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Virtual reality as well as augmented reality (VR, AR) are two of the newest technologies that have begun to enhance products and services, slowly pushing towards a mainstream audience. Not that long ago, the idea of virtual reality was but a concept, an idea that was to be explored in the future. Well, the future is now and both virtual reality and augmented reality can be experienced by regular people though gadgets and devices, as well as state of the art software.

Before we go any further, it’s probably best to take a step back and look at what the two terms actually mean, just so there isn’t any confusion.

Virtual reality

The concept of virtual reality can be quite complicated if you proceed to encompass every notion included, but it can also be boiled down to a very easy to grasp idea. Basically, virtual reality implies that one is introduced entirely into a different reality than the one everyone else is experiencing. This is achieved through VR headsets which are paired with powerful hardware and software. Potent desktop PCs as well as gaming consoles have the power to harness VR through headsets sold by various manufacturers.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality might come off as less exciting when put besides VR, but it can be just as intriguing. Some might argue that AR is pretty much the opposite of VR. In VR, you take a real person and place it in a virtual world whereas in AR you take a virtual element and place it in the real world through similar means of hardware and software. A recent AR effort that has captivated millions is the popular mobile game Pokemon GO.

Although so far both technologies have been mostly implemented to suit video games and borderline gimmicky applications, there are already strong initiatives that promise to see VR and AR integrated in important society functions. Google has already launched Google Earth VR which lets you ( or your learning kids) glide across famous landscapes and landmarks in what can be a tremendously beneficial educative experience.

VR and AR software that help engineers see their work in progress in 3D and a re-sizeable scale can result in fantastic architectural designs and the evolution of society buildings as we know them. All kinds of other simulations and sense stimulations can positively impact our lives. All we need now is a bit of time so that the technology can reach its full potential.