Virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, 360-video, immersive experiences…the most common question I get…what the heck is the difference?
Some of you will already be familiar, but to others…these may seem like buzzwords right now.
So let’s break them down.
AR v MR v VR
What is the difference? Well, the truth is that they exist along a spectrum. It ranges from adding small cues to real-world experiences (AR) to expansive virtual worlds that allow customers to be fully immersed (VR).
Real World (duh!)
At one end, we have the real world. The tangible experiences we are more familiar with.
Even though this end of the scale seems obvious, it is important to still consider it because sometimes, there is nothing quite like it!
Augmented Reality (AR)
A little further along, we have Augmented Reality. AR is a live view of a physical, real-world environment (most commonly by using your mobile phone and its camera), with an overlay of 3D elements and graphics. The real world isn’t blocked out, users can see the real world as well as virtual objects.
THE BEST example of AR? Pokemon Go. The game that took hold of footpaths and landmarks around the world in 2016. It uses the mobile camera to provide a view of the real world and then adds virtual characters and tasks overtop.
Another great example is the Ikea Place App….
Mixed Reality (MR)
Next along the spectrum, we have Mixed Reality (MR). This is where the user can interact a more with the virtual objects and systems and it combines more of the virtual and real environments. For this you currently need more than a mobile phone, and the most known MR hardware is the Microsoft Hololens.
Virtual Reality (VR)
At the far end, we have Virtual Reality. VR is an umbrella term for all immersive experiences. This is where you pop on a headset and you are transported to a virtual world, the real world is blocked out. What you experience in headset could be 360-degree video, or a computer-generated world, or a blend of the two.
VR requires specialist equipment, ranging from the basic Google Cardboard option, through to high-end headsets from Oculus and HTC.
The usual headsets these days immerse your sense of sight and sound, but with complementary technologies to cover haptic (touch), and even smell and no doubt, eventually taste…the immersion experience is only going to increase.
So, there you go!
If you want to know more, contact Laura at Lateral Vision – let’s talk!