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How is MR different from VR?

In this article, we’ll explored how mixed reality differs from VR and AR technologies in terms of what it can offer consumers.

woman using mixed reality in room with a window in the background
Image: Unsplash

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been around for years.

But recently, there’s been a lot of talk about mixed reality. What is it? How does it differ from VR and AR? And what does the future hold for MR technology?

Let’s start by defining each of these terms, and then we’ll dive into their differences in greater detail.

What is Virtual Reality (VR)?

playstation vr
Image: Sony

Virtual reality (VR) is an immersive, computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way through special electronic equipment, such as a headset.

This simulated environment can be similar to the real world, or it can differ significantly from reality. The most advanced VR systems provide an illusion of being physically present in another place.

Thus, it simultaneously replaces your sense of sight and hearing by stimulating your visual and auditory senses with images and sounds generated by computer software and hardware, depending on where you are looking.

What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

Augmented Reality on a phone showing a virtual object
Image: Unsplash

Augmented reality is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, or GPS data.

The resulting perception is similar to that of the natural human vision when sighted normally.

Augmented reality enhances one’s current perception of a real-world environment or situation with computer-generated perceptual information.

The AR experience can be enhanced by many different types of sensory input in various combinations and formats, including sound (audio), graphics (sight), and haptics (touch).

What is Mixed Reality (MR)?

man using mixed reality with headset on in front of tv that is showing him by a car
Image: Unsplash

So, what is mixed reality? Mixed reality (MR) is a combination of VR and AR. MR combines computer-generated images with the real world in a way that makes them seem like they’re there.

As per the experts at Adobe Substance 3D:

“These days, mixed reality describes environments in which real and virtual subjects and objects interact in real time — and in which you can interact with both real and virtual components.”

If you’ve ever seen an ad for a car, you’ve experienced mixed reality: it’s when the image of the car isn’t there, but it looks like it is. MR can add things to your surroundings or take them away.

If you’re playing a video game and have some friends over, they could join in on the fun by putting on headsets and seeing themselves as part of the game world along with you.

Differences between MR and VR

MR is a live experience. It uses computer-generated graphics and sounds to enhance real-world objects, environments, and events in ways that create an enhanced sense of presence for the user.

The goal is to trick the brain into believing what you’re seeing is happening.

VR is an entirely simulated environment where you can interact with objects and people as if they were there by using special gloves or tools that are tracked in real time by an array of cameras (markers).

But MR combines the best elements of both VR and AR.

Therefore, it uses computer-generated graphics and sounds but combines them with real-world elements, making them more tangible than simply watching something on your phone screen while sitting at home on your couch.

Mix reality is a blend of both virtual reality and augmented reality. It combines digital technology with the real world, creating unique experiences for users.

In this article, we’ve explored how mixed reality differs from VR and AR technologies in terms of what it can offer consumers.

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