Differences between virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality

virtual reality

Last Updated on October 8, 2021 by Kelly Jhonson

Concepts such as virtual reality augmented reality, or mixed reality, have broken into our day-to-day without us sometimes knowing very well what the difference is between one and the other. And it is that the similarities between them, make us not know very well, where one ends to start another. We help you to clear your doubts in a simple way so that you know what each one consists of and what its applications are today.

Definition of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality

With simple words, we help you to know these concepts that will undoubtedly become part of our life more and more frequently.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality is used to describe an environment that has been created digitally. What we see, hear and surround us is not something tangible. In order to enjoy this fictional scenario, we need virtual reality glasses or a helmet that isolates us from where we are and immerse us in that parallel virtual reality. We can immerse ourselves in the ocean, travel to the moon, or stroll along a Caribbean beach, without leaving our home. A doctor can simulate an operation, a pilot a dangerous flight, or an engineer the city that he himself has planned.

What is augmented reality?

What augmented reality does is incorporate digitally created elements into the real environment in which we find ourselves. It is as if we add new elements to the physical place in which we find ourselves.

Suddenly we can be in the street and through some augmented reality system we see an elephant crossing the pedestrian crossing. Unlike virtual reality, we do not completely isolate ourselves from the physical environment in which we move. It is a more recent term but that we can already enjoy on our smartphones. Who has not seen someone on the street with their mobile phone looking for a Pokémon, through the Pokémon Go application? Those little beings that suddenly cross your path or hide around your house. Unlike virtual reality, it is not necessary to enjoy it with specific accessories. In this case, as we have mentioned, our Smartphone can offer us this experience. The Google Glass also allows us to see what we have around us thanks to its transparent glass while offering us the possibility of superimposing any other virtual element.

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What is Mixed Reality?

The concept of Mixed reality is often confused with that of augmented reality. In reality, we are facing a clear evolution of augmented reality, since it allows us to create virtual worlds without completely disconnecting ourselves from the real scenario in which we find ourselves. It is certainly a concept in full evolution, allowing us to enjoy the best of the realities previously explained.

On the one hand, you have the possibility of printing digital objects in the place where you are, you can be, on the contrary, totally immersed in a virtual world that absorbs and isolates you from the real one, or lastly, you have the option of taking the virtual world, real objects. A lot of possibilities that you can enjoy through helmets equipped with a camera. This camera is in charge of reproducing the reality that surrounds you or immersing you in a completely fictional world.

What is Mixed Reality?

Mixed reality is undoubtedly the option that the technology companies of the moment are betting on, as it is a solution that offers multiple alternatives.

Practical applications of these different realities

Despite their differences, both some realities and others can have the same applications. Its use in professional or leisure environments is already a reality. We previously talked about the use of augmented reality in the Pokémon Go game, as a materialization of this technology in the field of leisure.

This same reality can be used, for example, to see how our wall would be painted in a certain color, how a certain look would suit us, or how a sofa would be in our living room. We are therefore talking about the use of augmented or mixed reality in professional environments.

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Virtual reality is used for example to create simulations of airplane flights, medical operations, or technological projects, the options are as many as our imagination wants to create.

Therefore, a wide range of possibilities opens up for these technologies, which are already being committed to by large companies such as Google, Samsung, Sony, or Microsoft. Digital reality is already present in our daily lives, and everything seems to indicate that the practical use of these technologies is increasing.

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