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

In the dynamic world of technology, the boundary between the digital and physical worlds has gradually dissolved. Technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have the potential to fundamentally change our perception of reality. But what exactly are these technologies and what distinguishes them from each other? This blog post explores the differences between VR and AR and how they could change our lives.

What is Virtual Reality (VR)?

Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation that provides a fully immersive experience. By using VR glasses, users can immerse themselves in a completely virtual world that appeals to all the senses. Whether you walk through a planned building before construction begins or test the plans in a usage simulation, VR allows you to experience almost any environment without leaving your living room or office.

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What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

In contrast to the full immersion of VR, augmented reality inserts digital elements or information into the real world. With the help of AR glasses, smartphones or tablets, users can display 3D models, data or images in their physical environment. This can be particularly useful for architects and building designers to give clients, investors or other stakeholders an idea of how the finished building will look in its surroundings before construction even begins.

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The main differences between VR and AR

Immersion und Interaction

The main difference between VR and AR lies in the way users interact with these technologies. VR makes it possible to immerse oneself in past, future and even distant worlds (e.g. in a planned building), as well as to suspend physical laws. One can immerse oneself in a clockwork by scaling or simulate very dangerous places (e.g. sources of danger such as fire, explosions etc.). On the other hand, AR always makes sense if you are on site (the building is already standing) and want to display changes or information there (e.g. X-ray view into the walls, installed components).


The hardware required for VR and AR also differs. VR usually requires a powerful headset or, in other words, VR glasses and often also a computer or console. The modern headsets offer high-resolution displays, precise tracking sensors and an immersive 3D audio experience. Some models also offer wireless features to increase freedom of movement.

It is expected that the development of VR glasses will continue in the future. New technologies such as eye-tracking, haptic feedback and improved wireless transmission could make the VR experience even more realistic and immersive. The resolution of the displays is expected to continue to increase, while the glasses themselves will become lighter, more comfortable and more user-friendly.

AR, on the other hand, can be run on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets and specialised AR glasses such as the Microsoft HoloLens. These devices use cameras and sensors to capture the real world and overlay digital information on it. Nevertheless, AR headsets are not yet as mature as VR: the field of view is still very small, the headsets are very expensive and still too large. In recent years, several companies have launched or announced AR glasses, including Microsoft with the HoloLens, Magic Leap with the Magic Leap One and Apple with rumours of its own AR glasses.

The latest generation of AR glasses features improved display quality, advanced tracking and sensor technologies, and more powerful computer processors. These advances enable a more realistic and immersive AR experience.


Both technologies have multiple applications, but they tend to shine in different areas. AR is widely used for interactive marketing campaigns, maintenance and repair, navigation, education and social media. VR is often used for games, virtual tours, immersion therapy, product development, design and training as well as application simulations. It provides a safe environment where users can play out different scenarios without changing the real world.

AR vs VR Blogartikel Tabelle Englisch
Did you know that you can use our HEGIAS VR solution to test workflows and processes with your colleagues, sell your products regardless of time and location, and plan a real estate construction project?

Contact us for a free live demo if you want to find out how our solution and virtual reality can support your business or project.

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