Everything you need to know about AR, VR, and MR

augmented reality

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In a world that is becoming more and more digital, the terms augmented reality and virtual reality are crucial. Despite being two distinct technologies, both terms are frequently used interchangeably. But how do AR and VR compare and contrast with one another?

There is a lot of discussion about “augmented reality” and “virtual reality.” The Oculus Quest and Valve Index are two popular VR headsets, and AR apps and games like Pokemon Go are still widely used. They have similar sounds, and as the technologies advance, they overlap somewhat. However, they are two very distinct ideas with features that make it easy to tell one from the other.

What is Augmented Reality?

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In augmented reality (AR), real and virtual elements are combined. It is a technology that works well on both desktops and mobile devices. The ability to reflect digital elements in the physical world is what distinguishes it as unique.

Augmented reality enhances your vision. The Microsoft HoloLens and other enterprise-level “smart glasses” that use augmented reality (AR) are transparent, so you can see everything in front of you as if you were wearing a cheap pair of sunglasses.

The technology allows for unrestricted movement while superimposing images over your field of vision. The idea also applies to smartphones with augmented reality (AR) applications and games, like Pokemon Go, which use the camera to track your surroundings and display additional information on top of them.A data overlay that shows the time is a simple example of an augmented reality display, while holograms floating in the middle of a space are more complex examples. A Pokemon from Pokemon Go is projected onto your screen above whatever the camera is focusing on. Meanwhile, you can virtually place floating app windows and 3D decorations around you with the HoloLens and other smart glasses

With 3DOF, simple AR that overlays straightforward information over what you’re looking at can work flawlessly. To maintain consistent positions for the images it projects in 3D space, most AR applications require 6DOF in some way, tracking your physical position. This is why more sophisticated, AR-focused smartphones use multiple rear-facing cameras to track depth and why the HoloLens uses a stereoscopic camera and sophisticated pattern recognition to constantly track its location.

The potential for augmented reality is almost infinite. Since many years ago, phone-based augmented reality (AR) software has been able to recognize surroundings and provide additional information about what it sees, offering real-time text translation or pop-up restaurant reviews as you look at them. The HoloLens and other specialized AR headsets can do even more by allowing you to virtually place various apps as floating windows all around you. In actuality, they provide you with a modular, multiple-monitor computing setup.

Because enterprise-level AR displays lack the vision-augmenting feature, AR is currently only widely used on smartphones. This indicates that until a consumer AR headset is released, AR is still very limited.

What is the process of Augmented Reality (AR)?

AR shows different content in the real world, which is one way that it differs from VR. Within this process, computer vision, depth tracking, and mapping are crucial. Cameras, for instance, can be used to collect data in real-time and process it instantly. This enables the user to view digital content whenever they need to.

To fully utilize AR’s functionality, specialized equipment is needed. For instance, Smart Glasses are frequently used and deliver the data through Smart Glasses software.

Benefits and drawbacks of augmented reality (AR) technology

There is no general answer to the question of which technology is superior, AR or VR. Both technologies have positives and negatives. The benefits and drawbacks of augmented reality include the following:


  1. Enhances learning and allows for individualized instruction.
  2. There are numerous applications for AR, and they are constantly getting better.
  3. Accuracy and efficiency can be increased thanks to technology.
  4. Long distances are not a barrier to knowledge or experience sharing.


  1. Implementing AR has relatively high costs.
  2. There are many devices with poor performance.
  3. Lack of user privacy is a significant drawback.
  4. The introduction of augmented reality could result in a security breach if security is not prioritized.

Application: Using Augmented Reality (AR)

In actuality, augmented reality opens up a myriad of options. It is therefore intriguing to both individual users and companies. Certain apps allow you to embed text, images, or videos.

  • The printing and advertising industries already do a good job of fading in digital content over traditional magazines.
  • Thanks to AR technology, users can use contemporary translation apps to translate texts into other languages.
  • The use of augmented reality in logistics and construction is a promising way to improve worker productivity and business operations.
  • With augmented reality, communicating with clients, coworkers, or technicians is simple.

What is virtual reality (VR), exactly?

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The main distinction between AR and VR is that the latter uses computer simulations. This indicates that a graphic representation of reality or a fictional world is created.

The user can fully immerse themselves in the digital world by using the right hardware. As a result, there are significant differences between VR and AR headsets. Sensory components that convert physical movements into a modeled reality are needed for hardware designed for virtual reality.

VR headsets completely obstruct your view to make you feel as though you are somewhere else. When you wear opaque headsets, such as the HTC Vive Cosmos, PlayStation VR, Oculus Quest, Valve Index, and others, you can’t see anything around you. You might mistakenly believe you are wearing blindfolds if you put them on when they are off.

However, when the headsets turn on, the LCD or OLED panels inside are refracted by the lenses to fill your field of vision with whatever is being displayed. It might just be the interface of the platform, a 360-degree video, or a game. The outside world is replaced with a virtual one as you are visually transported wherever the headset directs you to be. Six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) motion tracking is used by standalone VR headsets like the Quest 2 as well as tethered VR headsets like the Index and PS VR. External sensors, cameras, or outward-facing cameras (for the Index and PS VR) are responsible for that technology (for Quest 2). As a result, the headsets are able to track not only your face but also your movements in those directions. This allows you to move around in a virtual space with virtual hands when used in conjunction with 6DOF motion controllers. Even though it can only be a few square meters across, this experience is much more immersive than simply moving around while still.  You have to be careful not to trip over any cables connecting the headset to your computer or gaming system, which is a drawback.

Virtual reality transcends your surroundings and transports you to different locations in both games and apps. There is no physical location that matters. You might take a seat in a starfighter’s cockpit in a video game. Through apps, you can virtually travel to far-off places as if you were there. Virtual reality has a ton of potential uses, all of which involve changing your surroundings.

What is the process of Virtual Reality (AR)?

VR aims to simulate a brand-new reality. The user can see and interact in the digital world by using a VR screen. Between the user and the screen, this calls for two lenses. They interpret eye movement and adjust each person’s movement to the VR. Therefore, in this instance, complex hardware is required to cut off the user from the outside world.

Benefits and drawbacks of Virtual reality (VR) technology

Each and every new technology has advantages and disadvantages. VR fits into this as well.


  1. An interactive setting can promote immersive learning.
  2. Users can delve deep into the virtual world.
  3. These new opportunities are advantageous for the education sector.


  1. In a virtual environment, real-world interaction is impossible.
  2. It is alluring to move one’s entire life into the virtual space.
  3. Although learning or practicing in a virtual reality environment is very advantageous, it cannot entirely substitute for actual training.

Application: Using Virtual Reality (VR)

In the world of video games, virtual reality is especially well-liked. However, VR also has a wide range of additional potential uses:

  • This technology is employed by the military in flight simulators and battle reenactments.
  • Digital training tools aid athletes in sports by analyzing their technique and helping them perform better.
  • VR can be used in medicine to treat anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. The technology also enables medical students to practice surgical procedures.
  • Virtual or enhanced reality An exact contrast between the two technologies

The distinction between AR and VR

Significant differences exist between AR and VR. But this obvious distinction does not imply that one of the two technologies is superior to the other. Rather, both technologies excel in distinct application domains:


  • AR enhances a real-world scene, while VR creates an immersive virtual environment.
  • While only 25% of AR is virtual, VR is 75% virtual.
  • Unlike AR, VR requires a headset device.
  • While AR users interact with the real world, VR users move through a completely made-up environment.
  • Compared to VR, AR requires more bandwidth.
  • AR aims to improve both the real world and the virtual one. Virtual reality (VR) replaces the real world with a made-up reality that is primarily used to improve video games

AR and VR: A successful symbiosis

A symbiotic relationship of superior systems is created when AR and VR are used together. Even though they can function separately, together they provide users with a better and more interesting experience. The idea behind this is to construct a world of fiction that still permits communication with the real world. You can use TeamViewer to implement both augmented reality and virtual reality with great software solutions.

Mixed reality

What is mixed reality if augmented reality enhances the real world and virtual reality immerses you in a virtual world? It incorporates both AR and VR components, as the name would imply. In other words, the real world isn’t completely obscured (as it is when you wear a VR headset), but you also aren’t simply superimposing virtual elements on it. Both the real world and the virtual world are being engaged by you.

For instance, Microsoft developed the HoloLens as an MR tool that combines virtual and real environments using a transparent display. This has made it possible for medical students to study anatomy using a 3D body that they can manipulate, such as rotating an organ to see it better.

Future of augmented and virtual reality

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The most common application of VR and AR right now is gaming, and this market is only going to expand. In fact, according to one estimate, the market could reach $92 billion over the following five years. But according to Madsen, a growing number of sectors outside the gaming industry are adopting the technology and finding practical applications for it.

You can bet that businesses will adopt and develop AR, VR, and MR even more in the future because all forms of extended reality exist in the metaverse—the “universe” of the virtual world that is based on the internet and isn’t owned by any one nation or company.

These are just a fraction of the uses for AR and VR:

  • Gaming
  • Job training
  • Educational courses
  • Work meetings
  • Medical appointments
  • Therapy
  • Team building
  • Travel
  • Space travel
  • Social activities
  • Dating
  • Shopping

The possibilities will expand as artificial intelligence opens the door to cutting-edge technologies. Imagine yourself in a virtual environment where the food you are currently eating looks, tastes, and smells exactly like the food you ordered earlier. Think about being able to turn on a lamp in your living room with just a quick glance while wearing AR glasses. Though we’re not quite there yet, we are making good progress.

According to Madsen, “we are living through a very exciting time, where things are happening that we only dreamed were possible.” The ability for everyone to be a creator and shape their reality however they want it to be is the best aspect of augmented reality and virtual reality.