VR vs AR: What’s The Difference?

Apr 2, 2024

vr vs ar image of a VR headset & some AR glasses

When we talk about virtual worlds, it’s easy to assume that AR and VR are the same. It’s an easy mistake as both provide hyper-realistic experiences and environments from a digital device – simple, right? However, the technology, purpose and engagement levels between the two vary massively. So, for this article, we’ve decided to look into the difference between AR and VR.

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality takes things one step further by not only creating completely computer-generated environments but also allowing the user to be fully immersed within them. VR requires a headset device to cover your entire field of vision. This, along with sensory controls, enables the wearer to figuratively escape the real world and interact with the fictional reality they can see before them.

VR’s clever technology projects advanced images in front of the user to create the illusion of depth and perception. What we love about virtual reality is that it’s limitless, so no matter how you move or turn your head, your virtual world moves and adapts with you.


What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality has been around for some time, and you may be using it without even realising it! We’re talking about filters on your phone, apps that allow you to change the colour of your walls or tours that enable you to view a house without physically being there – these are all types of AR.

The good news is that you only need a smart device with a camera to experience AR or try on the latest AR glasses that have tiny cameras situated at the front of the frame. Augmented reality works by creating virtual objects, colours, textures, etc. and placing them into the real environment sitting in front of the camera. Its smart technology calculates the size, proportion and orientation of the make-believe item to fit convincingly into your real world.

What Are The Most Popular Types Of VR Headsets?

To fully immerse yourself in the virtual reality world, you need to invest in the right headset to meet your needs. With leading brands branching into the virtual reality landscape, there’s a variety of VR headsets you can choose from to enhance your gaming, training or entertainment VR experience, including:

What Are The Benefits of VR?

Like AR, virtual reality can also be used to create real-life simulations that the user can engage with, allowing them to practise skills or refine their training in realistic environments. However, VR offers a more interactive world, with the user being able to engage with other people, move objects, and complete tasks.

The best part of VR is that you’re not restricted by the frame of your camera; VR wraps the fictional world around your field of vision, so whichever way you turn to look, you remain in the space. This makes immersive gaming, sports and entertainment extremely powerful when wearing your VR headset.

What Are The Benefits of AR?

The biggest advantage of augmented reality is its accessibility. As we said, anyone can use AR through any smart device with a camera. Another huge positive of incorporating AR into our lives is that it gives us the opportunity to see things in situ before we commit to them. For example, we can view a sofa in our living room before paying for it, making AR a fantastic tool for e-commerce companies. AR is also particularly handy for the healthcare and education sectors as it creates real-life experiences that students can practise with and learn from.

What Are The Similarities Between VR and AR?

We have to acknowledge that the foundations of these virtual experiences stem from a similar technology: they both use high-level computer-generated images and project them into a new environment (either the real world or virtual). However, this is probably where the similarities end, as the user engagement, purpose, and benefits of VR and AR do differ.

AR and VR Prescription Lenses

We were wrong! There is one more similarity between augmented reality and virtual reality: Lensology can provide you with customised prescription lenses to ensure you get the most from either! Whether you’re using a VR headset or AR glasses, we supply prescription lenses so you can fully immerse yourself in any virtual world.

Ready to order your FREE pack?

We provide a free postal pack that is delivered straight to your door, inclusive of a free return postage box for your frames. You’ll just need to provide a few simple details and then we can get it over to you ASAP!