Comparing and contrasting the ‘realities’
Recent tech developments like the Oculus Rift and Google Glass have added the terms virtual reality
, and to a lesser extent augmented reality
, to most people’s vocabulary. But what divides the two concepts?
“Virtual reality refers to a completely virtualized visual and aural environment,” explains Andy De Meyer, XR lead at delaware. “In a VR setup, the user doesn’t perceive the outside world. In augmented reality, however, people see the world through a device that overlays images onto their view. The real world stays visible, with added information.”
Another important term is mixed reality, which is when the AR device recognizes details about the environment, such as walls and surfaces. This enables precisely placed virtual objects and schematics to interact with the real world, remaining fixed and properly rendered in terms of lighting and occlusion as the user’s perspective changes.