The realm of extended reality (XR) is prevalent throughout our modern world. Whether you’re using VR for gaming, AR for e-commerce, or anything similar, it’s clear that these technologies are useful and entertaining, and the same goes for mixed reality (MR). #
So, what exactly is mixed reality, and how is it being used today?
What Is Mixed Reality (MR)?
The most popular kind of extended reality out there, virtual reality, uses a headset to immerse an individual in a totally virtual world that they can interact with, often by using a controller. Alternatively, augmented reality doesn’t require a headset and involves superimposing virtual elements on top of a real-world layer seen through a camera lens.
Mixed reality lands between these two technologies. In a mixed reality setting, virtual elements or objects can still be present but can also be interacted with by the user. This is not the same as virtual reality, as these virtual elements are present in a real-world setting. And it’s not the same as augmented reality because the user can influence virtual objects.
Individuals using mixed reality technology can experience a 360-degree environment and can even see and interact with objects while moving around. Let’s consider some examples to fully understand what it can offer.
When designing a car, having a hands-on element combined with virtual planning can be a big help. This is why mixed reality is now being introduced into automotive design. Imagine being able to view virtual designs while also having the ability to rotate, move, or even alter them in real-time without the need for a mouse, trackpad, or stylus. This is the kind of convenience that mixed reality can provide.
It’s also worth noting that mixed reality is also a blanket term used to refer to all kinds of altered reality technologies. But it’s more commonplace to use the term “extended reality” in such cases.
The potential of mixed reality has certainly been noticed by big tech. Apple and Meta are two prime examples of companies ramping up to release mixed reality headsets in the near future, while Microsoft has already released headsets that use its Holoportation tech and mixed mesh reality platform.
Now, let’s look at how mixed reality is being used in different industries.
How Is Mixed Reality Being Used Today?
1. Home Design
It can often be difficult to imagine what your dream home or room will look like in our minds, so using technology to help in this venture can be greatly beneficial. Mixed reality could one day give regular homeowners the ability to design their homes in a virtual setting so that they know exactly what their space will look like.
Mixed reality home design will allow people to move objects around, try out different furnishings, or even check out different wall and carpet colors, all through a virtual lens. You can already do this using augmented reality on a smartphone app or similar, but the experience isn’t as immersive or realistic.
Learning can sometimes be nothing short of dull, but extended reality now gives schools and colleges the ability to enhance their students’ educational experiences. Using mixed reality, an individual can learn in a far more vivid way, as they can actually interact with whatever their learning about.
This will make it easier for students to learn about a range of different topics, such as anatomy, mechanics, wildlife, and more.
3. Employee Training
Another area wherein mixed reality can be of use is employee training. Some jobs require lengthy amounts of training, which can sometimes be frustrating or even ineffective if done incorrectly. So, by using mixed reality, employees can more thoroughly understand what is required of them and what they need to do by experiencing workplace challenges in a virtual setting. This could be particularly useful in construction, engineering, or customer service positions.
Mixed Reality Harbors a Lot of Potential
Mixed reality could one day prove itself useful in almost every industry out there. Its ability to merge physical and virtual environments in real-time opens the door to a range of possibilities, be it in your work, personal, or academic life. You might find yourself using your own mixed reality headset in the near future!
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