The Differences Between AR, VR, and MR

Designing Digitally

04/15/2019

Innovative Training

Apple’s ARKit framework allows its users to seamlessly experience augmented reality (AR). Facebook has put in a huge amount of effort to bring virtual reality (VR) to its audience. Microsoft uses mixed reality (MR) to blend the real and virtual world.

So, what are these new ‘realities’? What makes them different? Let’s explore.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality refers to the overlay of digital content onto a real environment. These virtual objects can be in various forms such as videos, images, interactive data, and more. Learners can use their smartphones to run these AR applications. The most popular example of AR is Pokemon Go. The phone camera captures the real environment and the virtual objects are overlaid.  You may also use smart glasses or headsets to create this type of experience. But, unlike VR, these glasses are not fully immersive. They just overlay digital objects like Google Glass. With AR, users can visualize products in their room before buying it. It can provide help while troubleshooting an air-conditioner or dishwasher. In the manufacturing sector, AR gadgets help reduce errors and enhance productivity.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is an immersive but artificial digital environment that replicates the real world. With VR, the learners experience artificial sights and sounds that make them feel that they are present in that environment. The main aim of VR is to make the user feel that they are in a place without actually being present there. VR solutions require special headsets that learners can either connect it to a computer or use standalone versions. HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Oculus Rift are some examples of PC-connected headsets. Standalone headsets usually need a smartphone to provide the experience. Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, and Google Cardboard allow users to insert the smartphone to the headset.

VR can revolutionize the education sector by making learning more immersive. It provides learners with a safe place to hone their skills without causing any real-world damage. In the healthcare sector, doctors utilize VR for an in-depth look into the human anatomy. They also use it for their surgical training.

Mixed Reality

Mixed or hybrid reality helps users see virtual reality much like AR does. But, these objects can interact with the real world too. A different kind of MR is where users can interact with the virtual environment overlaid on the real world. Holographic headsets by Microsoft HoloLens are effective for viewing MR elements. They are great at placing digital content in the real world. Immersive mixed reality sets are available from HP and Acer too. They have the ability to hide the real world and replace it with a digital environment. MR allows learners to view both – holograms and the real world. This helps them better understand the content.

VR is one of the newest technologies in the training industry, and without a doubt, the most immersive. However, augmented and mixed reality usage will continue to grow and impact learning as well in the future. When applied in the relevant context, it provides employees with immersive and enhanced learning experiences. At Designing Digitally, Inc. we are experts at creating immersive training solutions. We create learning solutions that meet your learner objectives and align with your company goals.

If you are interested in creating an innovative training solution for your employees, contact our team of experts today to learn more.

Related Article: How Can AR and VR Be Used in the Workplace

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