3 min read
AR, VR, MR, XR, and RR... Which one is which?

The rate of technological advancement in the "R" industry is incredible. An increase in the glossary of related terms, unsurprisingly, comes with the territory.
It's not a big deal that some of those terms got mixed up. It's become all too common for clients to approach me by asking about AR services when they really meant VR or vice versa.

As a result, I made this educational information one of the first slides on my pitch deck after a while.

Let's start by defining them.

Virtual Reality (VR) is a type of virtual (VR) You can block out the real world with virtual content. Everything you see has been created digitally. The HMD (Head-Mounted Display) is completely transparent. HTC Vive, meta quest, Sony VR, and Microsoft Mixed Reality are just a few examples. No, that last one isn't MR; it's merely a marketing ploy (screw you, Microsoft).

Augmented Reality (AR) is a type of virtual content that is displayed on top of the real world. You see the world as it is, but there are digital elements floating around in your field of vision. These digital elements have no sense of depth. Even if you are 1cm away from a wall, they are always visible in your view. The HMD has a translucent appearance. Take, for example, Google glasses.

Virtual content that interacts with the real world is referred to as mixed reality (MR). It's possible that this is AR on steroids. MR requires spatial awareness so that it is aware of the real-world mapping and can be programmed to follow it. If a digital object is behind your sofa, for example, it should be hidden. Hololens, Meta 2, and Magic Leap One are three examples.

Because AR and MR have similar visual appearances, they are frequently confused. Spatial awareness is the defining factor.

Extended Reality (XR) is the umbrella term for virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality.

The Real World (RR) Seriously, the real world now requires a term to describe it. Yes, RR denotes the world as you perceive it through your five senses without the use of a head-mounted display.

These are all we require for the time being. Even now, I can't believe in RR. I'm not sure we need another term that creates more confusion than it clarifies.
It may show a Cambrian market explosion. Without a doubt, even the tiniest difference in a new technology will cause the manufacturer to define it differently for marketing.

The 'R' industry has a bright future ahead of it.

Amit Caesar wrote the article:

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