We’d like you to look at mixed reality as a mixture of what we know as the real and virtual world. In MR, these two worlds intertwine on different levels, so there are essentially 4 different categories that we’ll address later on.
Essentially, these levels of mixed reality go from virtual world only slightly appearing in the real world, all the way to the virtual world being the only one. For instance, the less intense levels of MR are those where you’re in your real environment and you can see objects that don’t actually exist. On the other hand, in the absolute virtuality, as the most virtual part of the MR concept, everything you see, hear and feel is computerized.
If you imagine a simple line, it the natural world is on one side of it. It is the real world where nothing is computer-generated. On the opposite side of the line is where the completely virtual environment stands. That’s where everything is completely computer generated. Most importantly, the MR experience gives you the opportunity to lose yourself in different combinations of these two opposites.
In fact, in between these two positions on the line there are two additional worlds. One is the world of augmented reality and the other is the world of augmented virtuality. Even though this sounds a bit confusing, don’t panic, we have all the info you need. After reading this article you’ll be ready to tackle each one of these worlds that are part of the MR concept.
Mixed Reality Continuum Categories
As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are two main environments, one being real and the other virtual, at the opposite side of the MR spectrum. The term for the first one is the real environment, and the second one is virtual reality. You’ve also learned that, in addition to these two, we have something known as augmented reality and augmented virtuality.
Let’s start by explaining every single one of these concepts.
That is the world we live in. Basically, it refers to the natural environment with all living and nonliving things on Earth. It’s you, your family, your possessions and everything you see around you. The most important thing to know here is that in the real environment there is no computerization.
2. Augmented Reality
As far as augmented reality goes, we’re talking about bringing the virtual world into the real one. Augmented reality is closer to the real world than it is to the virtual world. In AR, you would actually stay in the real world while interacting with virtual objects. You can look at it as putting a virtual layer on top of your real-world experience.
3. Augmented Virtuality
The concept of augmented virtuality is something you could look at as the inverted augmented reality. Essentially, in AV, we’re talking about inserting real objects into the virtual environment. So, you can consider it a real layer put on top of the virtual world.
4. Virtual Reality
The last one in the spectrum is the VR world. And when it comes to the VR technology, it’s all about losing yourself in the unreal. There are several levels of “unreal” in VR, where total immersion is the highest level of experiencing the world of virtuality. Basically, in the state of total immersion, your brain would accept the virtual environment as real. On top of that, VR allows you to lose yourself in a totally synthetic world. That means that, besides mimicking the real-world experience, it can take you to places that don’t exist in the real environment.
The bottom line is that mixed reality is an incredible digital experience that allows people to interact with intelligent objects of virtual worlds. MR is a concept that will continue growing at a fast pace. And we’re more than happy to discover what kinds of innovation are yet to come from it!