Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging technology based on virtual reality. It’s a new human-computer interact technique which uses cameras, sensors, real-time computing and matching technology to overlay computer-generated graphics, sounds onto your physical surrounding to enhance users’ sensory experience of the real world. Unlike Virtual Reality (VR) which creates a whole artificial environment, AR appears in direct view of a real-world environment and adds virtual 3D graphics onto it. AR technology is used in many industries including healthcare, marketing, fashion, navigation, entertainments and retail.  Today, the most well-known consumer AR products perhaps are Google glass, Snapchat, and PokemonGo.
How does it work?
Every augmented reality system involves these three components: hardware, software and remote server.
Hardware: The key hardware components in AR devices are processors, displays, input devices, and sensors. Eyeglasses and smartphone screen are the most common display devices. An input device can be a camera on a smartphone or a webcam connected to the Internet. The sensor is a gyroscope or accelerometer and an infrared sensor for mobile equipment. First, user’s physical surrounding is collected by the camera or other input devices, then the information is sent to the background processor for analysis and implementation of the alignment of the ordinate system and virtual scene fusion. Eventually, the information received from the system is displayed on the monitor. Almost all smartphones today meet all the hardware requirements for AR technology.
Software: Software plays a crucial role. To put it simply, to experience AR technology, users must install a software application or web browser plug-ins.
Remote server: A request received from an AR application, then retrieved from the Web or cloud server and sent to the application. 
What is VR technology?
Virtual Reality (VR) technology is the use of computer technology to generate a full virtual environment through multiple sensorial channels (visual, auditory, tactile, smell, and taste) that allows users immerse themselves in the simulation three-dimensional world. 
How does it work?
Key components of VR:
Personal Computer/Console/Smartphone: PC, consoles, and smartphones are used to process inputs and outputs.
Head-Mounted Display/Headset: A display mounted in front of a user’s eyes to enclose the user’s full field of view and display the video sent from the computer or console to create the 360-degree immersive.
Input Devices: Input devices provides users the sense of immersion and a more intuitive, natural way to navigate and interact within a VR environment. The most commonly used input devices are joysticks, force Balls/Tracking balls, controller wands, data gloves, trackpads, On-device control buttons, motion trackers, bodysuits, treadmills and motion platforms (virtual omni). 
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VR vs. AR & Their Applications
The key difference between these two technologies is augmented reality combines virtual reality and the real world by adding virtual graphics onto the real world while virtual reality takes you out of the real world. This difference makes AR a better application for work than VR. Speaking from a business perspective, AR will have a larger impact on the market and our daily lives than VR.
Since VR’s completely immersive nature, its uses are very limited. It’s primarily used in entertainment applications such as gaming and 3D cinema. VR is also used in education, especially for those in medical and manufacturing field, VR technology provides a new practical learning opportunity. It creates digital labs that allows students to practice and fail as much as they need. It also lowers enterprises’ learning/training costs allowing students/employees to practice in 3D without spending money on physical equipment.
The uses of AR are broader. AR technology is used in entertainment and many other industries including military, marketing, healthcare, manufacturing, education and retail.
Using augmented reality in complex assembly helps improve efficiencies, reduce errors and enable safer, more productive environment for workers and customers. By going through virtual information portrayed onto real-world engineers can get all help from AR applications instead of having to stop and checking on the computer or schematic. It helps engineer get their work done faster.
AR applications have been used in education, like turning physical textbooks into pop-up books by adding 3D graphics to them which creates fun and excitement in the learning process.
AR has been used in e-commerce, many online stores implement virtual try-ons and virtual placement with the help of AR. IKEA Place is one example. It’s an augmented reality application helps users to visualize how the furniture will look like in their home without buying and having the physical product in your home. 
Augmented reality is particularly useful for navigation. Virtual objects overlying the real world can show directions and guide users to the destinations. 
As you can see, it is undeniable VR and AR both have large benefits to business, customers, and society as a whole and each is suitable for different purposes. These two technologies offer a unique, exciting and fulfilling way to engage users in gaming, online shopping, e-learning, enterprise training and manufacturing.
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AR & VR for Accounting
Many businesses, including those in the accounting industry, are trying to integrate many of the trendy technologies into their services. Both AR and VR technologies are predicted to be indispensable in the future business world. It is definitely both technologies will have impact in the accounting industry and might potentially change the way enterprises do business using the following applications:
AR could play role in presenting financial data. Accountants are no more need to present reams and reams of spreadsheets to co-workers and clients. AR and VR make it easier and faster to visualize and organize large amounts of data. It is not just benefiting the accountants, but more importantly other financial users who might not well-versed in accounting because it allows accountants to present financial data in a more intuitive manner (an example would be a series of location-based performance data might be turned into a 3D map). To take this advantage, accountants need to know as much about visualizations, and which one to use when, as they do about crunching numbers. 
Recruitment and Training
VR is great for teaching and training students/employees. For students in accounting field, especially for entry level accounting candidates, gaining work experience while in college is important to career progression chances. Utilizing the VR technology to create simulate scenarios for students practicing allow students to gain practical experience which might not be allowed in traditional teaching method. Three faculty members from N.C. State University—Frank Buckless, Ph.D.; Scott Showalter, CPA; and Kathy Krawczyk, Ph.D.—brought a warehouse for their students to practice the process of auditing via the online virtual world Second Life. It produced a positive impact on the learning experiences. Students who had been training via Second Life said they felt much more confident than their peers did once they went into the real working world.  It is highly likely that VR can make educational environments more productive and interactive than ever before.
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