Mixed Reality, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality – What’s the difference?
The world is witnessing the fast-moving technology ever in this 21st century. With this technological advancement, people are striving to make a pace with it and can be able to interpret the meaning of some jargon associated with this advanced technology.
To cut the long story short, here I am with the differences between Mixed Reality vs Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality.
With no more delay, let’s have a look! What is mixed reality vs augmented reality along with Virtual reality.
When I talked about Mixed Reality, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality, you might be brainstorming what kind of “Reality” it is.
Well, Have you ever been in an argument with someone over a specific topic? Did it seem like digit “6” to you and “9” to the other person? More or less, the way we process information and construct reality is unique to each one of us—our genetics, past experiences, etc., shapes the way, we perceive the world.
Humans tend to confuse reality with the physical world and brawl to understand why virtual reality seems so real even when they know it is not.
To understand these technologies, you must have to understand reality as a construct that each of us makes, based on what we perceive from our senses, whether what we perceive comes from the digital or the virtual reality world. The same thing lays impact when we watch movies. Do you remember the last time you laughed or cried while watching a movie? Were you aware of the fact that what you were watching was not real? Yes. Did it make you laugh or cry anyway? If the movie was good, Even though you were very well aware of the fact that you were watching fiction, it felt real at the time.
“It is really important to understand that we are not seeing reality. We are seeing a story that’s being created for us.”
— Patrick Cavanagh, Research Professor, Dartmouth College
When you wear a VR headset, you can experience your presence in a fully digital environment. The digital information that you perceive through your senses, overpowers your reasoning “this is not real.” And for your body, at that moment, it becomes real. And for all these technologies to function, they all need to feel real.
What is Augmented Reality (AR)?
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that permits the superposition of digital elements into the real-world environment. In the Augmented Reality experience, you can witness a composite view of physical or real-world elements and digital elements, there is no interaction between the digital elements and the physical world elements though.
AR experiences have closure to the physical world end of the virtuality continuum. The capability to overlay digital objects onto the physical world is revolutionizing many industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, gaming, and education. For instance, have you ever been to the doctor for a blood test and the nurse couldn’t find your vein? It can be afflicting. What if I say, Augmented Reality technology could help with that?
AccuVein utilizes AR technology to convert the heat signature of a patient’s veins into an image that is superimposed on the skin, making the veins easier for medical experts to locate. This AR technology increases the probability of a successful first-time injection by 350%.
What is Mixed Reality (MR)?
Mixed reality (MR) is a technology that permits not only the superposition of digital elements into the real-world environment but also their interaction. With the emergence of MR technology, the user can see and interact with both the digital elements and the physical ones. hence, Mixed Reality experiences get input from the environment and will transform according to it.
In MR experiences, the enjoyer can interact with both digital and physical elements. MR differs from AR when digital and physical elements don’t interact and from VR when the physical or real world is completely blocked out.
As a UX designer with expertise in MR, you’ll have to master all the possibilities that MR technologies have to offer. Immersive experiences add a new layer to the customer experience and demand you to learn continuously and stay up to date to deliver an excellent user experience.
What is Virtual Reality (VR)?
Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that permits the creation of a fully-immersive digital environment. In your VR experience, the physical or real-world environment is entirely blocked out.
Virtual Reality experiences are located at the fully virtual extreme of the virtuality continuum.
Many people do strive with the fact that VR experiences generate true emotional responses even if you know it’s “fake.” Keep one thing in mind that humans construct reality from the information they receive from their senses, and this is why, even if you are aware that you have a fully digital experience, your bodies respond in the same way.
Typically, Virtual Reality takes advantage of the visual and auditory systems. However, there is an even greater presence of sense and immersion if you add other senses.
The more coherent information we get through our senses, the more immersive the experience we get. As a UX designer, you need to consider the different dimensions of the experience and the particularities of VR technology to build the best possible experience for your user.
Many technologies change our perception of reality by adding digital elements to the physical world to a greater or lesser extent. All these technologies can be located at some point of the virtuality continuum insofar as the digital elements block the real-world environment and their interactive capabilities.
The most important terms to learn to hitch up the potential of these new technologies are:
- Augmented reality (AR) is a view of the real world and physical world with an overlay of digital elements.
- Mixed Reality (MR) is a view of the real world and physical world with an overlay of digital elements where physical and digital elements can interact.
- Virtual reality (VR) is a fully-immersive digital environment.
As all these technologies keep advancing and new ones are emerging, UX designers are required to keep learning and understanding the characteristics of each one to deliver the best possible user experience. If you can clearly distinguish AR, MR, and VR technology, you’ll be able to design experiences that take advantage of each technology and give an excellent boost to your UX career!