People use the terms AR and VR together often today because of their growth in recent years. However, there is a visible difference between AR and VR technology.

As technology develops, it often mixes with each other. But that doesn’t mean that their practical use in real life is no different.

Are you planning to use AR VR technology in any of your projects? Then it is necessary to understand the difference between these immersive technologies.

You are on the right page to understand the difference between AR and VR. This article talks about what is the difference between VR and AR as well as applications of VR and AR in real life.

When you are clear about the difference and plan to use it in your upcoming project, partner with experienced custom mobile app development company.

Experience is important because a lot of investment goes into creating apps using these immersive technologies.

One wrong move can cost you a lot more than money. So, without much further ado, let’s start!

What is Virtual Reality?

Many people understand the term virtual reality with reference to a popular 1999 movie, The Matrix. Virtual reality is a simulation of an alternate world/reality that is computer-generated.

It is mainly used in video games or 3D movies. It creates simulations with the aim to shut out the user from the outside world.

VR uses computers and sensory equipment like headsets and gloves. Games and entertainment are primary VR technology applications. It can also be used in the science and education industry.

Today, VR can make you feel like walking in a forest or any other natural surroundings. However, that requires advanced and heavy headsets.

It takes a lot of time and effort to create such an experience. Moreover, sometimes people are not able to ignore the weight of the headset they are wearing.

What is Augmented Reality?

Everyone remembers all the craze around Pokemon Go, right? Well, that is a perfect example of Augmented reality.

The primary difference between virtual and augmented reality is that AR is accessible using common devices like smartphones. AR superimposes in the form of characters on the top of a video or camera viewer.

Augmented reality combines the physical world with virtual elements. The virtual elements are computer-generated. The virtual elements are visible on top of the physical surfaces within the range of people’s vision.

Difference Between AR and VR Technology: Devices

☛ Types of Virtual Reality Headsets

✍ PC Connected Headsets

The name is self-explanatory. These VR headsets need to be connected to a computer. The headsets will create a high-quality virtual experience for the user.

As the processing power of modern PCs is high, the virtual experience is better and more realistic. There is an option to use these headsets with controllers.

These special controllers will allow the users to interact with the virtual environment they are in. The PC-connected headsets can offer the best virtual experience.

✍ Standalone headsets

PC-connected headsets are a little expensive. There are few people who will invest in them. For such people, there is another option to experience virtual reality.

The solution is standalone headsets. They don’t need a connection with a PC or a console. Most of the standalone headsets will use a smartphone to provide the VR experience.

Standalone headsets are affordable and easy to use. All you have to do is connect to your smartphone and enjoy virtual reality.

Not to miss out on the standalone headsets that are independent. Oculus Go by Facebook doesn’t need a PC or smartphone. It makes the virtual reality experience more common and affordable.

☛ Types of Augmented Reality Headsets

✍ Portable Devices

Augmented reality is the most accessible because people can run AR applications on their smartphones/tablets. The AR apps make use of the phone’s camera to record the real view.

A virtual object will then be overlaid. You can see these virtual objects on your smartphone screen. Usually, this is how AR apps work.

✍ Smart Glasses & AR headsets

There is another way in which you can experience augmented reality. The second way is using smart glasses or headsets. Again the difference between AR and VR can be seen here.

VR headsets immerse you in the experience but AR glasses don’t do that. AR glasses will just add digital objects to the real world. For instance, in Glass, digital objects are presented to you.

Now, that you have seen the basic difference between AR and VR technology, let’s move further. Next comes VR vs augmented reality in real life!

Applications of VR Technology:

The first thing that comes to mind when we hear the term virtual reality in gaming. That’s because virtual reality is mostly used in gaming right now.

But gaming is not the only use of VR in real life. Here are some real-life applications of virtual reality.

☛ Education

VR can help to make the learning experience engaging and immersive. Learning is not limited to schools and colleges. You can use VR in businesses or corporate houses for training purposes.

The idea of an educational VR app is more required in the current situation. If you want to create an educational app using VR, then this is the right time.

Hire an Android app developer or iOS developer to craft an exceptional app for you.

☛ Real Estate

How often do you wish to visit a property before purchasing it? Almost always, right? The use of virtual reality in the real estate industry will make it possible.

You can not physically visit it but get an immersive experience. You can take a three-dimensional walk through the property.

It will help you better understand what it will offer. VR estate can change the whole process of transactions in real estate.

As people will be able to experience real estate in another country/city too, it can give a boost to the industry.

☛ Healthcare

Are you wondering if VR can really be helpful in healthcare? Yes, it can be. Virtual reality technology can give medical professionals better insights into human anatomy.

A better understanding of human anatomy will help doctors to better understand the problems and needs of the patients.

Moreover, VR can also help in the training of future surgeons.

☛ Marketing

Marketing has become an extremely important part of every business. How about using virtual reality to give customers an unparalleled experience? It sounds perfect!

VR can be more helpful in the case of online shopping. For brands selling online, a virtual experience of their products/services can help a great deal in increasing their sales.

IKEA’s app is one of the best examples of business applications of virtual reality.

Augmented Reality Applications in Real Life:

Even though Pokemon Go remains the ultimate example of AR, the scope of augmented reality is wider than that. Just like virtual reality, AR also has practical use in a lot of industries.

Here are some ways to practically implement Augmented reality in everyday life.

☛ Advertising

AR can help brands and marketers reach their target audience more efficiently. Unlike traditional ads on TV/ newspapers or images on social media, AR-based advertisements are interactive.

They can help engage the audience and increase awareness about the brand.

☛ Retail

People have the most reservations about online shopping. They are always anxious about products not matching the description online.

As a brand, you can launch an AR-based app to allow customers to try products sold online. Now, don’t get confused with the VR experience here.

There is a difference between AR and VR technology used here. An example of an AR application is IKEA Place. The iOS app will allow users to check whether a piece of furniture will fit into their desired space.

☛ Navigation

Augmented reality can be really helpful if you are traveling to a new place. The virtual objects placed in the real world can show directions to people.

You just need to mention at the beginning whether you are walking or driving. AR in navigation proves to be user-friendly.

☛ Maintenance & Repairs

What do you do when something in your house/office is broken? The first instinct is to ask a professional to do the job for you.

If that is not convenient or expensive for you, the next step is to look for DIY videos on the internet. Now, there is a third option too.

Use an augmented reality application to do the repair. No, this is not a futuristic idea. It may not be a common idea but it sure is implemented.

Now, there are apps available in the market that actually guide and help you with the whole repair and maintenance aspect.

Popular AR and VR Apps:

Are you feeling confused due to the overdose of information? Well, this is just a basic explanation of the difference between AR and VR technology.

We cannot emphasize enough the fact that even though these terms are used together, the concepts are quite different.

If you are still not completely clear about the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality then below are some names of popular apps.

☛ The best AR apps

  • Nintendo’s Pokemon Go
  • Google Pixel’s Star Wars Stickers
  • Disney Coloring Book
  • Loreal Makeup app

☛ The best VR apps

  • Discovery VR
  • Google Arts & Culture
  • VR Street Jump
  • Orbulus


We sincerely hope that after checking out these apps yourself you will be able to understand the difference better. For expert advice on an AR/VR app for your niche, it is advisable to hire an iPhone app developer or Android developer.

The developers have a technical understanding of the topic and can give you accurate information on the implementation of your idea.

Did an amazing idea just pop up in your mind? Don’t waste too much time! Reach out to our AR/VR experts on [email protected] to discuss the feasibility of your idea!

difference between ar and vr technology