The difference between AR & VR and how you can use them for your business

Keep up with trends and make sure you got your virtual and augmented realities straight

Keep up with trends and make sure you got your virtual and augmented realities straight


Wait, is Pokémon using AR or VR?

Hold your horses, before talking about Pokémon I’ll expand a bit about AR and VR, and after that we’ll see some awesome marketing uses for them!

First thing’s first: Re-defining reality

We are currently using our phones for everything. From talking (in several different mediums, no less!) to taking photos to finding information and storing it.

Reality has already changed with the ability to hold a digital brain in our hand, but now reality has done another quantum leap and has given us two different and new ways to see the world.

Well, they’re not exactly new, but being able to use them from our handheld phone is nothing to sneeze at.

VR / Virtual Reality

You know, that thing the movie “the lawnmower man” was based on. People using space-age costumes, goggles and earphones in order to live in a digital representation of the world.

It’s basically allowing us to live temporarily an experience we usually wouldn’t be able to. Like visiting a particular place, like a museum or a secluded shrine or walking around in a cartoon world.

Now, don’t confuse virtual reality with 360° photography or video. The main difference between them is that in 360 you’re just able to choose in which direction to look. Virtual reality allows you to choose where to walk as well, or even to interact with what’s around you.

So basically it’s a way to escape current reality (for a minute or two) and live in another one.

AR / Augmented Reality

Is a layer added over our reality with information, graphics or simple filters, depending on what the app is doing.

Here’s a couple of examples:

  1. Google’s Word Lens, acquired from Quest Visual is a language filter that translates whatever text you focus on with your phone, to a language you know and understand.

    Google's Word Lens changing text while you're focusing on it with your phone.
    Google’s Word Lens changing text while you’re focusing on it with your phone.
  2. Augment is an augmented reality app used mainly for advertising, by allowing you to present a 3D version of your product to a client holding in his hand nothing but your flyer and his own phone.

    Author: Shay Stibelman

    Digital marketing consultant in Milan, Italy. Born in Israel, raised in Germany by Russian parents. I help small and medium businesses get their digital marketing game on point. Perfect their website, landing pages, funnel marketing and social media strategies, in order to increase ROI and optimize that ever elusive marketing budget.