Mixed reality vs augmented reality – an in-depth analysis

In this article, we explore the meaning of mixed reality and how it improves upon the various aspects of augmented reality. We also see the specific elements of MR that make it a more immersive experience as compared to AR.

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The technology of mixed reality has taken the world by storm. More and more industries from different fields are now investing in mixed reality. This is a result of the need for more remote immersive experiences post-pandemic. Also, thanks to the increased curiosity among users to feel and experience new technology, mixed reality vs augmented reality has been an active discussion among users and business owners alike. 

What is mixed reality?

mixed reality vs augmented reality

Mixed reality is the bridge that combines the physical world and the virtual world. This combination results in the creation of new environments that allow the interaction of physical objects with digital elements. Moreover, the user can manipulate the changes in real-time and watch the magic unfold as they wish. 

What is the difference between mixed reality vs augmented reality?

The one thing that binds AR and MR together is that it places virtual elements and objects in a visual field of a real environment. But the key difference in mixed reality vs augmented reality lies in the overlay used. AR uses a virtual overlay that lies on top of the real environment as a layer between the user and the real world. While MR, on the other hand, integrates the virtual objects with the real world in a seamless way. 

How does mixed reality expand on augmented reality

Mixed reality, to a great extent, is an improved version of AR. The work done and experience gained for AR is doubled with the incorporation of MR. Here are four main ways that help MR expand on AR in the comparison of mixed reality vs augmented reality. 

1. Conversion of the real-world view into 2D images in mixed reality vs augmented reality

All visual technologies need 2D images to accurately depict the real world. This is done by rendering 3D objects using 3D model data into 2D images. Rendering is the process of converting 3D data to 2D images using computational algorithms. Also, techniques like scan line rendering and rasterization along with ray casting and tracing simulate the geometry and lighting depicted in the 3D model.

2. Replacement of reality with a virtual environment

Virtual environments create a dynamic and immersive three-dimensional setting for the user. It allows the user to not only experience but thoroughly interact with virtual elements in tandem with their real environment.  

3. Using a headset instead of a mobile phone application

Commonly, MR uses special headsets while AR works on simple mobile applications. The similarities in these two mediums of visualizations are further enhanced experiences provided by them along with the usage of some Head-mounted displays (HMDs) used by the two technologies. However, some key differences set the AR and MR headsets apart-

DevicesOnly holographic devices usedHolographic, as well as immersive devices, are used
Users The general public and business audiencesMost business owners
DisplayYou can see through the virtual elementsIt blends real and virtual elements together
InteractionsInsignificant interaction between virtual and real elementsSimultaneous interactions between virtual and real elements

4. Enables real-time interaction between real and virtual objects

Mixed reality belongs to a virtuality continuum, which is a virtual space that dynamically integrates physical elements with the virtual world in real-time. This dynamic interaction is primarily achieved through the digitalization of physical objects into 3D images. MR in mixed reality vs augmented reality not only allows seamless interaction between the two worlds but also lets the user control the virtual environment with external inputs from the user.

Step into the world of mixed reality!

Augmented reality plays a foundational role in building the world of mixed reality. Every aspect of MR is an improved version of AR and thus has its own benefits. The incorporation of MR in different industries and use cases has also seen a significant boost in recent times as more and more users are now leaning towards newer visual technologies.