What Is Mixed Reality: Examples and Development Features
Most people are familiar with technologies such as augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) but are not sure what mixed reality (MR) is all about. Today we would like to describe what is mixed reality, how it differs from the other two mentioned technologies and how it could be used. Before we get into all of this, it would be helpful to get a definition.
Mixed Reality Definition
Mixed reality, also known as hybrid reality, is a combination of aspects from both the physical and virtual worlds. It is a hybrid environment where virtual objects can be mapped to the physical environment. From this, we can see why a lot of people are having trouble differentiating MR from AR and VR. Mixed reality describes virtual objects that are integrated into a physical view. AR is more of a virtual overlay, for example, a digital overlay on a car windshield. Another big difference is in the technology required to enjoy MR and AR. Currently, MR is available only via headset, whereas you can enjoy AR on your smartphone as the popular game Pokémon Go.
The Huge Impact of MR
If we look at the way smartphones changed our lives, they took something that was already there, the internet, and basically, put it into our pockets. They made the world much more connected and brought an unprecedented level of convenience in our lives. Mixed reality will have an even more significant impact because it will drastically alter the way we interact with the world. Since we will be free from the shackles of the physical restrictions, it will revolutionize our existence in the world. As an example, let’s take a look at the business world. A lot of companies, especially large corporations, have offices in various locations around the country and even on different continents. Sometimes it is required to travel to a particular place to participate in a meeting. This will become a thing of the past. Thanks to mixed reality, you could be on another side of the planet, yet it will look and feel as if you are all in the same room together.
In the education world, it will make it easier to learn subjects by making them interactive, and you will have an AI-powered assistant that will always be available who is aware of what you are trying to learn in addition to the digital overlays that can deliver knowledge in real-time. Keep in mind, this is not merely limited to the classroom. Mixed realit development is working on democratizing expertise and can help you in everyday life situations. For example, if your car breaks down and you have no idea how to fix it, you can use MR to find out where all of the car parts are located, and it can also provide you with instruction on how to fix it. We can provide a lot more mixed reality examples, but the biggest takeaway is that MR will take what we have achieved with AR to a whole new level and completely revolutionize how we interact with the world.
Future of MR
As you might have already imagined, businesses across all industries are rushing to harness the power of mixed reality. According to research by Toshiba, 82% of enterprises responded that they expect MR glasses to be used in their own companies in the next three years. Given all of the advantages that MR offers, it is easy to see why this is the case. It is much easier to solve a problem when it is interactive, and you can see what you are trying to accomplish. For example, at the Renault facility, safety inspectors are using MR to help guide them through the various process with visualizations and interactive instructions. Needless to say, this is much more efficient than using a paper checklist.
Entertainment is perhaps the most exciting future application. With its unique ability to blend the physical and digital worlds, mixed reality could very well be the future of entertainment. The technology nowadays is not developed enough to provide completely immersive experiences, and the price of the headsets remains high. However, in the not too distant future, the viewer will be able to completely immerse themselves in video games, movies, sporting events, and anything else they would like to enjoy.
MR will not be just limited to the enterprise and add a lot of flavor to our everyday lives. It will allow us to blend the digital and the physical worlds, thus being able to enjoy the best each one has to offer. Just like augmented and virtual reality required some time to become mainstream, MR will also need time for the technology to develop. The most significant factors that spurred AR/VR advancements were business needs and potential revenue generation. Companies everywhere realized the power it could give them to connect with customers and provide them with a personalized experience and therefore eagerly invested and adopted AR and VR solutions. Expect the same to happen with MR. As soon as business leaders and consumers realize the power it gives them and how they could monetize on all the benefits, you can expect greater advancements and adoption of mixed reality.