What is Virtual Reality?
In it’s simplest form, virtual reality (VR) is tricking the mind into thinking it is in a different, virtual environment. This is accomplished via a headset that uses motion sensors to accurately simulate head movement within this virtual reality. Combine the visual effect with sound and you’re 3/4 of the way there when it comes to simulating the environment.
This new virtual environment can provide you with an experience unlike any other. One second you can be in the middle of a Cirque de Soleil concert, the next you’re skydiving 10,000 feet above the earth. As cliche as it sounds, you really have to experience it to believe it.
Augmented vs. Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one. Augmentation is conventionally in real time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match.
With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Information about the environment and its objects is overlaid on the real world.