Valve: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Will Eventually Converge

The difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality is that the former replaces the real world with a simulated one, while the latter enhances the real world with computer-generated sound, images, or video. Legendary programmer Michael Abrash, who now works for Valve, believes these two technologies will one day converge via shared technology, such as a pair of high-tech glasses.

In an interview with RPS, Abrash said:

“AR is hard. You can quote me on that [laughs]. So I thought about, well, what else is interesting? What might have potential? And I came to the conclusion that VR is kind of different-but-equal in that AR and VR will eventually converge. In the long run, AR and VR will be the same thing, and they’ll just opaque your glasses to different extents. So a lot of your experiences will be VR. Because when you sit at your desk, you don’t want AR. What would you use AR for in front of your screen? What you really want is VR and to not have the screen. With high enough resolution, you can just put your screens around you. And then your desk is wherever you choose to be.

“Now, when you go out in the world, that’s AR. And that will radically change the way you interact with the world and other people. So I don’t want to downplay it in any way. I just want to say that, when you have your magic AR glasses many years in the future, you’ll still want to do VR things as well.”

It looks like the future is about to get… [puts on sunglasses] shady.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

3 Comments on Valve: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Will Eventually Converge


On August 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Too bad I probably will be too old or dead once this wonderful technology is released :(


On August 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Already using Cinema Vuzix for gaming and Emotiv’s Epoc for some scant actions based on facial expressions… Non-causal convergence at hand. (Warning: Frustration and dizzyness are regular consequences of non-responding commands and virtual cinema screens)


On August 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm

But does it work with glass eyes and eye patches? Thought not.