What are AR(Augmented Reality) and VR(Virtual Reality)? Advantages, Disadvantages, and Different between VR and AR?

Abhishek Pratap Singh
6 min readJan 13, 2023

AR(Augmented Reality)-

It is a technology that allows a digital image or information to be superimposed on the real world, typically through the use of a smartphone or a computer with a camera. This can be used for a wide range of applications, such as education, entertainment, and industry. For example, a smartphone app might use AR to display information about landmarks or buildings when the camera is pointed at them, or a museum might use AR to provide an interactive tour of its exhibits

AR works by using the camera and other sensors on a device to capture the real-world environment and then overlaying digital information on top of it. This can be done in real-time, as the user moves around, or it can be a pre-recorded experience.

There are a few different ways that AR can be used:

  • Marker-based AR: This type of AR uses a specific image or object, known as a marker, as a reference point for the digital content. When the camera on the device recognizes the marker, it displays the digital content on top of it.
  • Location-based AR: This type of AR uses the device’s GPS and other sensors to determine the user’s location and display digital content that is relevant to that location.
  • Projection-based AR: This type of AR projects digital content onto a surface, such as a table or a wall.

AR has a wide range of potential applications, including education, entertainment, and industry. For example, a smartphone app might use AR to display information about landmarks or buildings when the camera is pointed at them, or a museum might use AR to provide an interactive tour of its exhibits.

Advantages of Augmented Reality (AR):

There are several advantages to using Augmented Reality (AR):

  • Enhanced learning and training: AR can be used to provide an interactive and immersive learning experience. For example, it can be used to teach students about complex concepts in a more engaging and visual way or to train professionals in a simulated environment.
  • Increased efficiency: AR can be used to provide information or instructions in real-time, which can help to increase efficiency in a variety of settings, such as manufacturing or maintenance.
  • Improved accessibility: AR can be used to make information and experiences more accessible to a wider audience, such as people with disabilities or language barriers.
  • Greater engagement: AR can be a more engaging and interactive way to present information or experiences, as it combines the real world with digital content.
  • Increased convenience: AR can make it easier for users to access information or experiences without having to go to a specific location or use specialized equipment. For example, a smartphone app can provide AR experiences that can be accessed from anywhere.
  • Enhanced customer experience: AR can be used to improve the customer experience in a variety of settings, such as retail or tourism. For example, a retail store might use AR to provide customers with additional product information or interactive experiences.

Disadvantages of Augmented Reality (AR):

  • Limited hardware compatibility: AR experiences are often tied to specific devices, such as smartphones or tablets, and may not be available on all devices.
  • Limited content: There is currently a limited amount of AR content available, which may limit its appeal for some users.
  • Dependence on technology: AR experiences rely on technology, such as a smartphone or a tablet, to work. If the technology fails or is not available, the AR experience may not be possible.
  • Distractions: AR experiences can be distracting, and some people may find it difficult to focus on the real world while using AR.
  • Privacy concerns: Some people may be concerned about their privacy when using AR, as it requires the use of a device with a camera and other sensors.
  • Cost: AR experiences may require the purchase of specialized hardware, such as a headset or a tablet, which can be expensive.

VR(Virtual Reality)-

Virtual Reality (VR) is a technology that allows a user to interact with and experience a computer-generated environment as if it were real. This is typically done using a headset that covers the user’s eyes, such as the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. The headset uses sensors to track the user’s head movements and adjust the image accordingly, creating a sense of immersion in the virtual world. VR can be used for a wide range of applications, including gaming, education, and training.

Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a headset with a screen or gloves fitted with sensors. The user wears a headset, which is a device that covers the eyes and is often equipped with headphones for sound. The headset tracks the user’s head movements and adjusts the image accordingly, creating the illusion of being immersed in a virtual environment.

There are two main types of VR systems:

  • Non-immersive VR systems are typically software-based and use a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet to display the virtual environment.
  • Immersive VR systems are hardware-based and use a headset or a room-sized setup to fully immerse the user in the virtual environment.

VR can be used for a wide range of applications, including gaming, education, training, and entertainment. For example, VR can be used to train pilots, surgeons, and other professionals in a simulated environment, or it can be used to create interactive and immersive experiences, such as virtual roller coasters or haunted houses.

There are also hybrid systems, such as mixed reality (MR), which combine elements of both virtual and real worlds to create a new environment. In mixed reality, the virtual objects are integrated into the real world, rather than being superimposed on it, as in AR.

Advantages of Virtual Reality (VR):

  • Enhanced learning and training: VR can provide an interactive and immersive learning experience, allowing users to practice skills in a simulated environment.
  • Improved accessibility: VR can make it possible for people with disabilities to access experiences that might otherwise be difficult or impossible for them.
  • Increased engagement: VR can be a more engaging and interactive way to present information or experiences, as it fully immerses the user in a virtual environment.
  • Greater convenience: VR can make it easier for users to access certain experiences without having to go to a specific location or use specialized equipment.
  • Increased efficiency: VR can be used to train professionals in a simulated environment, which can be more efficient than traditional training methods.

Disadvantages of Virtual Reality (VR):

  • Expense: VR systems can be expensive, and the cost of hardware, such as headsets and controllers, can be a barrier for some users.
  • Health concerns: Some people may experience motion sickness or other health issues while using VR.
  • Limited content: There is currently a limited amount of content available for VR, which may limit its appeal for some users.
  • Isolation: VR can be an isolating experience, as the user is fully immersed in a virtual environment and may be cut off from the real world.
  • Lack of social interaction: VR experiences are generally solitary, which can limit the social aspect of the experience.

Different between VR and AR-

  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are similar in that they both involve the use of digital technology to enhance the user’s experience of the real world. However, there are some key differences between the two:
  • Immersion: VR is designed to fully immerse the user in a virtual environment, while AR is meant to enhance the real world by overlaying digital content on top of it.
  • Equipment: VR typically requires the use of specialized hardware, such as a headset, to create an immersive experience. AR can be accessed through a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets, which have cameras and other sensors that can capture the real-world environment.
  • Use cases: VR is often used for gaming and entertainment, as well as for training and education. AR is used for a wide range of applications, including education, entertainment, and industry.
  • Interactivity: Both VR and AR can be interactive, but the level of interactivity can vary. VR typically offers a higher level of interactivity, as the user is fully immersed in the virtual environment and can interact with it in a more natural way. AR is generally more limited in terms of interactivity, as the user is still interacting with the real world and the digital content is overlaid on top of it.

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Abhishek Pratap Singh

Software Engineer || Co- Founder || B-Plan contest finalist at IIT Kharagpur || 1st Rank on SQL- HackerRank