Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality vs. Mixed Reality – What is the difference?
Most of the times, people tend to confuse the terms VR, AR and MR. People generally refer to all these immersive experiences as virtual reality. All these technologies provide simulated 3D experiences. There are a lot of similarities in all three but they are not the same. We will look at the differentiating factors in these three VR, AR and MR trending technologies below.
Major Differences in VR, AR and MR
Virtual Reality transposes the user to a virtual world. There is a different world of which the user is now a part. His real world ceases to exist. High-end computer graphics or live videohelp achieve this. A headset helps immerse the user in the virtual world. A few examples of such head-mounted displays are HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Gear VR, Google Daydream and PlayStation VR.
1. Non-Interactive VR
This includes things like short films or movies or similar narrative pieces that involve the user but not as an active participant.
2. Interactive VR
Interactive VR, on the other hand, involves the user completely in the virtual world and the user is able to interact with it. The experience tracks every movement and the user can push, pull and even hold on to things. High-end PC’s equipped with game engines enable this.
Augmented Reality also involves computer generated graphics that are overlapped on to our world. A smartphone or an app is all you need to achieve AR. The only thing required is a camera that will capture the world around you and the app that will help generate images. IKEA has come up with an app that enables a user to visualize the room they are in with their company’s furniture. This is a classic example of AR.
The AR development kits come with their own operating systems and their own core audiences. AR is yet in its initial stages and has not fully captured the market.
MR is what you get when you mix the best features of both virtual and augmented reality. Similar to VR, MR also uses a headset. There is a translucent glass through which the user has to see. Like AR, it projects images in your real environment. The most outstanding feature of MR is its ability to make a highly interactive experience. Even the rendering of images and visuals is very realistic. This immerses the user in the world that is an extension of his real surroundings. Also, our actual hands and fingers can be used to gesture in this world.So there is no dependency on external controllers.
When it comes to AR, Apple and Google are far ahead in the race but in MR, it is Microsoft with its HoloLens and MagicLeap. Google Glass, ODG Headsetsand Magic Beans Demo are also a few examples of MR.
Do let us know your thoughts as well on differences in VR, AR and MR in the comments section below. We look forward to feedback from you.