According to the IDC report
, worldwide spending on augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) is to accelerate because of the pandemic, growing from just over $12.0 billion this year to $72.8 billion in 2024.
First of all, let us explain what AR and VR mean and the difference between them.
Augmented Reality (AR) is the modification of real-life environment achieved through the use of audio, visual elements delivered via technology. For instance, some retail businesses use AR to promote or advertise their products and services and also launch marketing campaigns. One of the examples is IKEA, which created an app where the user can see how furniture will look in the room and how it will fit in space.
«Besides retail, AR is used in other sectors. For example, in football games, broadcasters are allowed to draw lines on the field to illustrate and analyze matches. During excursions to Pompei in Italy, visitors can get a view of ancient civilizations over today's ruins, bringing the past to life.
virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated environment with scenes and objects that appear to be real. Through a virtual reality viewer, users can look up, down, or any which way, as if they were actually there. The hardware devices necessary to immerse in a virtual reality are goggles with a screen, gloves fitted with sensors or headphones.
VR technologies are highly used in healthcare, travel industry, gaming and engagement. Considering healthcare, while visiting the dentist, kids may travel through mythical places. In this case, VR serves as a distraction from painful procedures. Continuing with examples in the medical area, this technology can be used in a mental therapy. VR allows therapists to see how patients with mental problems react to different circumstances by immersing them in different virtual scenarios.
For more examples, we advise you to read the article about 10 Amazing Uses of Virtual Reality
So, the main difference between AR and VR is that AR adds to reality, projecting information on top of what you're already seeing. VR, in contrast, replaces reality, taking you somewhere else.