This article explores in detail the wide world of mixed reality and lists the key features that make MR tick. We also understand the various applications of MR and the main differences between MR, AR, and VR.
Table of Contents
- What is mixed reality?
- 5 Key features of mixed reality
- What can we do with Mixed Reality?
- Applications of mixed reality
- Difference between AR, VR, and MR
- Get set for mixed reality!
The human spirit has brought to life different technologies that bring the world together in these trying times of the pandemic. These include the widespread incorporation of visual technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality. In this article, we dive into this extended world of mixed reality and understand its impact on a variety of industries.
What is mixed reality?
Mixed reality or MR is an amalgamation of the real world and the digital world. MR allows the user to simultaneously interact with physical as well as virtual elements of one’s environment. Using this technology’s sensory abilities, MR lets the user immerse themselves in their real-world while interacting and manipulating virtual elements as per their need. Thus, MR is all set to change the way we work and live within the interface of the two worlds.
5 Key features of mixed reality
While mixed reality bridges the gap between the virtual and the real world, here are some key features of the same.
1. 3D assets
Holograms are a photographic technique to generate three-dimensional images which are imperative to a good mixed reality experience.
2. Understanding of the ‘real’ environment
The important feature of MR is the ability to understand its physical environment. MR uses this information to superimpose virtual elements onto this physical environment to prove a real-world experience.
3. Human understanding
MR also evaluates movements, speech, and other human inputs using cameras and sensors to simulate a smooth transition between the real and the virtual world.
4. Surround sound with mixed reality
The provision of 360-degree audio is also an important aspect of mixed reality technology to enhance the immersive experience.
5. Respective positions
Another important feature of mixed reality is its ability to understand the position of the MR tool with respect to the user’s position at any moment. This is necessary to accurately gauge the usage.
What can we do with Mixed Reality?
Mixed reality has the power to enable us to work and improve visual technologies like nothing else. Here are some key things we can do with it.
1. Improve collaboration
In the middle of a global pandemic, mixed reality has brought the world closer still. This is exemplified in the ability of new companies to work on holograms and 3D models from the comfort of their own homes while staying hundreds of miles away.
2. Faster innovation with mixed reality
MR allows teams to innovate freely in real-time as the changes get incorporated. This not only functions as an open ground for creativity but also promotes innovation at minimal wastage and expense.
3. Inter team support
With better collaboration and greater scope for innovation, each team member has a say in the design process. For example, a mixed reality headset with cameras can stream the work process live to specialists and experts in the field. This also makes way for real-time guidance and reduces the error rate.
4. Better training
Mixed reality and its many applications also give rise to better training and development tools. Providing immersive train experiences can help employees learn new skills faster and also give them first-hand experience. At the same time, MR training reduces the risk involved in company employee training at particular facilities.
Applications of mixed reality
Now that we know what MR is and how it can help us, here are some real-life applications of the same.
Manufacturing is one of the main industries that benefit the most from mixed reality applications. Its usefulness is most seen by the subdomains of artificial intelligence (AI) systems and the internet of things (IoT). Furthermore, MR reduces human errors as workers can confirm with experts in real-time with MR headsets and incorporate changes immediately. Also, workers can use important data without any hassle with MR.
Mixed reality has been known to ease the process of vehicle designing with seamless innovation and incorporation of changes. Physical mockups that are also usually used in the design process are now replaced with true-to-life virtual versions of vehicles that can be visualized and operated on in different scenarios. It can also improve customer experience as customers can now observe intricate details of the car easily and also allow easy reparations.
3. Healthcare industry
Using mixed reality in the form of holograms has found applications in a variety of healthcare aspects. Medicine and healthcare allow intricate visualization of the human anatomy, thus allowing easy simulation in the drug discovery process. Also, MR can help medical professionals to monitor patient vitals and clinical reports much more easily than with physical data. MR also allows surgeons to work with unparalleled precision during surgeries of varying complexities.
4. Sports industry
The sports industry has also benefited from mixed reality. Streaming sports that have this technology incorporated have enhanced the content for the users providing better context, better graphics, and a more engaging experience. It has formed a junction between the weavers and the sports players while maintaining a level of excitement alive.
The usage of MR in the education industry ranges from visual classrooms to textbooks that are brought to life. Understanding complex subjects is much more simplified with the transformative visualization rendered by MR and extended reality. It is now also possible to undertake educational tours of different countries, places, and monuments from the comfort of the classroom and deeply understand the significance of those places. Moreover, with the incoming of interactive 3D models, immersive and highly informative teaching sessions can be conducted.
Difference between AR, VR, and MR
Mixed reality is a seamless corporation of augmented and VR; it can be very difficult to differentiate between the three. Hence, here is a quick breakdown of the key differences between AR, VR, and MR.
|Virtual reality||Mixed reality||Augmented reality|
|It is a virtual or computer system simulated.||It is a combination of the real and virtual worlds.||It includes a real-time environment with virtual aspects.|
|It provides a fully immersive experience driven by the virtual system.||It provides a more nuanced and well-rounded experience using high spec sensors.||It provides a partially immersive experience.|
|It requires a headset or controller.||It requires a headset and specific equipment like sensors.||It requires no particular equipment and functions well with a low-quality display.|
|Eg. VR headsets||Eg. Holograms||Eg. Apps like Pokemon Go|
Get set for mixed reality!
MR has quickly become a dream come true for various industries thanks to the experience it provides. This technology has become so imperative that any company not employing AR VR and MR will be soon forgotten in history. Platforms like HelloAR enable any company to set their foot in this transformative world of visual, immersive technologies.