Understanding Extended Realities: AR vs VR vs MR

22 Dec

About 21 years ago in the year 2000, the idea of consuming digital content as if it were a part of our reality would have sounded totally bonkers.

While 2000 wasn’t long ago considering the pace at which humans have been ascending towards our peak technological advancements — the idea of being able to interact with digital content in our real life would seem like an idea from a science fiction movie.

Remember, Star Trek?

Well — things have changed a lot now. And for the better.

Advanced immersive technologies such as Extended Reality have broken the norms to merge both our physical and virtual worlds. And people, enthusiasts and businesses are loving this.

Perhaps that’s the reason why the whole XR market, collectively, is expected to reach a whopping $209 Billion by next the next year. That’s 8 times what it was in 2019.

However, XR is a huge concept and hosts a number of other technologies under its belt — and that is what this blog is about.

Meaning Of Extended Reality

For all immersive technologies, XR is an emerging umbrella term.

,p>So essentially, XR includes all the technologies the ones we have now — Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) plus those to be created.

Either mixing the virtual and "real" worlds or by creating an entirely immersive experience, these immersive technologies extend the realities we all experience.

In fact, more than 60% of the people who were involved in research, after experiencing any form of XR believed that it will be mainstream in the next five years.

Now, in order to understand Extended Reality better, let us understand all the subsections of this amazing technology.

Augmented Reality

In the simplest words, virtual information and objects are overlaid on the real world in augmented reality. With digital details like images, text and animation, the virtual elements enhance the real world's experiences.

Snapchat filters, which place digital objects such as hats and glass, on your head are the most popular examples of Augmented Reality.

The experience can be accessed through AR lenses or through screens, tablets and in recent years smartphones. That means that users are not isolated from reality and still have a way of interacting and seeing what is happening.

Virtual Reality

Unlike augmented reality, users are fully immersed in a simulated digital environment in case of a virtual reality experience.

However, VR is not that simple to use and individuals need to put on a headset or VR display to get a 360-degree view of an artificial world. It's with this external device which fools their brain into believing that they are in an entirely different world such as walking on a moon, swimming under the ocean or in a fantasy game.

However, companies in several industries such as healthcare, construction, enginenery, the military and others have started using VR intensively besides the gaming and entertainment sector as were early adopters of the technology.

Mixed Reality

In mixed reality, you rely on next-gen sensor and imaging technologies to interact with and manipulate physical as well as virtual elements and environments around you.

Mixed reality enables you to see and engross yourself in the world around you even while interacting with the virtual world — like catching Pokémons in the park next to your house with Pokémon Go.

This gives you the ability to have one foot in the real world and the other one in an imaginary place, breaking down fundamental concepts between real and imaginary — giving you an experience which can alter the way you are playing and working today.

The Future Of Extended Reality

In our everyday lives, XR technologies are becoming more and more prevalent.

And a number of factors, like increasing hardware availability and further improvements in computer vision technology to track physical environments, will further boost its prominence in the near future even more.

Therefore, it would be safe to say that this varied and complex field will only become more exciting and revolutionary with time. And for the same reason — if you plan to hop into the XR industry, this is the right time to take a leap forward.