As technology continues to advance, more variations of Virtual Reality will continue to arise. Mixed Reality, for one, combines Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Though these “new realities” are very similar, there are also very significant differences between them.
In using Virtual Reality, a headset or smart glasses are required. This headset immerses the user into a fully digital environment comprised of computer-generated graphics. In this new digital environment, users can have the feeling of being transported into another world. Virtual objects are perfectly rendered to be nearly indistinguishable from the real world, changing their position and size based on the user’s location and perspective in the virtual world.
Mixed Reality is very similar to Augmented Reality that adds elements of VR. There are headsets that can be used with these, but it is not required. Augmented Reality can be used just on a smartphone. Whether used with an AR/MR device, or just on a smartphone, this reality combines computer-generated images with real life objects or scenes. These virtual objects behave based on the user’s real world perspective. For example, a tourist using an AR app on their smartphone at a popular attraction can have added information overlaid onto it. Different than VR, with AR virtual objects are easily identified as separate from what is in the real world. MR shows us that these technologies are ever growing, who knows what kind of great innovations we will see with this technology in years to come.
Below is the full infographic by Todd Jaquith & the Futurism Team: