These days it’s not uncommon to hear certain technical terms thrown around the workplace or in conversation at a party. Two of which we hear more and more about are augmented reality and virtual reality.

You’d like to know if these emerging technologies have any place in your business, but what is the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality, anyway, and is it worth the investment?

Incorporating any new technology into an already successful business can be a bit of a scary prospect; we get it. 

So, in this guide, we get into the details of augmented reality and virtual reality, how they’re different, and how you can implement one (or both) into your business today.

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What is Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality?

So, what is the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality?

It’s simple. 

Augmented reality takes your existing reality (your surroundings) and adds to it. You see everything in front of you as if you were just sporting a barely tinted pair of sunglasses, while the technology projects images over top of what you see in front of you.

Glasses are not even necessary with augmented reality, as in many cases, the technology extends to your smartphone with augmented reality apps. Your phone uses GPS to track where you are, and the app adds the overlay of information on top of your surroundings so you can see it all on your screen.

On the other hand, virtual reality takes over your entire field of vision and transports you into a completely different world.

You feel as if you are somewhere else, and you have no view of the world outside of the VR goggles like you’re wearing a blindfold.

The possibilities with VR are endless, each of which replaces the world you see around you now with a completely new reality.

Whether AR or VR, Running Bull Media is positioned to move your company into the next era of technology. Contact us for a demo today and prepare for the future of tomorrow.

what is augmented reality

What is an Example of Augmented Reality?

Standing out as a very popular example of augmented reality is Pokémon GO. The game allowed users to ‘catch’ Pokémon characters hiding within a map of the real world.

With more than one billion downloads to date, Pokémon GO is a massive success in the world of augmented reality and proof that anything is possible with this technology.

Whether you’re a seller on Amazon or an enterprise retail chain, augmented reality could be the next step into the future of your business.

What is an Example of Virtual Reality?

When the well-liked hiking shoe brand, Merrell, decided to create a unique virtual reality experience as part of their marketing campaign for the innovative TrailScape shoe, it became a memorable experience for all participants.

The virtual reality experience took users through a tactile obstacle course that included walking over different surfaces and navigating around rockslides and other obstacles. 

The experience premiered at the Sundance Festival and offered event-goers a truly unique and multisensory experience in the virtual outdoors.

For brands like Merrell, there is no better way to market their gear than to give potential customers a truly immersive experience.

Which is Better: Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality?

There really is no comparing AR and VR in terms of which is better. Each has its own unique qualities and application purposes.

Think of it this way…

Augmented reality transports objects into YOUR reality, whereas virtual reality transports YOU into another reality.

It’s like visiting an aquarium to look at the underwater creatures behind glass versus entering the water and scuba diving with those very creatures.

Which is better? Again, it depends on what you’re trying to achieve. 

Check out the various uses below. We answer the question, “what is the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality,” by giving you some real-life ideas of how each technology can be applied.

3 Ways Augmented Reality Can Be Used

What is augmented reality used for, and how can you incorporate it into your business’s future?

As one of the driving forces in the tech economy, AR is emerging as a go-to for virtually any industry — from tourism to education — here are some of the best uses for augmented reality.

what is an example of augmented reality

#1 – Medical Training

No longer limited to gaming, AR is making waves in the medical community and has proven to enhance patient care.

Here’s a glimpse into some of the amazing advances in medicine, thanks to augmented reality:

  • Surgery – with AR, surgeries are much safer, providing doctors the real-time information required when saving a patient’s life.
  • Collaboration – AR makes it possible for specialists to communicate with medical teams on the ground, potentially saving many lives.
  • Vein location – helping nurses with accurate vein location for IVs by using a handheld AR scanner over the patient’s skin.

And, as AR continues to evolve, even more applications arise within the world of medicine.

#2 – Tourism

Augmented reality has gained some serious traction in the tourism industry because it allows hotels and businesses within the tourism sector to enhance the physical surroundings that they want consumers to visit.

Travel is one of the most heavily researched purchases as consumers want to know as much as possible before arriving at a destination. 

But it doesn’t stop there.

Augmented reality makes it possible for the information needed upon arrival and during the trip to be available 24/7, ultimately creating a one-of-a-kind experience. 

AR tech gives consumers MORE information than they could ever find on their own. By merely aiming their smartphones at hotel maps, menus, and more, tourists have a far more customized experience.

#3 – Education

Tablets have become a must in most educational settings, but many educators are taking tech to new levels with augmented reality.

Transporting students into a richer learning environment, AR can help learners discover subjects like music, science, and geography like never before.

Imagine a second-grade science teacher introducing the planets of the solar system in 3D, all lined up and scaled perfectly, right inside the classroom.

Bringing AR into classrooms creates student engagement like never before and promotes a lasting desire to learn through visualization and immersion.

3 Ways Virtual Reality Can Be Used

When virtual reality first hit the scene, it was associated mostly with the gaming industry.

But now, VR can be used in almost any field to manipulate physical surroundings and allow the user to immerse in a new experience.

Below, we’ve listed three industries that benefit from adding VR to their customer experience, but really we’re only scraping the surface. Virtual reality can be used in almost every industry across the globe.

what is augmented reality vs virtual reality

#1 – Recruitment and Training

Corporations around the world have benefited greatly from the groundbreaking technology that is virtual reality.

Imagine for a moment that you could recruit and train potential employees by engaging them in virtual work challenges and real-life work scenarios.

Simulated interviews and training allow companies to choose the best candidates based on each applicant’s virtual success.

In addition, companies can now train multiple employees from various locations around the world — an absolute must in our global economy.

#2 – Entertainment Properties

Speaking of various locations, picture this…

You have employees that span the country, and you want to host a year-end celebration to thank your team for their hard work.

It would cost a small fortune to bring everyone together in a mutual location… OR, you could host a virtual party at your favorite winery or distillery instead. 

Your employees could all receive a package containing several beers or a bottle of wine from your chosen location in advance of the party.

Your staff can then log into the virtual reality world of tasting beers or wines as a group activity.

And on the flip side, if you’re the distillery or winery owner, you’re now offering your product and experience to a much broader audience.

Investing in VR tech doesn’t always have to be about business. It can be about making business fun.

#3 – Sports Training

Virtual reality has the potential to revolutionize the sports industry in many ways. 

Coaches and players can train with efficiency, watching and experiencing past plays repeatedly so they can implement changes and improvements. 

VR gives sports professionals the ability to analyze techniques and improve performance without the risk of physical injury.

Further to that, VR is enhancing the fan experience by allowing anyone to virtually ‘attend’ any game around the world. Whether for free or at a reduced cost, VR gives fans who cannot pay to attend a live event as fantastic of an experience as the people who can.

Sports teams can now sell ‘virtual tickets’ to every game played in a season. How cool is that?

what is augmented reality

Running Bull Media: The Solution to Your AR and VR Needs

Whether your business is leaning toward augmented reality or virtual reality, Running Bull Media offers unique solutions that will launch your company into the future and put you at the top of every conversation for years to come.

We use only the best hardware available and can create a customized experience for your customers or employees on any budget.

Click here to schedule a demo, and see how you can wow your staff and clients by putting your company at the forefront of today’s technological trends.