Currently, there are a handful of VR devices on the market and only a few AR devices. Before taking the leap and purchasing one of these headsets, one has to consider the reason for purchase. Virtual Reality devices take the user into a new artificial environment where their new reality is completely simulated. At this point, the HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, and the Oculus Rift are available for purchase, while the FOVE and PlayStation VR are scheduled to be released this Fall of 2016. Some of these VR device boast unique features: the HTC Vive with its 360 degree head tracking technology, Google Cardboard’s affordable price point, and the FOVE’s one-of-a-kind eye-tracking technology.
Augmented Reality, differs from Virtual Reality in that it adds a layer of “technology enhancements” over the actual environment the user is in. The Microsoft HoloLens and Meta 2 are the current AR devices set for release this year. The HoloLens features a sensor that captures the user’s movement and environment information and does not require any additional wires, products, etc. to be used. The Meta 2, on the other hand, is high resolution, has a 90 degree field of view, and works while wearing eyeglasses.
One of the chief difference between AR and VR is the level of immersion; AR does not fully immerse you in a new world, it’s more like it adds to your current reality. Whereas VR does fully immerse you, which can make for a more one of a kind experience. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are similar technologies each with their own strengths; one thing is for sure though, if you want to experience VR or AR, there are headsets out now to meet your needs, with new devices on the horizon as well.
Below is the full infographic by Augment: