Technology is shaping the world, with each passing day people are coming up with new ideas and innovations to change how we do things. From robots to driverless cars, the world is on a road to some major breakthroughs in the coming future. One technology that has baffled a number of people is the virtual reality technology and with it comes augmented reality and mixed reality.
The technology is not new but has gained a huge success over the last decade and we believe that more is yet to come. It has already started to revolutionize the way we do a lot of things in the world. Many people are however unaware of the differences between virtual, augmented and mixed reality and that is what we aim to give light to in this article.
1. Virtual reality
You probably think that you might never get a chance to visit mars, see the Eiffel tower, go to the moon or sing your favorite on stage with your favorite artist, but with virtual reality all these are possible. That is the magic this technology brings to the world. So what is virtual reality anyway? Virtual reality is a technology that imitates or rather replicates a fictional or real environment and then manages to simulate you into that environment allowing you to interact with it.
The environment feels so real because your brain is being tricked into thinking that that is actually the environment around you. Immersive is often the term used to describe the experience of virtual reality.
You will of course require visors or VR blocks to be able to experience all these. The technology is already being used to do a lot of activities. For example, when air force pilots are practicing, this technology is now used to simulate flying, shooting and ejecting. This is very essential as they can be taught all these without putting their lives in danger. The experience they get form these virtual reality is similar to that of a real environment. As of 2016, we have seen a rise in Virtual reality products with Google, Apple, Sony and Samsung all wanting a piece of this technology. This has led to a rise in VR stocks and hence something you can look to invest in.
2. Augmented reality
Augmented reality is different from virtual reality in that it adds digital elements into the existing world/reality. So this means that you get to see something that is not really there appearing into this world. These elements are normally augmented by a computer generated sensory input which could be sound, GPS data or graphics among others. Augmented reality also leaves you more aware of all that is happening around you unlike virtual reality which takes you to a whole new world.
A great example of augmented reality is the popular Pokemon Go. With Pokemon Go, you can place any pokemon character you like say Pikachu in any environment you’re in. So let’s say you’re in the beach, you can use your phone’s camera and place Pikachu right on the beach with you. You don’t even need goggles to do this. Another great example of augmented reality worth giving a mention is the Snapchat lenses. All in all, this is simply what augmented reality does; it brings the digital element to the real world.
3. Mixed reality
Mixed reality is as the name states, it combines the aspects of Virtual reality and augmented reality. It brings interaction between the real world and the digital world. A great example of mixed reality is the Hololens. Hololens is a pair of mixed reality goggles which was made by Microsoft. These smartglasses allow you to see holograms inside the environment you’re in, whether in your living room or bedroom. The holograms could be your windows apps or any other thing. You can then customize these holograms and place them anywhere in your house. So it retains that aspect of interaction. You should also notice that for mixed reality, you will need a lens to be able to see the holograms unlike augmented reality.
So there you have it, that is the difference between virtual, augmented and mixed reality. The thing to remember is that virtual reality gives you a more immersive experience and takes you to a new world, while the rest retain aspects of the real world. All of them are however useful in their own way.