What is VR, AR & XR? A guide to virtual, augmented and extended realities


Virtual reality and augmented reality are two forms of extended reality (XR). Learn the difference between AR & VR, how they are used, and where they are going.

VR vs. AR vs. XR: What's the difference? VR is an experience where users are fully immersed in a virtual world, while AR is the experience nearest to the physical end of the virtuality continuum. VR uses a variety of devices and techniques to create an immersive experience, such as head-mounted devices (HMDs), stereoscopic imaging, frame rate (FPS) and refresh rate, and latency. VR headsets require very sensitive tracking, high processing power and a fast internet connection, while AR combines virtual and physical experiences. Computer vision is the core technology of AR/MR, which relies on three distinct tracking methods: marker-based tracking, markerless tracking, and location-based tracking.

Smartphones are suitable for AR interaction, as well as AR glasses or goggles. The Sensorama was the first true VR/XR experience, and Martin Heilig invented the Telesphere Mask in 1960. Myron Krueger created the world's first interactive VR experience in 1975. In 1985, VPL Research became the first to sell VR goggles and gloves. In 2010, Palmer Luckey created the Oculus Rift, and in 2014, Google released Cardboard. In 2015, Snapchat launched Lenses, which served as an introduction to AR.

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  • Last modified: 2023/03/22 16:26
  • by Henrik Yllemo