AR vs. VR - @ZakW Full Comparison


Basic difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality is a term used to describe a three-dimensional environment created by a computer that people can explore and interact with. This person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed in this environment, and there, he can deal with objects or perform a series of actions. While, augmented reality can extend our physical world and add a layer of digital information to it. Augmented objects appear in a direct view of the existing environment and contributes new sounds, videos and graphics to it.

Pros and cons of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) allows you to experiece practically a new world. It is the most immersive reality technology that allows the human brain to believe that it is not really somewhere. Below, I explored the pros and cons of this technology from an objective perspective:


  • Visual effects in virtual reality are currently better than augmented reality. This is why virtual reality technology is big in video games; it provides the users a sense that they are in another world.

  • VR allows users to completely immerse themselves in new sights, sounds, and experiences.

  • Virtual reality provides a complete and detailed view of the place.

  • VR can allow multiple users to connect from different physical spaces. Users can communicate with each other to connect with others.

  • Provides users with a good gaming experience.


One of the biggest disadvantages of virtual reality is that it is not easily accessible. It is too expensive for people who cannot afford these costs, excluding some from using this technology.

  • Virtual reality users have consistently acquired a sense of nausea.

  • Virtual reality needs sensors and a lot of space and specific technologies to use. It's a little cumbersome to say the least.

  • Although virtual reality technology is used in various fields, it is still in the pilot phase. Not acceptable or fully developed.

  • For those who use VR for training (such as military uses), it does not give the same results in real life compared to the virtual reality environment.

Pros and cons of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is a combination of virtual products and real-world environments. As the name tells us, it is about adding something holographic in the real world. Augmented reality has many advantages as well as some flaws. It is widely used in education, games, engineering, medicine, and military.


  • Anyone can use it according on their smartphone or tablet.

  • It enhances the perception and interaction of the real world.

  • It reduces the boundaries between the real world and the virtual world.

  • Military soliders have reported using it to simulate the battlefield.

  • It can be applied to some training programs because it makes things memorable and compelling.


  • The development and maintenance of AR-based projects is costly. Furthermore, it is not widely adopted yet.

  • The lack of knowledge is a problem in AR-based applications.

  • Current performace is laggy.

  • Basic learning is required to effectively use AR-enabled devices.

USER study

I performed my own comparison with Jing's Augmented Reality research project where you can draw with precision in AR and Google's VR Tiltbrush application. Since it is unfair to compare strictly the technologies since first of all, Google built the project, but also there are so many more components to the VR headset, I decided I would try to compare the overall experience. As an AR fanatic, I was surprised how much cooler the Virtual Reality headset was. To my surprise the VR experience was much better from a technical standpoint.

However, while VR is more immersive, AR provides more freedom for the user, and more possibilities for widespread usage because it does not need to be a head-mounted display.



“I prefer VR, since there is still a big disconnect between what looks real in AR vs what is actually real"

"I like VR with a big field of view better than AR on a tiny phone screen. I have done some AR with a bigger display (like hololens), but VR feels much more ready-to-use."


"I like how you’re immersed in a completely different world, but I dislike how you can’t move properly in VR"

"I like how immersive it feels, dislike how hard to access it is."


"like: still being in the real world dislike: tiny display space, not so great implementations (laggy, etc.)"

"More comfortable because I am still in the real world, but it is too low res right now."


It is concluded that the both virtual reality and augmented reality are the opposite reflections of each. The augmented reality covers virtual elements in the real world, while virtual reality reproduces real-life settings digitally. Soon, I see the two combining to create incredible virtual environments in the real world. As shown below, people are ready to use it, we just need to get the technology more advanced.

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