Difference Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

Difference Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

Both technologies – virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) – have developed enormously in recent years.

Thanks to faster, more powerful processors/computers, better graphics cards, sensors and cameras, faster internet connections and innovative possibilities in software development, countless new opportunities have opened up for VR and AR in both the private and industrial sectors.

How do the two technologies differ?

Um zu verstehen, wodurch sich beide Technologien unterscheiden, haben wir für alle, die es genau wissen möchten, den Unterschied zwischen Virtual Reality und Augmented Reality ausführlich erklärt und für alle anderen, die es kurz und bündig mögen, den Unterschied zwischen VR und AR kompakt zusammengefasst.

Difference Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Briefly summarized

Virtual Reality (VR)

Here the user no longer perceives the real environment
The user can only experience the digital 3D world with aids such as VR glasses
The better and more powerful the computer, the better the experience in virtual reality
The virtual world can be seen, heard and felt
VR is used for industrial applications, training, 3D games, real estate marketing and much more
There are 360 degree images, 360 degree videos and completely created 3D worlds
Important: Only the right 3D animation or 3D visualization makes VR look real to the viewer.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Here the user sees the real world and gets additional information displayed
A smartphone, tablet, head-up display, holography system or augmented reality glasses such as the Microsoft Hololens are needed to experience it
Pokemon Go is currently the AR hype
There are AR games, interior planners, navigation apps, workshop guides, and more.
The first AR display DEEP FRAME was presented at CES which enables augmented reality WITHOUT glasses.
Even with AR, super 3D animation or 3D visualization is extremely important.

Difference Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Explained in detail

Virtual reality means: fully immersing yourself in a virtual world

Virtual Reality (VR) allows users to experience a 360-degree virtual world, to view it from all sides, to move around in it and, in the best case scenario, even to interact with it.

IMPORTANT: The user is no longer aware of his real surroundings. Virtual reality enables the experience of simple things like 360-degree images, 360-degree videos – which anyone can also produce themselves – and complex applications, such as virtual reality games or special virtual reality applications e.g. for the automotive industry, medical technology, the tourism sector or even novel systems like VR configurators.

360-degree panoramic images are already VR classics.

360 degree images of cities e.g. with Google Street View or 360 degree images of real estate are already standard. This allows the user to view the new apartment or house from home – without having to be on site. Looking around in any direction, taking a closer look at certain points and even zooming in on them – all no longer a challenge. The user has the feeling of being directly on site – this creates completely new possibilities in real estate marketing, for example, because the customer immediately builds up a much stronger emotional bond.

Genau hier liegt der entscheidende Unterschied zwischen AR und VR. Bei Virtual Reality (VR) HAT der Kunde das Gefühl, vor Ort zu sein, bei Augmented Reality (AR) MUSS der Nutzer vor Ort sein, um weitere Informationen zu erfahren.

360-degree videos are the next level of 360-degree imagery and enable from home, for example, sightseeing in a distant city, attending a concert or editorial coverage from faraway lands. The first feature films are already being produced in 360 degrees. This allows the user to experience the highlights – without having to be directly on site.

The new stage of virtual reality are artificially created 3D worlds in which the user can be completely immersed.

VR Games

VR games always offer new possibilities. Faster computers map the 3D worlds realistically and additional hardware such as VR gloves or controllers enable movement in the 3D world. For example, you can climb mountains, fight historical battles, ride roller coasters, pilot spaceships or dive into dreamlike worlds. The special feature: The user not only sees and hears the 3D world – but also feels it. Standing on a cliff, you literally experience the fear of falling down the slope. On the roller coaster your heart truly slips into your pants and underwater you feel as if you are floating. In short, VR is impressive. But you can only really join in the conversation when you have put on an HTC VIVE or OCULUS RIFT for the first time 🙂

VR applications for the industrial sector

VR applications for the industrial sector are becoming more and more important. Here, the applications are always developed specifically for the needs of the respective companies. Simulators for education and training purposes, therapeutic VR applications to conquer fears, VR product configurators for new cars, kitchens, smart home products, but also virtual presentations of new products as highlights at trade shows, events… the possibilities here are endless.

Virtual reality is increasingly transforming from a gimmick to an industrial value-add.

For example, training content can be taught better and faster, expensive rents, e.g. for store space, can be reduced through better use of space, products can be marketed more emotionally and new prototypes can be experienced without always having them built at the same expensive price.


Virtual reality is going to bring us a lot of joy and astonishment in the years to come – if you’re willing to go down this innovative path.

Augmented reality (AR) means that the real world is enriched with virtual content.

Augmented Reality (wörtlich: erweiterte Realität, kurz: AR) ist eine digitale Technik bei der die Realität – also alle Dinge, die man gerade sieht – mit zusätzlichen Informationen in Form von Texten, Grafiken, Animationen, Videos, statischen oder bewegten 3D-Objekten ergänzt wird.

WICHTIG: Der Nutzer nimmt virtuelle Elemente in seiner realen Umgebung wahr. 
Augmented Reality erweckt Bücher zum Leben, wenn diese mit der Handykamera gescannt werden, lässt Stadt- und Touristeninformationen zu Sehenswürdigkeiten im scheinbar freien Raum entstehen, bietet tolle Schulungsmöglichkeiten für Unternehmen, ermöglicht die Einrichtungsplanung, indem Stühle und Tische virtuell in das eigene Wohnzimmer platziert werden können.

Im Unterschied zu Virtual Reality, bei der eine VR Brille oder ein Cardboard benötigt wird, können für Augmentend Reality Smartphones, Tablets, Head-Up-Displays, Holographie-Systeme oder eine Augmented Reality Brille, wie z.B. die Microsoft Hololense bzw. Google Glasses, benutzt werden – je nach der gewünschten AR Anwendung.

Neu: Auf der CES 2018 in Las Vegas wurde das weltweit erste Augmented Reality Display der DEEP FRAME vorgestellt.

Augmented reality for navigation

Virtual objects and information are fed to the user in such a way that he or she perceives both the real world and the virtual overlays at the same time. Examples of applications for augmented reality include navigation devices or head-up displays in cars that guide the user to the desired destination and provide additional information on the way there, such as traffic jam warnings, detours or building information in the field of view – always depending on the current location.

Augmented reality gaming – good for the tourism sector

Cities and municipalities also hold valuable information for tourists. A well-known example from the gaming sector is the game “Pokemon Go”, which introduces virtual objects, namely Pokemons, to many different places in the world. Players only need their own smartphone and can collect virtual Pokemons in their real environment. The game has an important side effect: store operators or service providers can direct many, potential customers to their locations by making virtual Pokemons available for collection.

The world’s first augmented reality display – Deep Frame

This year at CES in Las Vegas, the first augmented reality display called Deep Frame was presented. This display works WITHOUT additional glasses and WITHOUT a tablet.

Thanks to a special lens, which is also used in space telescopes, the viewer simply looks through the lens of the Deep Frame and sees the virtual world. As seen in the photo, visitors to the museum can see the virtual dinosaur walking around “live” through the window or lens in the exhibit area.

This new technology is getting a lot of attention because every visitor can see the virtual worlds without any additional device. We will probably see this AR display in museums and showrooms as well as at trade shows or high-end product presentations in the near future.

The augmented reality glasses – Microsoft Hololense

The latest augmented reality glasses are the Microsoft Hololens.

In the process, users wear wireless glasses that operate autonomously. The user perceives the real world completely and can interact with virtual objects via gesture control. In the near future, even wearers of inconspicuous mobile data glasses will be provided with valuable information and apps in real time while they go about their everyday business or leisure activities.


Augmented reality has made a breakthrough among private customers with Pokemon GO, while head-up technology is most widespread in the industrial environment. Here, the breakthrough is expected with the new generations of AR glasses – which are even more powerful and offer more possibilities.

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We are happily looking forward to hearing from you!

Matthias Mangold

Phone: +49 6132 899 04 210
E-mail: m.mangold@magic-holo.com

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