virtual reality vs augmented reality

Technology review – What is Virtual Reality?

Taking place within simulated and immersive environments, Virtual Reality is created with software and presented to the user in a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment.

Generally, this should not be confused with simple 3-D environments like those found in computer games, where the user gets to experience and manipulate an environment through an avatar, rather than personally becoming part of the open-ended virtual world.

man wearing virtual reality google

Source: JustScience

Tl; dr;

Taking place within simulated and immersive environments, Virtual Reality is created with software and presented to the user in a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment.

Generally, this should not be confused with simple 3-D environments like those found in computer games, where the user gets to experience and manipulate an environment through an avatar, rather than personally becoming part of the open-ended virtual world.

Understanding Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality application

Source: Virtual Room

Consider yourself inside a painting, in space, or back from the past ages, that’s what virtual reality is. You are being immersed in a different environment, and you let yourself believe that it’s real.

There are types of virtual reality:

  • Fully immersive. You need to put-on a head-mounted display (HMD) with built-in two screens and stereo sounds (surround-sound loudspeakers) and wear one or more sensitive gloves. To experience, you need to have a richly detailed virtual world to explore, a powerful computer that can detect what we you see or hear changes as fast as we move accordingly, and hardware linked to the computer that fully immerses you in the virtual world as you roam around.
  • Non-immersive. It doesn’t take you back to past centuries or create sounds, smells, and tastes of the past ages, but it offers you much richer experience than a few pastel drawings or even an animated movie. An example could be, an architect building a detailed 3D model of a new building showing to clients that it can be explored on a desktop computer by moving a mouse. So it doesn’t need to be fully immersed in an alternative reality.
  • Collaborative. Consider games such as Minecraft or Second Life, they don’t really meet of what virtual reality is – they don’t fully immerse you. But one thing in it that’s particularly related to VR is collaboration. The idea of sharing experience in a virtual world.
  • Web-based. Even though VR was known to be one of the trendy and fastest-growing technologies in the late 1980s and the early 1990s, the rapid rise of the World Wide Web largely killed off the interest after that. Eliminating the efforts of computer scientists, people nowadays are much more interested in finding new ways to find and publish contents, shop, and share thoughts with friends through social media.
  • Augmented Reality. If you are wandering around the globe in a particular heritage site or foreign city and having mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, you get to immerse an enhanced experience but not typically VR. For example, you’ll point out your smartphone device to an interesting landmark or building, and an exciting information automatically pops out.

Advantages of Virtual Reality

  • Far better than reality.
  • Used in various sectors like education, the military, and healthcare.
  • Immersive experience for users.
  • Connects people.

Limitations of Virtual Reality

  • Let people feel they should escape from reality. Because they believe that the world they live in is proven to be much dangerous than what they see in VR.
  • Due to its exciting and engaging features, some people gets addicted to it.
  • Not yet fully developed technology – it is still experimental.
  • Training in VR is not REAL, it is different from real life situations.

Summary

Consider yourself inside a painting, in space, or back from the past ages, that’s what virtual reality is. You are being immersed in a different environment, and you let yourself believe that it’s real.

Even though, VR is far better from reality and connects people. It lets people be addicted or worthless, leaving to what they see as a“dangerous reality” and just choose to be in the Virtual World.

Next blog post we will discuss about Augmented Reality, another side of the coin.

By Tuan Nguyen