Mixed Reality (MR) (sometimes called hybrid reality) is an independent concept, MR combines the best of both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). When used to classify the larger scope of reality technologies, it refers to the coverage of all possible variations and compositions of real and virtual objects.
Explained in a simple way, in MR you can see virtual objects just like you can in AR, but these objects can also interact with the real world. In a sense, mixed reality is a more immersive and interactive type of augmented reality.
AR and VR have been constantly on the rise in recent years. They are steadily developing to have the potential of disrupting and revolutionizing industries such as healthcare, education, communications, manufacturing, real estate, and finance. It is this increasing influence on our everyday processes that hold the key to AR and VR transforming the world.
AR, VR and MR technology have the potential of becoming as influential as the Cloud or Block Chain technologies. In fact, experts predict that revenues from them will hit markets to $162 billion by 2020.
This significant growth is fuelled by the production of more consumer-friendly and useful AR & VR applications that can be used on a daily basis. For example, movies, gaming systems, and educational institutions are projected to implement these disruptive technologies that will enhance the user experience.
Of all the three ‘realities’, MR is the one least known, but ironically, perhaps, has the easiest path to consumers, because MR combines the best aspects of VR and AR.
The aim of MR is to unite the best characteristic of VR and AR. So mixed reality can include augmented reality, augmented virtuality, and other mixed alliances. MR anchors apparently solid virtual objects in a user’s real world. Therefore, they appear real to the user. Take for example The Weather Channel, and how they are using MR to communicate the dangers of natural hazards, before they hit.
- Types of mixed reality:
MR Continuum. Covers the whole range from a completely real and natural environment, to a completely virtual environment.
MR Independent. In these environments, real-life objects and virtual objects coexist and interact in real time.
- Opportunities of MR
Mixed Reality take us one step closer to the future described in science fiction stories. So what industries can use mixed reality and get all its potential.
E-Learning: Provide interactive experiential learning and bring remote learning to the next level. They will provide a more immersive learning experience where students can connect with abstract concepts and turn them into tangible realities. They are widely utilized for training aviation, engineering, geography, and biology students.
Manufacturing Industry: MR technology facilitates manufacturing processes by providing workers with real-time assistance. Workers can see holographic instructions right in front of their eyes so they always know what to do. This reduces the risk of human error and substantially improves quality. MR is also helpful for maintenance and repairs, particularly in industries that require expertise and precision. Manufacturing companies have already started testing mixed reality technology in action. Renault Trucks uses MR to control quality at one of its factories.
Retail and Online Industry: Mixed reality for enhancing various business applications, have the ability to transform our daily lives. Applications are combined with IOT to provide an overall improved the user experience.
In particular, retail and other service-oriented businesses will use these technologies to create more immersive user experiences for their customers. Online stores are likely to implement AR & VR & MR technologies that will bridge the gap between their physical store counterparts. This means that visiting an online store will likely become much the same as entering a brick and mortar store to purchase the same product.
Real Estate Industry: MR technologies have a great impact in this industry. With their help, people can inspect property without actually being present physically. These technologies are changing people’s experience of home buying, building and selling.
VR headsets allow potential buyers to tour properties from anywhere in the world, they also can include functionality that allow them to open doors, explore property amenities, and rearrange furniture. AR provides interactive experience, people can customize home colors, furniture, and scale long before a buying process.
Travel Industry: MR technologies can give people a realistic preview of their destination and form their expectations. It can also improve people’s experience with hotels, airlines and museums.
Google Earth VR, allows users to walk around any random city in the world. The app itself is free and with the help of a Cardboard headset you can enter the virtual world.
Marriott Hotels has consistently pushed the boundaries of innovation in technology and began a service that can provide guests with a Samsung Gear VR . The headset has a number of virtual experiences set around the world.
Virtual Museum Tours. In the Smithsonian, you can book a virtual tour, it allows you to completely immerse in the environment of museums, walking the halls and look at pieces from any angle while listening to an expert’s narrative.
Entertainment Industry: MR movie theaters is going to change the concept of cinema, so people will watch a movie entirely in the virtual world. There probably won’t be any big screens, only comfortable chairs and headsets.
VR Coasters in theme parks, combines traditional rides with virtual reality. With the use of a head-mounted display, riders can be transported to different fantastic environments. This type of entertainment provides more a convincing and immersive experience.
TV AR is naturally the next step for the industry, sports games, TV shows. Content will appear all around the set.
MR has enormous potential to help businesses and their employees work smarter, faster, and better. By bringing information into our world, when and where we need it most, MR adds a new dimension of creativity, teamwork, and security to the modern workplace.