What is the difference between AR, VR, and XR in simple terms? Yes they are all cool technologies that mess around with your perception of reality using fancy computer stuff such as headsets or a pair of fancy glasses.
Some bits have a robot looking face and some of them you need to hold these plastic things tied around your wrist. You will start seeing people wearing these and running, moving, interacting, laughing, air-kick boxing around their living rooms… all this and more to come as these technologies start to grow around us. Thanks to companies like Meta (Facebook) with their Oculus MetaQuest headsets and recently Apple joining the bandwagon with their Apple Vision PRO AR headset to be launched.
So, let us break it down for you in simple terms:
- Augmented Reality (AR): AR lets you see the real world around you but with some awesome digital stuff added on top. It’s like having an extra layer of virtual content that blends with what you see in the real world. You can experience AR through your smartphone, tablet, or even special glasses that let you interact with digital elements while still being aware of your surroundings. Check out some of our AR examples here. There are some really great examples on the Apple website too you can find here.
- Virtual Reality (VR): VR is like stepping into a completely different world. When you put on those VR headsets, you get fully immersed in a virtual environment that replaces the real world. You can’t see what’s happening around you anymore, but you can interact with this virtual world using special controllers or gloves. It’s like being transported to a different reality altogether. Some of our VR work is here, and we also built a VR application VirtReal for Palliative Care, find more info about that here.
- Extended Reality (XR): XR is a fancy term that covers both AR and VR, and everything in between. It’s like a big umbrella that includes different types of reality-altering experiences. XR lets you blend the real world with virtual elements, creating a mixed reality. You can use headsets, glasses, or other devices to interact with digital content and make it part of your environment.
So, AR adds digital stuff to the real world, VR takes you to a whole new virtual world, and XR is a mix of both, giving you a range of awesome reality-altering experiences.