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VR and AR explained – What are the differences?
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VR and AR explained – What are the differences?

Both are yin and yang altering our perceptions of the reality but where they differ in how our presence is taken into the scene.

While they have a lot in common to how our reality is distorted, they tread a different path and have varied functions in entertainment, gaming, communication and more. Let’s make it simple to understand and especially how it works in the context of Smartphones.

While most phones these days offer VR support, Pokemon game should be credited for making AR popular and give the taste of its capabilities to the masses. Native AR support is coming to phones and Asus Zenfone AR is touted as the world’s first Smartphone to support both Google’s Tango augmented reality platform and Daydream virtual reality software.

Virtual Reality

Almost all reviews of Smartphone I do will have atleast one comment to find if the phone supports VR. Such is the popularity of Virtual Reality these days, people wants to make sure their phone has Gyro sensor for better VR ability. Virtual Reality drops you in a virtual, digital world. As the technology stands today in the context of Smartphones, it demands an user to wear a VR headset and the phone slides into the headset and presents with a split screen view that gives virtual reality and an immersive 3D perception.

How VR works?

VR headsets for Smartphones has a pair of lenses which splits the screen to two to give a dual display that are positioned between eyes.  These lenses focus and reshape the picture for each eye and create a stereoscopic 3D image by angling two 2D images to mimic how each of our two eyes view the world slightly differently.

Apps can determine when you move your head in any direction using the accelerometer and Gyrosensor in your phone, and GPS locates you in the virtual reality you’re seeing. And with headphones, you can hear sounds as if they are coming from different directions, giving you a completely immersive experience and making you feel like you’ve been transported somewhere new.

What can you do with VR?

VR can take you to a different reality while still sitting at your own place.  VR is a great technology for experiencing events and seeing places that you can’t physically get to. For example, it can be used for watching a virtual concert, walking through a distant museum, and visiting pretty much anywhere in the world. All this is made possible by Google’s Daydream platform. There are heaps of Virtual Reality apps in the Google Play Store, but if you want to ease your way in and experience VR for the first time, check out Google Cardboard which contains lots of demos and mini- games to help you find your virtual bearings for the first time.

Augmented Reality

On the other hands Augmented Reality superimposes the virtual world onto the real one thereby blurring the line between both. It can be experienced through a Smartphone screen like what Zenfone AR is made for or through wearable tech such as Mircosoft’s Hololens. On a stricter technical terms, Augmented Reality projects content on to the real world and the interaction of digital and real world is spoken as Mixed Reality. However as Augmented Reality is getting more mainstream now, the it has become the catch-all term for both the technologies.

How AR works

Tango Platform is an augmented reality computing platform, developed and authored by Google. Zenfone AR is supports the Tango platform and is equipped with set of sensors and computer vision software that enables AR apps. It also comes with three-cameras. Apart from the main rear camera, the other two captures motion tracking and depth sensing. Essentially, it helps the phone to ‘perceive’ and understand spaces like humans do. 

What can you do with it?

AR has enriching possibilities in various fields spanning gaming, architecture, medical and engineering to name a few.  In terms of gaming, AR allows you to play with other people in the real world because you can see and interact with them.Google Play Tango store is being populated with host of apps that brings out the wonderful world of AR. The most popular so far amidst adults and children is the Dinosaurs Among Us, which brings 3D dinosaurs to walk around you into your kitchen, living room, office or wherever you are.

It can also bring a Lamborghini in your garage or a Van Gogh painting in your wall.  So brace up for mixing augmented reality into your real world.

0 30 June, 2017 Mobiles, Other, Uncategorized June 30, 2017

About the author

The man behind GingerChai Networks from Bangalore, India. His unconventional, non-geeky approach to gadgets and technology lead him to start TechRaman. When not dabbling with gadgets, he also reviews books and movies and drowns himself in cups of tea.

View all articles by Lakshmi Rajan

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