Augmented Reality Vs. Virtual Reality

“[A]ugmented reality seems initially to be easily defined and distinguished from similar concepts, such as virtual reality; in general, this distinction tends to sound a lot like this one that Katerina Roukounaki offers: “Augmented Reality (AR) is about overlaying pieces of a virtual world over the real world (in contrast to Virtual Reality (VR) that is about replacing the real world with a virtual one).”  However, closer engagement with materials about augmented reality quickly leads to some confusion about what precisely it is and does that similar concepts like virtual reality do not.” – Sarah Riddick “Experimenting in the Digital Humanities

“The difference between augmented reality and virtual reality is slight, but important: virtual reality is a completely simulated environment, whereas augmented reality layers computer enhancements over the world around you. Despite these differences, the two are often employed together to provide a more immersive experience. Haptic feedback is one example of an augmentation, where vibration and sensation are added to virtual interaction with graphics. In this way, touch is used within a virtual reality setting in order to make the experience more lifelike.” – Sarah Welsh, “Anxiety? There’s an App for That.

When doing research on augmented reality, sometimes called “mixed reality,” there tends to be a lot more work that’s been done on virtual reality, which can be a good jumping-off point for any exploration of an augmented environment. Augmented reality for the public sphere is still developing, so while there have been a lot of uses of AR for marketing and advertising purposes, VR seems to be more developed in terms of an immersive personal experience, or, giving you a sense of being immersed in time and place (by using a VR app through Google cardboard, for example).