Over the past several decades, the relationship between human input and computer input has been well explored. It even has a widely studied discipline known as human computer interaction or HCI. Human input happens through a variety of means including keyboards, mice, touch, ink, voice, and even Kinect skeletal tracking.
A hybrid of both AR and VR, Mixed Reality (MR) is far more advanced than Virtual Reality because it combines the use of several types of technologies including sensors, advanced optics and next gen computing power. All of this technology bundled into a single device will provide the user with the capability to overlay augmented holographic digital content into your real-time space, creating scenarios that are unbelievably realistic and mind-blowing.
Since mixed reality is the blending of the physical world and digital world, these two realities define the polar ends of a spectrum known as the virtuality continuum. For simplicity, we refer to this as the mixed reality spectrum. On the left-hand side we have physical reality in which we, humans, exist. Then on the right-hand side we have the corresponding digital reality.
Augmented virtuality (AV), is a subcategory of mixed reality which refers to the merging of real world objects into virtual worlds.
As an intermediate case in the virtuality continuum, it refers to predominantly virtual spaces, where physical elements, e.g. physical objects or people, are dynamically integrated into, and can interact with, the virtual world in real time. This integration is achieved with the use of various techniques. Often streaming video from physical spaces or using 3-dimensional digitalisation of physical objects.
Mixed reality is used as an independent concept or to classify the spectrum of reality technologies, as referenced in the reality–virtuality continuum. As an independent concept, mixed reality combines the best of both virtual reality and augmented reality. When used to classify the larger scope of reality technologies, it refers to the coverage of all possible variations and compositions of real and virtual objects.
MR aims to combine the best aspects of both virtual reality and augmented reality. It also refers to the entire spectrum of situations that span the continuum between virtual reality and actual reality. In this case, mixed reality can include augmented reality, augmented virtuality, and other mixed configurations.
Mixed Reality will not just be another advanced gaming console to play the latest version of Halo or Madden NFL. Instead, it will add a whole new world of interactions, apps, games and experiences we have yet to imagine. The world around you will become an entirely new canvas for you to play, learn, communicate and interact with.
MR has found its way into a number of applications such as:
- Military Training
- Remote Working
There’s several uses of MR
Communication: Holoportation will allow device users in different cities or countries to sit and interact with each other in the same space virtually, while remaining miles and miles apart.
Education: Below is an example created by Project Esper displaying how medical students will benefit and gain more comprehensive views and interactions with the human anatomy
Entertainment: Microsoft Hololens is already working with the NFL to completely change the way fans can watch and interact with players, other fans, real-time game experiences and its advertisers and sponsors.
Use-cases for this technology are endless: sports, music, television, art, fashion, business, education, medicine, interior design, retail, construction, real estate and virtually everything we do will be affected. During the first evolution, Mixed Reality will replace your mobile device and then slowly start to replace all remaining devices including TV’s, laptops, tablets, etc. All of the content you consume on those other devices will soon become readily available within your new world of Mixed Reality and through one single pair of lenses.