- Slider, Technology

Connecting The Dots Between AR, VR and MR

A number of technologies attempt to change the way we spot our reality whether it involves in penetrating into the virtual world or augmenting a prevailing one in an interactive and realistic way. The IT sector is growing at a fast pace with upcoming technologies transfiguring various businesses and acting as an impetus for transformation and acceleration.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality apps have been in the limelight for a spell, but there has been a new lad known by the name ‘Mixed Reality’ that has been gaining a lot of attention recently from tech enthusiasts, market analyst and alike. This new technology is menacing to turn the gaming industry upside down.

STATISTICS: AR & VR:
1. The dedicated augmented reality device market is expected to reach $659.98 million by 2018.

2. The dedicated immersive virtual reality device market is expected to reach $407.51 million by 2018. (Source: Markets and Markets)

3. AR/VR could hit $150bn in revenue by 2020, with AR taking around $120 billion and VR $30 billion. (Source: Digi-Capital)

4. 24 million virtual reality and augmented reality devices are expected to be sold in 2018.

5. More than 12 million virtual reality headsets will be sold in 2017, with sales of augmented reality smart glasses expected to be worth $1.2 billion in the same year. (Source: CCS Insight)

6. By 2018 the virtual reality market could reach $7 billion, with $2.3 billion from the VR hardware market and $4.7 billion from software.

7. Sales of virtual head-mounted displays (HMDs) could grow from 200,000 to “about 39 million in 5 years”. (Source: Sophic Capital)

8. Blippar is one of the world’s best-known augmented reality companies. Earlier this year it confirmed a $45 million funding round. Source: Blippar(Source: Blippar)

AR, VR AND MR: CUTTING THROUGH THE JARGONS:
Before getting into the depths about the differences between Virtual (VR), Augmented (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) we need to know the fact that these three are actually interconnected and not different. Among the three, VR is the most well-known but last year with the launch of Pokémon Go, AR has gained its popularity. Since VR deals only with the virtual world AR is actually an admixture of the real and virtual world. As the name suggests, AR is the ‘enhancement’ or ‘augmentation’ of the real world with an inclusion of digital elements something that a Pokémon Go player will know too well.

MIXED REALITY:
To simplify, it is a blend of Real and Virtual surroundings to build new visualizations where people and real-life objects coexist and interact with creatures, devices and landscapes in the digital world. It is also known as Hybrid Reality. A unique feature of Mixed Reality is that it allows its users to move through the real and virtual world both at the same time and with ease.

APPLICATION OF MIXED REALITY:
Mixed Reality is expected to be pitched as a gaming podium in its early days. However, it has not limited itself to the gaming podium but has also been integrated into various applications in a large variety of industries including entertainment, healthcare, aviation and education, manufacturing and similar others. It is also being tested by military authorities for combat training by various nations.

MR vs VR:
VR had been promoted as the next big thing in consumer tech which somehow failed to capture the imagination of consumers the way smartphones have been doing over the past decades. The giant key players of VR are Facebook, HTC, Sony, who have highly invested in new technology with devices like PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift.

So, what exactly is VR and how is it different from its two cousins?

Virtual Reality – A technology that uses computer-generated images to create a realistic virtual environment, which can be experienced and interacted with by people in the real world thereby making them feel that they are actually a part of the virtual setup. Specialized equipment is required to experience VR. Once you get the set up you will be able to look around the artificial world generated by the software, move about in it and interact with virtual elements giving you the feel like as if you really were a part of the virtual world.

Difference:
VR creates an environment or surrounding that is entirely artificial while MR unifies real objects with virtual elements. Part or bits of Mixed Reality is actually ‘real’ while Virtual Reality has nothing connected to reality.

MR vs AR:
Now that we are aware of the difference between Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality let’s have a look at the difference between Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality.

About two years ago Milgram and Kishino defined Mixed Reality: “MR lies anywhere between the extrema Virtuality Continuum” To simplify the tech jargons we can say that Mixed Reality encircles everything from Augmented Virtuality to Augmented Reality which are the two terminuses of the tech world.

As the name suggests Augmented Reality is one end of the Mixed reality spectrum. It includes more of ‘reality’ than ‘virtuality’ whereas ‘Augmented Virtuality’ is all about the virtual world that is ‘augmented’ by the inclusion of real world objects.

FEW INDUSTRY IMPLEMENTATIONS OF AR AND VR:
Healthcare: Ranging from 3-D operating theatre to decentralized mental health treatments, AR and VR are thought to have widespread applications. Virtual organ models help surgeons prepare well for delicate surgeries.

Branding & Marketing: VR and AR are known to save time and money in zones like design reviews, client presentations, collaborations etc. Marketing and branding communication expressed through a VR or AR headset is likely to be highly effectual. This is because the experience is highly engaging, personalized and devoid of any distractions.

Entertainment: VR headsets have been a blessing for the inventors of video games. The reason for this is because they provide new opportunities for hypnotic content.

Education: VR and AR could transfigure the education market through hypnotic learning in both primary and higher education.

CONCLUSION:
Mixed Reality promises to bring the best of Virtual and Augmented reality by blending advanced optics, motion sensors and cutting-edge software. It will open a whole new world of possibilities by bringing games, apps and interactions that we are yet to experience.