated reality.
1. AR enhances the user experience by digitally adding virtual elements into the layer of interaction with the real world. These virtual components could be images, graphics, or sensations.
2. AR can also be defined as an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to add digital components.
3. In AR a user can interact with the digitally submerged components. This technology delivers virtual components as the overlay to the real world.
4. AR does not block out the user’s relationship with reality in fact it keeps the user in the real world and enhances the experience by virtually adding digital elements to it.
5. AR offers partial immersion of the user still making them stay in contact with the real world.
Engagement Comparison


AR and VR both deliver the computer-generated experience to the user through different devices.


1. VR uses headsets or handheld controllers to connect people to the virtual reality world. Users can immerse into the virtual experience by wearing goggles and holding controllers in their hands to navigate the world of virtual reality. 
2. These devices allow the users to control and navigate their actions in an environment meant to simulate the real world. By wearing these headsets user gets blocked to the external world and his perception of the real world changes. Users can not interact with those digitally layered components in reality but they can enjoy the experience around them. 
3. Virtual reality plays with the eyes and hearing of its users shutting them from the reality of the world around them. To experience Virtual reality the VR headset should be connected to a computer (Oculus Rift) or a gaming console (PlayStation VR). But VR is not just limited to headsets there are standalone devices that can enhance your VR experiences like Google Cardboard and Daydream View. 
4. Most VR headsets in the market work with smartphones, where you can insert a smartphone into the VR headset pocket and can immerse yourself in the experience of virtual reality.
1. The delivery method of Augmented Reality is quite different than of virtual reality devices. 
2. As in AR the user stays connected to the reality around him so the devices here are used do not change the perception of reality however these devices allow the users to interact with the digital images, and graphics.
3. AR is provided through a wider variety of devices like headsets, laptops, tablets, smartphones. On phones, there are AR apps that use phones camera to you the real world in front of and then augment it with a layer of digitally created content with which you can interact with your naked eyes. 
4. Google Glass is one of the famous AR devices that are used nowadays other than modern smartphones.
Devices Comparison


VR and AR do not always work independently of one another to give users their kind of experiences, now these two technologies are blended together to generate a highly captivating experience. Some people think that AR/VR is just for hardcore gamers but they have immense potential for a variety and number of industries. Today AR/VR blended technology is changing how we use to see the world. Every tech-savvy industry of modern times is going forward with these technologies and generously leveraging them. Following are some of the industries where AR/VR technologies are creating their magic

Retail Industry

Retailers are altering the ways they used to handle retailing now with the immersion of VR technology. Retailers are moving the parts of the customer experience into virtual reality.

A store like Bold Metrics has deployed VR Technology in their business creating virtual maps for customers’ bodies offering them 3D fitting rooms where they can try any apparel without actually wearing them. Shoppers can shop virtually from these stores by using a VR headset.

Sephora has also installed VR technology into their website by offering VR makeup artists where users can get their makeup done with every product present in the virtual store and can create and buy that look with products.

Defense Industry

In various lines of defense and military, AR/VR is being used to create simulation environments on large scale. These technologically immersive realities are deployed to train militants and optimize military operations.

ScopeAR, has disposed AR technology to military officials to help them with equipment maintenance and repair by using AR generated “computer vision”.

Bohemia Interactive Simulations which is a software simulation company has developed a VR environment for training, experimentations, and rehearsals for the mission.

Virtual Events & Conferences

As VR technology allows users to be anywhere virtually so companies are deploying this technology for managing events and conferences. The organizers now can invite more individuals into in-person events and conferences.

Paul McCartney used a Google Cardboard headset and released a 360-degree concert recording through a VR app on it. This VR App was developed by a startup named Jaunt. Jaunt has risen over 100 million dollars to develop VR gadgets tools software and applications for content creators.

Sales and Marketing

Brands are deploying VR/AR-powered marketing campaigns to give customers a whole lot of unique experiences with their products. Other than that VR/AR sales and promotional campaigns are being used to interact with customers. With time consumers the adoption of AR/VR increases making it less of a novelty more of a standard mode to experience advertising.

A soft cheese factory called Boursin created a VR experience people allowed people to fly through the refrigerator full of cheesy treats through VR headsets. 

Human Resource Management

Today many companies are taking on the trend of cultural fit and for this, they are using VR recruiting and hiring. VR has revolutionized the way firms use to carry human resources now there are companies Like Lloyds Banking group that uses VR to assess potential candidates for its graduate leadership programs and recruit hires by giving them puzzles to solve in a VR environment. This program sides them into determining whether the candidate can show the competencies that are required for the group’s future leaders.

Science and Medicine

AR/VR is extending in the medical and health care industry too. With these technologies, hospitals are using customized apps to educate their patients about certain health conditions through AR replicas like the lungs of smokers.AR/VR technology has great potential in the medical-surgical field too it has made possible remote surgeries and also to treat certain psychological diseases such as PSTD.

AccuVein has also invented a scanner that projects over the skin and helps doctors and nurses to find veins and values in the human body three times faster and precisely.

Media Sector

Media is also embracing AR/VR technology and using them to involve audiences and readers in a more immersive program projected by them giving them an entirely new experience.

New York Times releases VR-powered visual stories through the NYT VR app. The readers can easily experience these stories through Google Cardboard headsets.

CNN has also broadcasted the first Democratic Presidential debate through a VR app.

Film and Entertainment

AR/VR technologies are enabling experiences that are expected in the entertainment industry. Most of this technology was used for science-fiction imagination and to portray artificial worlds but work is being done to bring this technology in a different manner to audiences to give them a captivating and immersive experience.

Story-telling startup such as Kite & Lightning has worked with this technology and produced Babylon Battle Royale, an experience that was premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2017.


VR is showing its potential in the concept phase in the automotive sector. Big automotive companies such as Ford, Volvo, and Audi are working with this technology for prototyping, rapidly designing, evaluating vehicles, enhancing the user experience for new cars(VOLVO XC90), developing apps to view cars nearly anywhere in the world, and giving them personalized track to see how the car operates.

Customer Service

VR and AR are offering new ways for companies to interact with customers. One of the services they provide is remote troubleshooting, which is done step by step over the phone.

AR/VR devices can be used by customer service representatives to help customers through the issues. The representative could virtually appear in front of customers to step by step talk them through their issues. 

IKEA gives customers an experience of home designing in virtual reality through the use of their customized app and a headset. Customers can remove fixtures and change colors & dimensions to see how they will look.


Some athletes are using AR/VR technology to practice for the game day and to visualize strategies for their plays. 

Such as STRIVR with its AR/VR software has helped college teams and NFL to practice and prepare for various situations that arise in a game. 


Students will see changes to the way they learn as AR and VR technologies have more commonplace for educating students. These technologies have increased students’ engagement across subjects have enabled them to understand concepts faster. Institutes are introducing VR/AR courses in which students can take part and experience the literal material in a more practical and advanced way.

Nearpod is an educational technology company that uses cheap VR headsets such as Google Cardboards, to give students an opportunity to take part in Virtual Field Trips to places like Mars surface, The Great Barrier Reef, and The Great Pyramid of Giza. These tours include digitally immersed components like texts, narrations, panoramic images, and other study materials for more elaboration.