Mixed Reality – A Brief OverviewAugust 22, 2020
So what exactly is mixed reality? To cut a very long and drawn out story short, the difference between augmented reality, virtual reality, and Mixed Reality technology is simply this: Augmented Reality (AR), when an image is overlaid on the current physical environment; Mixed Reality (MR), when the image overlaps with the physical environment in some way. As a result, AR experiences are more realistic. For example, Google has used AR to give its Street View cars a three-dimensional feel of the road by overlaying an image of the street with data obtained from satellites.
AR technology allows you to interact with virtual information. This is achieved through the use of image-recognition software that can identify images of cars, buildings, trees, or anything else that may be relevant to the current user of the software. This is then used to allow the user to interact with virtual objects by pointing, clicking, dragging, and other virtual techniques. Mixed Reality technology enables this interaction to be done in real time. The technology allows two different images, one in the foreground and another in the background, to be mixed together in such a way that they form a more realistic 3D scene. For example, if a user is driving down the road and sees a billboard that says “Buy a Toyota,” the software recognizes that this is an advertisement and overlays an image of a Toyota on top of the highway. When the user clicks on the Toyota image in the right hand corner of the screen, the billboard is replaced with the Toyota billboard.
This is just one example of how AR technology can be used to help us. In fact, AR has the potential to change the world as we know it by allowing users to see their homes in 3D and interact with things in a virtual fashion. This is a great thing for many people, especially those who have not had the chance to experience a home based internet experience. I remember getting my first internet service from dial up a few years ago and being amazed at the graphics on my computer screen.
Virtual reality technology has been around for decades. In the late 70s, the movie “The Thing” featured a team of scientists who played a virtual character fighting off a killer robot using a combination of video game strategy and holographic technology. The idea of augmented reality or MR is similar in that it uses visual information and virtual images to make the user experience something in a more real, or even mystical way. The idea is very reminiscent of the way a child sees an animal, object or person and understands how to react to it, and why it is behaving.
This is exactly why you need to play a lot of video games. Playing games is a perfect way to simulate and use Mixed Reality technology. You can go into a room full of virtual rooms, complete with all of the furniture and decorations, but nothing really feels like there. you’re actually there.
This allows the user to use their imagination and get a feel for the objects, and people, without actually having to actually touch or feel them. There are plenty of websites and blogs dedicated to this technology, so check them out for further information on the future of virtual reality.