What is Extended Reality (XR)?

what is extended reality?

What is Extended Reality? – Have you ever watched The Matrix? or any other films that show future humans living in a virtual world.

Imagine what it would feel like to live and work in our world perhaps in 2030 and beyond. Thanks to the advancements in the extended reality technologies (XR), we could live a life we’ve never experienced before.

Extended Reality or XR is a term used to describe immersive technologies that can merge both physical and virtual worlds. In the future, you might be able to shop for a house anywhere in the world as if you were there on-site.

As stated by Bernard Marr in Forbes.com “By 2022, the XR market is expected to reach $209 billion, which is eight times what it is today. This tremendous growth could mean the realities of our 2030 lives are beyond our imagination’s ability to grasp”.

It seems like that XR technologies might change how we live day-to-day in the upcoming years.

Three main components of Extended Reality

First of all, to understand XR we need to know the three main components inside the XR itself. The three components consist of:

  1. Virtual Reality
  2. Augmented Reality, and
  3. Mixed Reality

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality or VR applications use headsets to bring users the feeling of full immersion in a computer-simulated reality. These VR headsets generate realistic images and sounds, which engage the human senses to create an interactive virtual world.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality or AR is technically not a new reality, but a layer of reality on top of your existing one. Rather than immersing users as what VR does, AR commonly relies on a device.

Devices like a camera in usual are used to overlay digital graphics and sounds into our real-world environment. Pokemon Go, Social Media filters and now Minecraft Earth are commonplace examples of the AR technology.

Mixed Reality

Mixed reality (MR), or also known as hybrid reality, is a combination from both the physical and virtual worlds. It’s a hybrid environment where virtual objects (as in AR) can be mapped to the physical environment. Mixed reality describes virtual objects that are integrated into a physical view.

Then what is the difference between MR and AR?. Rather than displaying simple images like AR, MR puts fully digital objects that are trackable and interactable in the user’s “physical” environment.

Rather than displaying simple images like Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality strives to put fully digital objects that are trackable and intractable in the user’s environment.

Conclusions for XR

XR is the umbrella term used for VR, AR, and MR, as well as other realities that future technology would certainly bring to us. XR covers the full spectrum of both real and virtual environments.

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