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FFD: Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality

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Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed their augmented reality headset, the Hololens. I instantly dismissed it, as some sort of future tech that will never be properly realised. I got suckered by Kinect, and I’m not going down that road again. And then I started reading the hands-on previews, which seem to suggest that it actually works as intended.

“Rarely have I tried something that looked so bad and worked so well,” said the folks at Mashable after a hands-on preview of the prototype. “HoloLens belied its development state, delivering a truly blended virtual and reality experience. Unlike Google Glass, which also uses augmented reality, the initial use cases for HoloLens are indoors.”

“It may be a little early to pass judgment, but my dev-stage experience has convinced me of one thing: there has never been anything quite like HoloLens and that is most definitely a good thing.”

It is, of course, early prototype stuff, and still has a long way to go – but it sounds rather exciting.

“What you do in the headset is impressive. Repeatedly. Sharing a Skype call with another human being overlaid on the real world, and that person being able to literally draw and highlight pieces of my world, is incredibly impressive. Uncomfortable as it is in its current form, HoloLens delivers an experience full of potential,” says Engadget.

It comes up against more established, though still not available for public consumption Virtual Reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus. While I’ve not used Hololens, I have used both of those. They’re both impressive and exciting – but I don’t believe either will be quite as mass market as its creators would like.

I don’t think Hololens will either.

Specifically in gaming, I think VR will pave the way to more exciting, immersive experiences. AR, I think, will have more real world application. VR and AR won’t be a hit with the general consumer until bulky headsets go away – but the question here is this. Which do you see yourself using more? A virtual reality that replaces life, or an Augmented one that adds to what you can already see?

Last Updated: January 23, 2015

102 Comments

  1. ToshZA

    January 23, 2015 at 10:39

    Augmented for sure.

    VR to me sounds very disorienting. You don’t get to see the world around you, you’re in another world. How do you control movement? How do you interact and work with a world that doesn’t exist, even though you appear to be in it?

    AR sounds awesome, looks awesome. Skype call with a 3D projected family member? Hell yeah. Visualising my 3D work on my desk? Yes please.

    Reply

    • Lord Chaos

      January 23, 2015 at 10:48

      I like how you say family member…

      Reply

      • ToshZA

        January 23, 2015 at 10:49

        @hammersteyn:disqus inspired me, what can I say? 😛

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          January 23, 2015 at 10:51

          • ToshZA

            January 23, 2015 at 10:55

            O_o

            ???

          • Hammersteyn

            January 23, 2015 at 11:01

            Nothing further to say 😛

          • Lord Chaos

            January 23, 2015 at 10:57

            Typical, start something then walk away.

          • ToshZA

            January 23, 2015 at 10:57

            Maybe he doesn’t like sharing his sister? O_O

            *RUNS*

      • Ghost In The Rift

        January 23, 2015 at 10:49

        LOL

        Reply

    • Pieter Kruger

      January 23, 2015 at 11:39

      Makes sense about AR not being so disorientating as you’ll still have visual real life reference points.

      Reply

    • SlasherZA

      January 23, 2015 at 12:08

      Remember, it isn’t really a live 3d family member – Unless they are standing inside an array of cameras.

      Reply

  2. Blood Emperor Trevor

    January 23, 2015 at 10:41

    AR is more interesting than VR to me. The latter is a… is a… g-something, forget the word.

    Reply

    • RinceThis

      January 23, 2015 at 10:43

      0_O

      Reply

      • Captain JJ Saga

        January 23, 2015 at 10:50

        Trevor finds no pleasure in using the “g” items

        Reply

        • ToshZA

          January 23, 2015 at 10:51

          Does that include the G spot? 😛

          Reply

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            January 23, 2015 at 10:52

            OUT, DAMN SPOT!

          • Lord Chaos

            January 23, 2015 at 10:54

            I can actually see you holding the scalpel in your hand… O_o

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 23, 2015 at 10:55

            There’s an imagine I’ll never be able to forget.

        • RinceThis

          January 23, 2015 at 10:54

          well he certainly can’t find the g spot 0_O

          Reply

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            January 23, 2015 at 10:56

            IT’S NOT MY FAULT. YOU DON’T HAVE ONE!

            I mean… um… this would be the perfect time to wear an OR.

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 23, 2015 at 10:56

            I’m not going to ask. I feel this is a personal matter between you two. 😉

    • Captain JJ Saga

      January 23, 2015 at 10:49

      I don’t care if it’s a gim…m….
      That kind of immersion in a game is worth it for me.

      Reply

  3. Quo Vadis?

    January 23, 2015 at 10:42

    How about real reality instead of this augmented crap?

    Reply

    • ToshZA

      January 23, 2015 at 10:45

      What’s real reality? O_O

      Reply

      • Quo Vadis?

        January 23, 2015 at 10:47

        No VR or AR. Just what you can see in the natural with your own eyes.

        Reply

        • ToshZA

          January 23, 2015 at 10:47

          No way, that shit’s scary.

          Reply

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          January 23, 2015 at 10:49

          What? Like, outside? O_o

          Reply

          • Quo Vadis?

            January 23, 2015 at 10:50

            EXACTLY!

          • Lord Chaos

            January 23, 2015 at 10:51

            But the sun burns.

          • Quo Vadis?

            January 23, 2015 at 10:51

            I like to live dangerously 😉

    • RinceThis

      January 23, 2015 at 10:46

      You go to far sir!

      Reply

  4. Hammersteyn

    January 23, 2015 at 10:42

    AR FTW. Also when do we get proper augmented implants?
    http://img0.joyreactor.com/pics/post/mixed-gif-wall-break-1822144.gif

    Reply

    • Ghost In The Rift

      January 23, 2015 at 10:49

      666 is near so not that long..XD

      Reply

  5. RinceThis

    January 23, 2015 at 10:45

    It must be true, that music says so!

    Reply

  6. RinceThis

    January 23, 2015 at 10:46

    If it works as the box says then this really could be quite cool. Just a pity we’ll all look likes twats wearing those silly things.

    Reply

    • ToshZA

      January 23, 2015 at 10:47

      So you’ll be fine then?

      Reply

      • RinceThis

        January 23, 2015 at 10:49

        • Lord Chaos

          January 23, 2015 at 10:50

          Awww, kitty needs cuddles.

          Reply

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          January 23, 2015 at 10:51

          Reply

        • Quo Vadis?

          January 23, 2015 at 10:52

          After seeing this, if anyone didn’t go AAAAAAAAAAAAAAW, then you really don’t have a soul ;P

          Reply

          • RinceThis

            January 23, 2015 at 10:54

            BWAHAH! It’s a trap!

          • HairyEwok

            January 23, 2015 at 10:55

            Guess I must be ginger then.

          • Quo Vadis?

            January 23, 2015 at 10:56

            Well, you aint human 😀

          • HairyEwok

            January 23, 2015 at 10:58

            That be true too. Honestly I laughed at the kitty and wished he would fall over with his poor balancing act…. Oh wow seems like i do have no soul or remorse at all for that matter, buuuut that’s what’s needed to kill stermtreepers.

          • Quo Vadis?

            January 23, 2015 at 11:11

            And those pesky folk that start fires in the forest, huh Smokey?

          • HairyEwok

            January 23, 2015 at 11:20

            You know me too well, are you perhaps the stalker I feel creeping on me every time.

          • Quo Vadis?

            January 23, 2015 at 11:22

            *whispers* I… am…. everywhere….

          • HairyEwok

            January 23, 2015 at 11:36

            Your rape face i believe is like this.

          • Quo Vadis?

            January 23, 2015 at 11:42

            Nah, you’re safe buddy. For now… 😀

          • ToshZA

            January 23, 2015 at 11:43

            That’s creepy as fuck. Nailed it.

          • ToshZA

            January 23, 2015 at 10:55

            I am a ginger, so that makes enough sense. 😛

          • Quo Vadis?

            January 23, 2015 at 10:56

            You also a ginger? Shame man. Go dye your hair or something then!

          • ToshZA

            January 23, 2015 at 10:56

            Going bald. It’s my body’s natural preservation kicking in. You know, rejecting that which could cause me harm. 😛

          • Ghost In The Rift

            January 23, 2015 at 10:59

            You should not have said that:-P

          • ToshZA

            January 23, 2015 at 11:05

            HA, I don’t care. I wear it like a badge. 😀

          • Ghost In The Rift

            January 23, 2015 at 11:07

            Sweeeeet, you have uhm…a ginger sister…maybe……by any chance?;-P

          • ToshZA

            January 23, 2015 at 11:08

            Nope 😀

          • Ghost In The Rift

            January 23, 2015 at 11:12

            Well at least i tried, i could have called you swaara:-P

          • Admiral Chief

            January 23, 2015 at 11:10

            Ewwwwwwwww

    • Rock789

      January 23, 2015 at 10:58

      And be flat broke and homeless with nothing to use the headset on after we have to sell everything to be able to afford it… Also possibly bleeding to death after that doctor, who looked totally legit, removed our kidneys… o_O

      Reply

      • Captain JJ Saga

        January 23, 2015 at 11:00

        The Oculus is apparently going to price around $400. So it’s not that bad. The development kit 2 is sitting at $350 now.

        Reply

      • Ghost In The Rift

        January 23, 2015 at 11:01

        Dumb & Dumber 2:-P

        Reply

      • HairyEwok

        January 23, 2015 at 11:01

        Lol just think you give a homeless person the VR and it creates him a fake interactive house he can “live” in.

        Reply

        • Captain JJ Saga

          January 23, 2015 at 11:02

          Now I just feel sorry for the guy trying to eat the VR food.

          Reply

          • Ghost In The Rift

            January 23, 2015 at 11:03

            Sies ounes man..0_o

            LOL

        • Lord Chaos

          January 23, 2015 at 11:18

          This house?

          Reply

          • HairyEwok

            January 23, 2015 at 11:25

            You can tell them they could be living the dream…. at the low low cost of being haunted.

  7. Ghost In The Rift

    January 23, 2015 at 10:47

    Don’t think AR can handle extreme gaming, its gonna be used for daily tasks ect,
    VR can handle gaming and is gonna be used more for “entertainment” purposes,
    Will have to wait and see though but ill use AR more so i don’t loose touch with the real world.

    Reply

  8. Captain JJ Saga

    January 23, 2015 at 10:48

    I cannot wait for the oculus rift to finally be 100% finished and with a decent list of available games. I will without a doubt buy it.

    Reply

    • RinceThis

      January 23, 2015 at 10:50

      I suppose it’ll cover the… I mean… Um…

      Reply

      • Captain JJ Saga

        January 23, 2015 at 10:52

        Haha. Touché
        But seriously, just imagine playing something like Skyrim (in first person) or horror games like The Forest. O_O

        Reply

        • Ghost In The Rift

          January 23, 2015 at 10:54

          Heart Attacks is gonna outplay Game Sales..0_o

          Reply

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 23, 2015 at 10:54

            Worth it. Have you watched Markiplier play horror games with the Rift?

          • Ghost In The Rift

            January 23, 2015 at 10:57

            Nah Ah..Ill go check it out:-P

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 23, 2015 at 10:58

            It’s going to make you want an oculus. And it’s damn funny.

        • RinceThis

          January 23, 2015 at 10:54

          I agree man, I’ll buy if they can get it as good as that!

          Reply

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 23, 2015 at 10:55

            It’s already pretty decent. And the specs of the current one you can buy is already damn impressive. So I think it just needs some time. Personally I think with FB acquiring it the funding will make the difference here.

  9. HairyEwok

    January 23, 2015 at 10:49

    Virtual Reality in the sense of like the Anime Sword Art Online, where you use your brains electronic waves to control your character in movement, battle and communication. When game characters aren’t bound by a controller/keyboard and a set of moves, that’s when true immersion starts.
    http://media1.giphy.com/media/nsmCk4Ruq7pIc/giphy.gif

    Reply

    • Aries

      January 23, 2015 at 11:01

      One of my best shows of 2014

      Reply

  10. Ghost In The Rift

    January 23, 2015 at 10:52

    Will we ever get a virtual room like those they used on Star Trek when Piccard sails a boat on the Enterprise:-P

    Reply

  11. konfab aka derp

    January 23, 2015 at 10:56

    The way I see it, AR will probably tend towards casual games.
    VR will tend towards more traditional games.

    I could easily see AR being used in the workplace though.

    Reply

  12. Captain JJ Saga

    January 23, 2015 at 10:58

    AR for military and stuffs.
    VR for gaming and stuffs.

    Reply

  13. Aries

    January 23, 2015 at 11:00

    I can see people walking in to walls or off balcony’s

    Reply

  14. Pieter Kruger

    January 23, 2015 at 11:29

    If they can get VR as in the( Minecraft demo) so I can play a command and conquer rts type game on my table I’ll pay + R20k for that!!! ????????????

    Reply

  15. Lardus-Resident Perve

    January 23, 2015 at 11:29

    Both, if they are done properly. If I HAVE to choose one and implementation is on the same level for both, Augmented.

    Reply

  16. SlasherZA

    January 23, 2015 at 11:29

    VR for gaming – all the way. AR is more for real life, but too bulky to keep walking around with.

    Oculus Rift FTW!!

    Reply

    • Pieter Kruger

      January 23, 2015 at 11:35

      Whahaha! Oculus Rift not bulky??

      Reply

      • SlasherZA

        January 23, 2015 at 12:02

        Firstly, have you had a chance to try the DK2 and more importantly, Crescent Bay? The way the headset is mounted makes it a lot more comfortable. It is smalled and lighter than DK1 and the cabling is done in such a way that is isn’t nearly as annoying as DK1 was.

        Secondly, and here is the more important bit – Oculus Rift is typically used sitting (or sometimes standing) in one spot. Mostly seated. Compare this to walking around your house with the MS alternative. When seated, the bulk doesn’t have nearly the same impact as moving around.

        Reply

        • Pieter Kruger

          January 23, 2015 at 12:16

          Sorry, missed the part where all or most applications for AR requires you to walk around? Surely this will be depending on the type of game and developers? Used as an alternative for ilumiroom for example would be great also.

          Reply

          • SlasherZA

            January 23, 2015 at 12:20

            It doesn’t ‘require’, but the bulk of the benefit with this is in using it whilst moving around – looking at their demo video as well, you watch tv, do a skype call etc whilst moving around.

            I don’t see the benefit in games for AR – When you are on the battlefield or flying an airplane, how do you make the living room part of the experience? Also, in gaming with the wireless method they use, they will have delay, which will break some of the immersion. AR for me is more useful as a ‘companion’ item and doing things other than gaming. Their ‘minecraft’ part of the video looks cool, but you can’t exactly play with friends as your room layout/topology is different. You can’t really continue your game anywhere else as you don’t have the same lamp on the same desk that you built a tower on.

            This is the big reason Oculus are going for extremely low latency and high refresh rate displays. Nvidia’s new drivers that cut so much latency for the OR as well just shows how important it is.

          • Pieter Kruger

            January 23, 2015 at 12:31

            I think AR should be mostly seen as an add on maybe? Showing additional screens/stats next to the TV screen like maps, radar, etc. Also, playing RTS games on a flat table will be amazing!

          • SlasherZA

            January 23, 2015 at 12:38

            That could work. RTS isn’t as dependent on perfect latency / ping. Playing around a table would be cool, as you can co-op with friends. Easy way for a quick chess game anywhere you are (on the train to work etc). However, playing solo I’d rather hover over the world in Oculus Rft – Have a look at some youtube videos of Legend of Dungeons in the OR DK2 – it is apparently really immersive and fun. (I have tons of hours without VR in it, but rifters say the game is bland and unplayable after being in the rift.

  17. Jonah Cash

    January 23, 2015 at 11:31

    Neither!! Leave me alone on my couch with my remote and I will be happy!!

    Reply

  18. Jac7

    January 23, 2015 at 11:31

    Neither. Put an empty fishbowl over your head and drop some acid.

    Reply

  19. Pieter Kruger

    January 23, 2015 at 11:35

    Both will have their pros and cons!

    Reply

  20. Brady miaau

    January 23, 2015 at 11:38

    Kinect is a gimmick and at the same time a lot of fun. If you have the energy to stand around and do stuff. I find it works very well for limited sport type stuff. A lot of fun and very accurate, given parameters.

    Um. By yourself, because I think the look like a spanner thing is a very real danger.

    I think this new tech could be a bit better, with wider appeal. No VR headsets please

    Reply

  21. Kromas Votes LAG WCMovie Event

    January 23, 2015 at 11:51

    Ill use a VR headset and in the games I play ill use a virtual AR headset.

    Best of both worlds. 🙂

    Reply

  22. Mossel

    January 23, 2015 at 12:38

    This has nothing to do with gaming, but in the engineering and built environment AR can be REALY impressive. Imagine this: You are designing a new building/road/bridge, you take the stakeholders to the site meeting, everyone pops on the glasses and you show them what it will look like on site. Even edit things on the fly… my mind cant handle this right now!

    Reply

  23. frikkenator

    January 23, 2015 at 12:54

    Just imagine looking down at an empty table or the floor and seeing a game of Dota being played. Or sitting at a an empty table playing a game of C&C with your hands. AR for sure!

    Reply

  24. Guest

    January 26, 2015 at 09:24

    AR is a gimmick that will fail like Kinect did.

    Reply

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