We develop solutions with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Technologies referred to as immersive technologies and described with the term Extended Reality (XR).
Virtual reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality. Immersive technologies with fancy names that are extending our reality. When reading about recent development in tech, future trends in e-commerce or productivity opportunities within manufacturing, these technologies will for sure be a part of the discussion. But making a clear distinction between VR, AR and MR can sometimes be found difficult and searching the internet for the answers might be even harder.
To understand the different technologies, we use the bigger picture and the umbrella term Extended Reality (XR). X could be seen as an arbitrary letter, while R stands for reality. XR therefore describes all immersive technologies that span over the spectrum between our real world and the virtual world.
With Meta, previously known as Facebook Inc, announcing in 2021 that their change of name is meant to describe their focus on the Metaverse, the term quickly rose to one of 2021's main buzzwords. With all this buzz, yet still many years from a point in time where the Metaverse Mark Zuckerberg describes as his Metaverse, we should all be careful with our interpretation of different perspectives and explanations. Some argue that it is and will be one, open and shared network. Other that it is different, virtual universes that is reachable from any device. Only time will surely tell, but surely will XR be a part of it. And surely, Mixtive will be a part of the future Metaverse.
Augmented Reality (AR) exists close to our real world and means that digital 3D elements, or objects, are added onto it and thus augmenting the user's reality. This digital layer is added and observed through devices as smartphones and tablets using the built-in cameras, as well as through AR-glasses like those from Nreal or Microsoft.
An often referred to strength in AR's potential diffusion is its fewer requirements, when compared to VR and its needed headsets that can be rather expensive. As a result of this, AR has seen a high commercial interest and is now a viewed as a trendier technology, predicted to overtake the immersive market in a few years. The app Pokémon Go, a mobile game passing 1 billion downloads in 2019, is the most recognized example of an AR technology use case. Snapchat, the image and video messaging app, delivers over 4 billion snaps a day, many of which are sent with filters and yes, those filters are AR applied to your face.
Building on the idea of filters, Mixtive now helps companies to show their products using AR, for example as the e-commerce Qvesarum does with their custom-made doors. Accessed through the website, with web-AR, real-world objects like furniture are easily displayed and experienced in an augmented reality, with AR. Ikea did it first with the app IKEA Place, but we and many others help every company do it. Read more how we work with AR in e-commerce here.
As mentioned in the example of Qvesarum, it is possible to access AR functionality without a native app downloaded from the Appstore or Google play. The technology is referred to as Web AR, web-AR or web-based AR, and it means that through a browser like the iPhone's Safari, the user can through one click on a e-commerce site view a product in AR in just a matter of seconds. The technology is still in great development, yet already shows incredible impact on the AR adoption and diffusion. It is more lightweight, easier produced than a native-app, and mainly depending on the accessibility of 3D-models.
Mixed Reality, MR, is something people seem to have different definitions for, however simply something in the mix of the XR-spectrum. At Mixtive, we look at is as a smarter version of AR. A layer of predetermined information, displayed over the reality with help of a smartphone is defined as AR, meanwhile a layer of interactive, real-time produced content displayed through HoloLens 2 can be defined as Mixed Reality. Also, if the 3D-model or object in real-time is interacting with the surroundings in real-time, like a bouncing ball rolling down the street would, we also view it as a mixed reality.
Virtual Reality, VR, is often recognized these days. It lets you walk on the moon, ride roller coasters and try to put out massive fires, straight from your couch with just a headset.
VR has for many years been both praised and criticized, but pioneers have been pushing the technology since the early 90’s, and still does. Applications exist across all industries and the most mature one is argued to be within entertainment. The gaming experience with a VR-headset is drastically different from others. However, the big breakthrough and impact on society has only recently seen progress, and mostly within healthcare, education and manufacturing.
VR enables for doctors to practise surgeries before meeting with patients, for distant individuals to engage in virtual meetings and for young students to immerse with virtually alive dinosaurs. VR is engaging and fun, and we do VR for communication, collaboration and education.
Mixed Reality, MR, is easily said something people seem to have different definitions for, however simply something in between the augmented and virtual reality. At Mixtive, we look at it as a blend of reality and virtual reality, with augmented elements that are harder to distinguish than in an augmented reality. A layer of predetermined information, displayed over the reality with help of a smartphone is defined as AR, meanwhile a layer of interactive, real-time produced content displayed through Hololens 2 can be defined as Mixed Reality.
At Mixtive, we work with both AR, MR and VR, even though we don’t put emphasis on their definitions. With our platform ARcall, we enable all three immersive technologies and see Mixed Reality in the case when people in different places in real-time produce AR-elements that others can see in AR or VR. Read more about ARcall here or contact us to learn more about the technology.