As we hear more and more about augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), it’s important to understand the difference as these technologies are evolving rapidly. AR is  becoming more mainstream by being integrated into a variety of apps while the prices for VR gear is expected to go down in the coming years.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality is an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (such as a smartphone camera); also : the technology used to create augmented reality (Merriam-Webster)

The following video created by Ikea shows how they use AR technology to insert virtual furniture into a picture of a room.

You can’t find your measuring tape? No problem, there is an AR app for that!

Virtual Reality (VR)

Definition of virtual reality (Merriam-Webster)
: an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (such as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one’s actions partially determine what happens in the environment; also : the technology used to create or access a virtual reality

VR offers experience that you cannot get anywhere else. These immersive environments can be similar to reality—like swimming with fishes or sharks, jumping out of a plane, riding a roller coaster, visiting the most extreme places in the World—or completely fantastical (is there a limit to human imagination?). As we saw in the video above about Google’s Tilt Brush, you can even paint in 3D space, how cool is that?

To achieve virtual reality, users must wear a VR headset equipped with the technology. There are more and more VR devices coming on the market in 2018 and we should see a drop in prices in the coming years.

Here are some of the VR headsets currently available (some are used with your mobile phone which does bring the price down) :

As you have probably guessed, the pricier the headset, the richer the  VR experience.