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What Is Mixed Reality?

What Is Mixed Reality

Date First Published: 8th April 2024

Topic: Computer Systems

Subtopic: Computer Software

Article Type: Computer Terms & Definitions

Difficulty: Medium

Difficulty Level: 5/10

Learn about what mixed reality is in this article.

Mixed reality combines elements of virtual reality and augmented reality. It blends both the physical world and computer-generated elements, which can be interacted with. For example, Windows Mixed Reality and similar technologies analyse an office setting and all surfaces that are identified within it, such as walls and tables. After analysing the environment, mixed reality can be used to modify it and allow virtual items to interact with those surfaces.

Uses Of Mixed Reality

Mixed reality is used in a wide range of industries. These include:

  • Healthcare - In healthcare, mixed reality could be used to train students or for immediate resource access in time-sensitive situations, such as surgeries. In a learning environment, students could use mixed reality to follow visual demonstrations of care steps and apply them in real-time on a training model.
  • Education - In education, AR has been used to mimic historical battles, providing an unparalleled immersive experience for students and potentially enhanced learning experiences. In addition, AR has been effective in university education for health science and medical students within fields that benefit from 3D representations of models, such as physiology and anatomy.
  • Entertainment - For example, players can travel through obstacle courses or plant a virtual garden inside their living room. with mixed reality.
  • Product content management - New forms of interactive product content management have emerged with mixed reality. 3D digital renderings of normally 2D products have increased the reachability and effectiveness of consumer-product interaction.

Difference Between Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality

Unlike mixed reality, virtual reality is completely virtual and replaces the user's surroundings with a virtual environment. Standard virtual reality systems can either use virtual reality headsets or multi-projected environments to generate realistic images, sounds, and other sensations that mimic a user's physical presence in a virtual environment and block out their physical surroundings. Mixed reality combines elements of virtual and augmented reality by starting with a physical space and placing visual objects around it.

Mixed reality is closer to augmented reality than virtual reality. Like mixed reality, augmented reality uses a real environment. It "augments" reality by overlaying computer-generated content in the real-world environment. However, the user cannot interact directly with virtual objects. Mixed reality describes environments in which both real and virtual objects can be interacted with in real-time. This requires a headset that has either a transparent lens or a camera so that the user can still see the real world.


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