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Friday, August 11, 2017

This Is Augmented Reality, This Is Virtual Reality

The difference between augmented reality and virtual reality is one of the things that I get asked to clarify on a fairly regular basis. This post has an example of each.

Earlier this year I featured a fun app from PBS Kids called Plum's Creaturizer. It's a free augmented reality app that lets students create fun cartoon creatures then place them into outdoor settings through the use of augmented reality. The purpose of the app is to have students learn and show how the characteristics of an animal help it thrive in its environment. A video demonstration of the app can be seen here.


Plum's Creaturizer and other augmented reality apps like it, are dependent upon location services in order to provide your on-screen experience. Virtual Reality apps, however, are not dependent upon location services to provide you with an immersive on-screen experience. Google Expeditions is an example of a virtual reality app. In my video embedded below I provide a short overview of how to use the "explorer mode" in Google Expeditions to view Mount Everest in virtual reality.


You can create your own basic virtual reality experiences by using the Cardboard Camera app from Google.