- On 18 December 2015
- digital, virtual reality
Nowadays we hear very often talk about augmented reality and virtual reality, two concepts that can sometimes be exchanged between them and confusing. If these two innovations can look very similar to each other, actually they have substantial differences. Let’s discover them together.
Augmented Reality (abbreviated AR) is the enrichment of sensory perception through content and/or virtual animations, manipulated and fed electronically in real time, which wouldn’t be perceived with the five senses.
For a more practical example just think of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the famous movie “Terminator”, and how he saw information about his objectives. Yes, probably the cyborg would be able those them even without his famous glasses, but it was to be understood the concept.
Simply AR is an integration of real images and virtual objects.
Imagine that you are in a shopping centre and see a nice TV: using a particular device (depending on the situation it can be a pair of glasses, as well as earphones, gloves or even smartphones and tablets) you will be able to view instantly all the information you need of that object; technical specifications, reviews, and similar.
Augmented Reality exists thanks to a software equipped with special devices for rendering and tracking: they delineate contents or forms after locating fixed points in space and “create” the virtual objects desired.
Virtual Reality (abbreviated VR) is instead the simulated reality, theoretically constructed through an immersive system in which all five senses can be used allowing interaction with objects in virtual locations.
However, there are two types of VR: immersive and not immersive. In the first case, in which the environment is built around the user, is created with the aid of some devices, today already partly used, such as:
- a viewer, that is a kind of helmet that cancels the real world and creates a virtual one
- normal earphones
- gloves (called “wired gloves”) that can replace manual input’s systems (such as keyboard, mouse or joystick)
- a cybersuit, that can simulate touch or realize a 3D scan of the user’s body and transfer it in the virtual environment.
Unfortunately there are difficulties in this type of VR; one of them is the latency, the time it takes the virtual environment to adapt our movements, therefore generating a feeling of “fake” in the user and also a kind of seasickness, called motion sickness.
The second problem is about the supports: the helmets used are too heavy and uncomfortable, so they can’t be worn for a long time, there is also the encumbrance of cables that hinder the movement’s freedom, and finally there is the content’s trouble, which are fictitious and they being invented from the beginning.
In immersive virtual reality, instead, you don’t wear helmets or similar, but the user is located just in front of a monitor, such as in the 3D cinema, with which however can interact through special instruments.