DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VIRTUAL, AUGMENTED AND MIXED REALITY
> What is Virtual Reality?
As per Wikipedia, “Virtual reality (VR) is a computer technology that uses virtual reality headsets, sometimes in combination with physical spaces or multi-projected environments, to generate realistic images, sounds, and other sensations that simulate a user’s physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment. A person using virtual reality equipment is able to ‘look around’ the artificial world, and with high quality, VR moves around in it and interact with virtual features or items.”
VR replaces your whole worldview with a simulation in some way or another. Usually, the effect is created by VR headsets that consist of head-mounted goggles with a screen in front of the eyes. Facebook’s Oculus, Samsung’s Gear, or Google Cardboard is all VR devices — they involve looking into a headset with lenses that look at a virtual screen. In the simplest of terms, the virtual screen has a stereoscopic view which the eye adjusts to see as a 3D image.
Virtual reality replaces your world with a virtual one — the headset tracks where you are looking and reflects those movements in the virtual display. VR makes you completely immersed in another world and blocks everything else.
Wikipedia description goes: “Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are ‘augmented’ by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called computer-mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer.”
Simply speaking, AR supplements your world with digital objects of any sort. Google Glass is an AR head, overlays data, 3D objects and video into your vision in some way or another. All this while continuing to let you see the world around you. Airline pilot helmets that display data within the pilot’s view as they fly are AR headsets.
> What is Mixed Reality?
According to Wikipedia, “Mixed reality (MR), sometimes referred to as hybrid reality, is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real-time.”
Thus, MR integrates digital objects into your world making it look as if they are really there. It is somewhere between AR and VR. Mixed reality takes place not only in the physical or the virtual world but is a mix of actual reality and virtual reality, encompassing both augmented reality and augmented reality via immersive technology.
MR produces new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real-time. The best example of MR is Microsoft Hololens.