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Jan 17, 2017 04:29 AM EST

Often confused with one another is the difference between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). In the simplest of terms, AR augments, or "adds on to reality," while VR creates a completely new reality.

AR and VR have existed in some form or another for decades, only in recent times have they garnered much attention. Both AR and VR have seen both developments in hardware and software and making it even in viable for the consumer market.

According to Techcrunch, in a short amount of time, mind-blowing advances have been made by content creators that redefine storytelling using the new technology. Mediums such as branding, movies, gaming, even news organizations have been exploiting the possibilities.

While both AR and VR delve on what is real, perhaps the biggest divide AR and VR has is that the former enhances our sense of reality while the latter completely diverts us from it. AR runs on a premise of "adding" what is essentially there in a real environment setting while VR not only creates a whole new environment but include everything that is in it.

A prime example of how AR can sweep us off our feet is "Pokémon Go." AR creates an interactive environment where reality and fiction meld together, according to Online Mag. Another example of AR can be seen in "Iron Man," Jarvis interacts with Tony Stark via augmented reality whether he be in or out of the Iron Suit.

As already mentioned, AR adds virtual components as new features of interaction to what is essentially real, thereby enhancing it. In contrast, VR creates its own environment that is very artificial and does not have to be in parallel to what we perceive is real. Concisely, VR replaces reality, according to PC Mag.

Similarities of AR and VR

Both AR and VR are almost the same in terms of technology. Both aims to provide an immersive and truly enriched and enhanced experience. However, both are powerful technologies still in their infancy stages. As such, both still has to make a solid footing with consumers; however, both do show great promise even at this early stage.

Both technologies have the potential of how we use computers in the future or how we interact with our immediate environment. Either one or even both might succeed, and who knows, they might even be a convergence of the two technologies and work together in concert.

Follows Augmented Reality, virtual reality, AR, VR, Develoments in AR, Developments in VR, Pokemon Go
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