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What should you know about mixed reality?

Forget augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR) is set to change the way we think about how the real and the virtual interact. It is the merging of the real and virtual worlds to “produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time” and it has applications across a range of areas from communications to entertainment and logistics. Proponents are saying it can extend the Internet of Things in new directions as well.

Despite the hype, there is controversy about what MR really is and whether it exists at all. In fact, some claim that it is a move by Microsoft to claim augmented reality for its own. There are also varying ideas about what differentiates MR from AR.

 

What is mixed reality?

Daniel Eckert, PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Managing Director of Emerging Technologies, believes that, unlike AR, MR requires a Head Mounted Display (HMD). Rob Minson, CTO at Fracture Reality, explains that MR combines the immersive capabilities of VR – a head-mounted optical device rather than a small mobile phone window – with AR’s ability to bring data into the physical world. This powerful combination makes it a medium suited to both consumer and enterprise domains and marks a new paradigm in the way people interact with an increasingly data-rich world.

Meet one of the early (pre-JavaScript) VR pioneers: VR pioneer Tony Parisi about the future of the industry

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Bianca Wright

Bianca Wright is a UK-based freelance business and technology writer, who has written for publications in the UK, the US, Australia and South Africa. She holds an MPhil in science and technology journalism and a DPhil in Media Studies.

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