Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

March 11, 2010

Back 5 years ago you heard the term “Virtual Reality” fairly often. Lately, however, I’ve been hearing much more about “Augmented Reality” so I did a quick comparison on Google Trends and my suspicions were confirmed:


Virtual Reality versus Augmented Reality

To be sure VR and AR are different beasts and not completely interchangeable. However its definitely a trend and if one examines the words, changes in thinking can be detected.

“Virtual” implies to me “Almost” as in VR is “almost as good as reality”

“Augmented” on the other hand,¬† implies enhanced, which could give us “better than reality”

I’m not making judgements here, just observing, but it would certainly seem from the above that “plain vanilla reality” has suffered somewhat of a downgrade in the past few years.

Certainly though, it is a more mature thinking. VR kind of implied an EITHER/OR dichotomy – either “real reality” or “virtual reality”, but in our messy world nothing is clear cut, but lies on a spectrum as “augmented” seems to imply.

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