by fariz fariz

Reality Check – What’s the difference between AR, VR and MR?

If you don’t know the difference between these realities, it is indeed time for a reality check.

The tech world is going abuzz lately with hot topics like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and as if things weren’t confusing enough, Mixed Reality (MR), but what exactly are the differences between them?

Being a keen advocate of AR solutions myself, this is the most common question I get asked. Oddly enough, most people think these are one and the same, but in reality, they are worlds apart (pun intended).

Let’s first start out with reality. Reality is how we perceive the world around us, what we see, what we interpret, what we hear.

 

Augmented Reality is very much the act of modifying or superimposing computer generated images, videos or 3D models onto reality using AR technologies.

The definition of ‘augment’ is to modify or improve, so the term AR is to improve the existing reality by adding digital content seamlessly into the world around you.

AR content can be viewed using a camera enabled smartphone device or specific AR goggles, such as the Microsoft Hololens.

 

Virtual Reality replaces the perceivable world around you with an entirely virtual environment, for example you can be sitting in your living room, but via VR headsets, what you see and hear around you is that of the inside of a shark cage descending into the gloomy underwater abyss.

This is vastly different from AR because VR replaces the entire world around you while AR only modifies certain aspects of the real world environment, like a virtual Pokémon jumping around in your real life living room (like I said, worlds apart).

 

Mixed Reality is where things become somewhat Inception like and confusing. Mixed reality essentially is the technology of taking real world objects which aren’t actually there, in a virtual environment.

A good way to picture this is while visiting an electronics store, you wear a headset to virtually see a model of your living room with a brand new big screen TV sitting there that they are trying to sell to you.

The simplest definition to this is that it is a mashup of both VR and AR technologies.

 

While MR does sound like the most advanced of the 3, it is not necessarily the most applicable to today’s business needs.

When it comes to business practicality, Augmented reality for now is the clear winner, with Digi-Capital estimating its market to value at USD 83 Billion by the year 2021 (VR at USD 25 Billion).

Augmented Reality is truly set to be the interface of the future, so if you want your business to feature any of these technologies as a way of reaching out to your customers in an innovative manner, realistically speaking, Augmented Reality is the way to go.

 

Yamagata is an Interface company, developing interfaces which are innovative today and relevant for tomorrow, such as printing, DTP, translations, HTML, and Augmented Reality.