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Extended Reality(ER) 101: Virtual Reality (VR) vs. Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) and Cinematic Reality (CR)

Aug 20, 2021 | By: Pratip Biswas

3 Minutes Read

1. Introduction

Over the years, Extended Reality (XR) has transformed how humans interact with technology. What life will be like in the next 10 years is truly beyond our imagination. From real-time 3D games, online shopping experience to weather forecasting, extended reality technology has grown exponentially. ‘Extended reality’ (XR) is really an umbrella term that describes a host of digital and physical experiences. It includes technologies like AR, VR, MR and CR. It is interesting to note that the market size of XR is estimated to touch $209 billion by 2022, which is 8 times of what it was back in 2020. (Source: Visual Capitalist)

VR vs AR, MR, CR What's the Difference for Business

To know more about how each of these technologies affect businesses, we have conducted an in-depth research for you.</sp

2. What is Virtual Reality (VR)? | Utility of Virtual Reality  – Virtual Games & Others

VR is an immersive, visual and sound-based experience using computer-generated simulations. Therefore, true to its name, virtual reality technology makes you feel like you’re in a different world. Users can experience this ‘pretend’ world with devices like virtual reality headsets and goggles.

The sounds, visuals, and sensations that create this virtual environment are developed by computer softwares. So, VR will shut out the real world and transport you to an imaginary world within the comfort of your own room. Besides VR games, this technology is also used for training in the medical field, army and sports.

3. What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

While VR is an immersive experience, AR technology blends virtual objects with our reality. It keeps the real world central while augmenting it with digital elements.

Growing up, did you ever wonder what it would feel like to experience Harry Potter in real time? Today, companies have developed AR games where gamers can immerse themselves in a pre-created world that is superimposed over a real-world environment. So now, Harry Potter fans can experience the wizarding world anywhere, in their own time.

Nowadays, most brands use AR in marketing strategies to personalise customer experiences on digital platforms. (Source: The Drum)

4. What is Mixed Reality Technology: A Blend of AR & VR

As the name suggests, Mixed Reality is somewhere in between VR and AR. It lets you immerse yourself and interact with an imaginary world with one foot in the real world. Some common examples of MR would be Snapchat filters and the famous Pokemon Go game that had taken the world by storm in 2016.

While AR is completely screen-based, MR connects you to the mixed reality portal. This lets you experience the virtual world within the comfort of your own home. According to statistics, AR glasses (also used in MR technology) sales worldwide is going to increase from 410 thousand units in 2021 to 3.9 million units in 2024. (Source: Statista)

Therefore, MR will become a powerful tool to solve business problems and improve accuracy of operations. A great example of mixed reality would be the healthcare sector. The MR technology will be adopted to train surgeons through surgery simulations to improve surgical accuracy.

5. The Concept of ‘Cinematic Reality’

An unknown Florida-based tech company called Magic Leaps had first introduced the concept of cinematic reality (CR). The firm had raised over half a billion dollars from Google and other investors. The idea behind this technology was to provide users with a cinematic 3D experience in 360 degrees and immersive audio. Unlike VR, when users wear the CR goggles, they will have a cinematic experience but won’t have control over the virtual setting.

Currently, the entertainment industry is still exploring this technology. (Source: Premium Beat). Filmmakers consider CR to be a great tool for storytelling which will help to advance filming and movie production techniques. 

6. Conclusion: XR is Changing the World

Extended reality is evolving rapidly and shifting the entire course of our future. Although companies are still exploring the various XR technologies, they have already started implementing AR, VR and MR. Such immersive technologies are problem solving, efficient and cost-effective, generating higher revenue in the process.

Get ready for XR to completely change your life in the next couple of years. You’ll see the technology conquering domains like healthcare, customer engagement, employee training, aerospace and countless others.

Interested in similar trendy topics?  Let us know what we should work on next. We would love to know your thoughts in the comments below

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Pratip Biswas

Pratip Biswas

Founder, Unified Infotech

I am an Entrepreneur and a Tech Geek with more than 1500 successful projects launched. I share my experience through my love for writing and help other entrepreneurs reach their business goals.

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