What is Mixed Reality (MR)?

The realm of augmented reality (XR) is rife in our modern world. Whether you’re using VR for gaming, AR for e-commerce or the like, it’s clear that these technologies are useful and entertaining, and the same goes for mixed reality (MR). †

So, what exactly is mixed reality and how is it used today?

What is Mixed Reality (MR)?

The most popular form of augmented reality out there, virtual reality, uses a headset to immerse a person in an entirely virtual world that they can interact with, often using a controller. Alternatively, augmented reality does not require a headset and places virtual elements on top of a real layer seen through a camera lens.

Mixed reality ends up between these two technologies. In a mixed reality setting, virtual elements or objects can still be present, but can also be used by the user. This is not the same as virtual reality, as these virtual elements are present in a real-world setting. And it is not the same as augmented reality because the user can influence virtual objects.

Individuals using mixed reality technology can experience a 360-degree environment and can even see and interact with objects as they move. Let’s look at some examples to fully understand what it has to offer.

When designing a car, having a hands-on element combined with virtual planning can be of great help. That is why mixed reality is now being introduced in car design. Imagine being able to view virtual designs while also rotating, moving or even modifying them in real time without the need for a mouse, trackpad or stylus. This is the kind of convenience that mixed reality can provide.

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It is also worth noting that mixed reality is also a general term used to refer to all kinds of augmented reality technologies. But it is more common to use the term “extended reality” in such cases.

The potential of mixed reality has certainly been noticed by big tech. Apple and Meta are two prime examples of companies starting to release mixed reality headsets in the near future, while Microsoft has already released headsets that leverage its Holoportation technology and mixed mesh reality platform.

Now let’s take a look at how mixed reality is used in different industries.

How is Mixed Reality used today?

1. House design

It can often be difficult to imagine what your dream home or room will look like in our minds, so it can be very helpful to use technology to help with this venture. Mixed reality could one day give ordinary homeowners the ability to design their homes in a virtual environment so they know exactly what their space will look like.

Mixed reality house design allows people to move objects around, try on different furniture or even view different wall and carpet colors, all through a virtual lens. You can already do this with augmented reality on a smartphone app or something similar, but the experience isn’t quite as immersive or realistic.

2. Education

Learning can be downright boring at times, but extended reality now gives schools and colleges the opportunity to enhance their students’ educational experiences. Using mixed reality, an individual can learn in a much more vivid way as they can actually interact with everything they are learning about.

This makes it easier for students to learn about a range of different topics, such as anatomy, mechanics, wildlife, and more.

3. Employee training

Another area where mixed reality can come in handy is employee training. Some jobs require a lot of training, which can be frustrating or even ineffective if done incorrectly. Thus, by using mixed reality, employees can better understand what is being asked of them and what to do by experiencing workplace challenges in a virtual environment. This can be especially useful in construction, engineering, or customer service roles.

Mixed Reality holds a lot of potential

Mixed reality could one day prove useful in almost every industry out there. The ability to merge physical and virtual environments in real time opens the door to a range of possibilities, whether in your work, personal or academic life. You may be using your own mixed reality headset in the near future!


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