No matter what, scientists from all over the world keep doing their best working on some of the most futuristic technologies. VR and AR are one of them.

Though the tech appeared in the 1950s, it boomed in 2015, when the Oculus Rift CV1 – the first consumer virtual reality headset – hit the market. The hype was so huge that the first batch was sold out just in 14 minutes.

So, what are VR and AR technologies? How do they work and what is their future? Let’s find out.


Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated world that can be entered with the help of immersive devices such as helmets, gloves, and headphones. The real world is completely replaced by a virtual environment, although leaving the user an opportunity to interact with it.


Augmented reality (AR) adds digital layers to the real world. Therefore, people can still interact with the real physical environment but with some additional information from their augmented reality devices or applications.



To dive into virtual reality, you need to have an immersive device (a helmet or glasses). The information provided by a VR device can include visual, sound, tactile sensations, smell, and even taste.

VR devices that can be found on the market:

  1. Oculus Quest 2
  2. Samsung Gear VR
  3. Playstation VR
  4. HTC Vive


Augmented reality requires using devices like Google Glass, mobile phones (you need to download a special application), cameras (they "overlay" visual on the physical world when the user looks through the lens). Normally, when interacting with augmented reality, a user receives only a visual and audio experience.

AR smart glasses that are consumer-available:

  1. Microsoft HoloLens 2
  2. Vuzix Blade
  3. Magic Leap 1



Video games and movies are still the most common formats adapted for virtual reality. Using an immersive headset, the user may find himself, for example, in Antarctica or among dinosaurs.

Augmented reality is also used in games: for example, the well-known Pokemon GO application is a perfect example of the AR principle. The user looks around through the camera and the screen of his or her gadget, while the application imposes additional objects, Pokemons, which must be caught.

With the help of augmented reality, developers create interactive books, postcards, coloring books, apps for museums, city tours, and much more. Face masks and filters that are highly popular throughout social media these days are also the product of augmented reality tech.

Professional fields

Virtual and augmented reality are increasingly introduced into professional fields. VR is actively used in journalism, mainly foreign. Designers and architects use this technology to present their projects. Doctors use virtual reality as a teaching tool for medical students and when preparing patients for surgery and demonstrating the upcoming manipulations.

Medical startups use VR to help patients with Alzheimer, cancer, and poor eyesight. Virtual reality is used in training soldiers, pilots, salesmen and engineers. For example, at Schlumberger they use VR simulators to teach novices how to work on oil rigs. Many companies offer their solutions in the field of virtual and augmented reality for educational purposes.


Virtual reality is no longer a toy. Experts suggest this tech will be more and more used in video games, events, theme parks, advertising, healthcare, real estate, cars and the military. AR and VR technologies have already proven themselves in education, manufacturing and retail. According to Statista forecasts, by 2024 in the US alone this market will jump from $4.8 billion to more than $12 billion.

Large retailers already armed themselves with VR and AR tools, integrating them into the sales funnel. IKEA has made an application that allows the buyer to virtually “fit” any product into their own interior. In a similar way, consumers use augmented and virtual reality to try on clothes and cosmetics. Based on this concept, eBay and Myer have built an entire virtual store, where you can experience “look and feel" of amazingly real 3D models of various products.

Volvo has created a virtual test drive allowing customers to "sit" behind the wheel of the XC90 crossover. No expensive VR headset is required – just download the application on your smartphone and use simple cardboard glasses.

Finally – Metaverse. A platform that is often described as the “new internet” can offer the user an immersive experience that has never been seen before. “Parallel reality” where you can work, study and entertain.


In the coming years, VR and AR projects will become more complex, interesting and useful. Thanks to AR, soon we might exchange our smartphones to augmented reality glasses. Before traveling, starting a project or a trip, we will first experience it in virtual reality, and then complete it in real life.

This tech can improve our personal and corporate security, as well as the overall efficiency of our lives.