Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) different areas of application, advantages and disadvantages

Augmented reality is the mixture of virtual reality with real life, using layers of computer generation to enable us an enhanced interaction with reality. This is usually done through apps (such as Pokemon GO), but can also be used for sporting events, driving, and much more. Virtual reality, on the other hand, is a completely artificial, computer-generated simulation of a real-life experience. This typically required the use of a virtual reality headset, such as Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, in order to fully immerse the user (humavox, 2016) .

Let’s talk in depth about each Technology:

Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it (Chavan, 2016) .

Augmented reality application is written in special programming language that allow the developer to integrated animation as well as digital information in the computer program. AR applications for Smartphone’s typically include global positioning system (GPS) to locate and detect the exact location of user. Some of AR programmer used in military for training purpose, which may include object recognition and gesture recognition


Some of the future applications of Augmented Reality are as follows:

1. Medical

 Augmented reality can reduce the risk of an operation by giving the surgeon improved sensory perception. Medical students use the technology to practice surgery in a controlled environment. This technology can be combined with MRI or X-ray systems and bring everything into a single view for the surgeon.

2. Navigation

GPS systems are using augmented reality to make it easier to get from one point to another point. Using the phone's camera in combination with the GPS, the users see the selected route over the live view of what is in front of the car.

3. Education

Augmented reality applications can complement a standard curriculum. Text, graphics, video and audio can be superimposed into a student’s real time environment. Textbooks, flashcards and other educational reading material, when scanned by an AR device, produce supplementary information to the student rendered in a multimedia format. Students can participate interactively with computer generated simulations of historical events, exploring and learning details of each significant area of the event site (Chavan, 2016) .

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality (VR) is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user belief and accepts it as a real environment. Virtual realities artificially create sensory experience, such as sight, touch, hearing, and smell. Virtual reality is often referred to as Head Mounted Display (HMD). Holding up Google Cardboard to place your Smartphone’s display in front of your face can be enough to get you half immersed in a virtual world. The goal of the hardware is to create virtual environment without the boundaries we usually associate with TV or computer screens. So whichever way you look, the screen mounted to your face follows you. Video is sent from the console or computer to the headset via a HDMI cable in the case of headsets such as HTC's Vive and the Rift. VR headsets use either two feeds sent to one display or two LCD displays, one per eye. There are also lenses which are placed between your eyes and the pixels which is why the devices are often called goggles.


Some of the future application of virtual reality are as follows:

1. Education and training

The Application of VR in a training purpose is to allow professionals to conduct training in a virtual environment where they can improve upon their skills without failing the operation.

2. Retail

Lowe's, IKEA, and Wayfair have developed systems that allow these company's products to be seen in virtual reality, to give consumers a better idea of how the product will fit into their home, or to allow the consumer to get a better look at the product from home.

3. Urban design

Now days, virtual reality can be used for urban regeneration and planning and transport projects.


Advantages and disadvantages of both

Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality





Increase user knowledge and information Quite expensive to use it in everyday life and it might be less accessible for small businesses Virtual Reality in education field makes education more easily and comfort VR is becoming much more commonplace but programmers are still stuck with how to interact with virtual environments.
Ability to Share your experience with other people in real time over long distances Regarding user experience, socially using Augmented Reality may be inappropriate in some situations Virtual Reality user can experiment with an artificial environment Escapism is common place among those that use VR environments and people often live in the virtual world instead of dealing with the real one



We have seen that both virtual reality and augmented reality are similar in the goal of immersing the user, though both systems do this in different ways. We believe both AR and VR will succeed; AR may have more commercial success, while VR is a new technology and is emerging fast. Both technologies are becoming cheaper and more widespread. We can expect to see many more innovative uses for both technology in the future and perhaps a fundamental way in which we communicate and work thanks to the possibilities