What is the difference between VR and AR?

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are the most famous words that are confused in the tech world today.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are the most famous words that are confused in the tech world today. It is even becoming difficult for business leaders to distinguish the two technologies because they both look similar but distinct.

Most companies are working day and night to see how they can leverage on the two technologies both for commercial and industrial applications. The value of VR and AR are projected to shape how the future of human computer interaction and virtual gaming will be.

AR and VR are distinct and most people view them more of cousins than twins. The reason why most people know VR is the fact that it gets lots of coverage than AR.

What is Virtual Reality(VR)?

VR is a simulated reality where a user interacts with an imaginary environment. This experience is made possible through the use of touch, visual and auditive stimulation such that the replicated reality cannot be easily distinguished from the real one.

The idea of VR started in late 80s when there were computers and a majority were fascinated by the technology. Late 80s and early 90s are believed to have been interesting times in the tech world.

Flash-forward to 2011 when Palmer Luckey, known as the father of VR due to his Oculus Rift built a prototype at the age of 18. Facebook later bought Oculus Rift for $2 billion around 2014.

What is Augmented Reality(AR)?

In VR, the user is immersed in a replicated reality while Augmented Reality blends both Virtual and real. The AR experience involves a situation where one wears goggles and are able to view a physical reality whose elements are supplemented (augmented) by computer sensory inputs which include video, graphics or sound.

Augmented reality brings a vision where the real and the virtual can be recognized. In real sense, AR is the tech that adds to your reality. Some of the most popular AR solutions to have been created are the Pokemon Go and Snapchat lenses.

VR versus AR


  • Both the VR and AR have capabilities of enriching the experiences of the user through offering them layers of interaction.
  • They have the potential to transform how users interact and engage with technology. These two technologies have made impact in engineering and health sectors where they will have a great impact.


  • VR projects a new environment that is computer generated while AR enhances the experiences by creating a new layer of interaction.
  • VR is immersive while AR is limited in terms of view.
  • VR requires things such as Oculus Rift goggles while for AR all you need is a tablet or a smartphone.

When AR and VR entered the market a decade ago most people never thought that both technologies would penetrate the consumer technology market.

“Worldwide spending on AR/VR solutions will be led by the commercial sectors, which will see its combined share of overall spending grow from 64.5% in 2019 to more than 80% in 2022,” reported the IDC.

Still confused about both terms, AR and VR? The other way you can approach the terms is through cinema. Both of the technologies have their cons and pros and it is only the consumer who can be able to judge and approve the best.

The future of AR & VR

The next years will shape how AR and VR will be as there could be a possibility that the tech will be more advanced than it is right now. Business will also be working on how to experiment on the two technologies that is VR and AR. Such advances in technology will in turn improver the user experience (UX).

Scroll to top