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Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)

This guide will provide an overview, use of equipment, books, journals and other resources on virtual reality and augmented reality

What is virtual reality and augmented reality?

Virtual reality (VR) technology creates immersive three-dimensional simulations where users can interact with specialised equipment like headsets and sensor-fitted gloves. This cutting-edge technology is revolutionising various fields, including gaming, education, healthcare, and training simulations. It offers users a more realistic and interactive experience compared to traditional interfaces.

Augmented reality (AR) overlays computer-generated images and information onto the real world, typically viewed through the screen of a smartphone, tablet, or AR headset. Unlike virtual reality (VR), which replaces the real world with a simulated one, AR enhances the real world with digital information. It offers various applications in gaming, marketing, education, and training. For example, AR technology can enable the application of filters, lenses, and games like Pokemon Go, as well as retail features e.g. trying on glasses or visualising products in spaces e.g.trying out a chair in your lounge room.

Watch Understanding virtual reality and augmented reality (YouTube, 1m56s).

Differences between VR and AR

Characteristic Virtual reality (VR) Augmented reality (AR)
User experience VR completely immerses users in a simulated environment, disconnecting them from the physical world. AR integrates virtual content with the real world, which enhances the user's perception of reality in the physical world.
Interaction with the environment VR restricts interaction to only the virtual environment and requires specialised controllers or hand-tracking devices With AR, individuals can engage with virtual and physical objects in their real world environment
Hardware requirements VR experiences often require a dedicated VR headset with controllers and other sense-tracking devices. AR experiences can be accessed through smartphones, tablets or specialised AR glasses

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