Mixed Reality and Its Uses
As a technologist and inventor, my goal is to create a world where mixed reality is a complement to the real world, rather than a replacement for it. Below, I take a brief look at mixed reality and its amazing potential.
What is Mixed Reality?
Mixed reality allows you to interact with the physical and virtual worlds simultaneously. It is similar to augmented reality and virtual reality. In fact, you can consider mixed reality to be the culmination of augmented and virtual reality.
Virtual reality was the first technology to gain traction. It’s often accessed through a headset. Virtual reality fully immerses you in a virtual world. Your physical movements will allow you to move in this virtual space.
Virtual reality can be used in many ways, including recreation, education, training, and healthcare. One example of virtual reality is video games. Resident Evil 4 VR and Blade and Sorcery are a few examples.
Virtual reality is accessed through a headset or VR glasses.
As I know, augmented reality is the opposite end of the spectrum. Instead of immersing you in a digital world, it brings digital objects into the physical world.
Pokemon Go is a great example of augmented reality. Snapchat filters are another example.
Augmented reality has a range of applications, including education and training as well.
It’s also being used by many online retailers. Want to know what a particular lipstick color or eye glasses will look like without leaving the house? Augmented reality provides the answer and is
Mixed reality can be thought of as augmented reality 2.0. Like virtual reality, you can access mixed reality with a VR headset or goggles. However, like augmented reality, the goal is to bring digital content into the real world.
Accessing Mixed Reality
There are two ways to access mixed reality. These are holographic devices, and fully immersive devices.
Holographic Mixed Reality
Kipman states that holographic mixed reality projects holograms into the real world environment. The digital object can appear realistic, or cartoonish, depending on the application, goal of the hologram, and user preference.
Holograms can be anchored to a specific point in space. If you place a holographic lamp on your table, for example, the lamp will remain in this spot as you move around the room, just as a real lamp would.
Holograms can also move with you. If you create a digital avatar of a person, for example, the hologram can walk and chat with you as you move around.
Fully Immersive Mixed Reality
Immersive mixed reality brings the real world into the digital world. It allows you to move freely in your environment. You’ll be able to interact within the digital world and the real world simultaneously.
Uses for Mixed Reality
Mixed reality technology is still in the early stages. However, there are currently a wide variety of uses for mixed reality, and many more are expected in the future.
There are nearly endless applications for mixed reality in education. 65% of people are visual learners, which means they learn best when they can see what they are learning visually. Furthermore, experiential learning greatly improves retention and engagement.
Mixed reality can provide both types of learning. Magic leap whale is a great example of mixed reality in education. Students were in the gym, listening to a lecture on whales. Suddenly, a holographic whale and waves of water entered the gym. The waves of water interacted with the environment just as real water would.
Mixed reality is also valuable for training purposes. One way to use this tech for training is to put people in different places in the same room, through a digital avatar or hologram. Trainers can also provide realistic models of processes or products for trainees to interact with.
BAE Systems, for example, used mixed reality to improve its battery production process. It had a huge impact, improving the process by 40%.
The uses for mixed reality in entertainment are endless. Today, holograms can be used to make us feel that performers are in our midst, even if they passed away many years ago. Entertainers can interact with these holograms, making it feel like the show of a lifetime.
Mixed reality games are another aspect of entertainment, of course. Angry Birds First Person Slingshot uses a Magic Leap headset to bring the birds into your environment.
Manufacturing and Construction
Mixed reality is already making a big impact on manufacturing and construction. It can allow engineers to test a new machine in the digital world, rather than creating a physical prototype. For example, Microsoft Holo Lens is currently being used to train engineers.
It can allow architects to create a digital building, or certain portions of the building, and interact with it in the real world. It also allows engineers and contractors to check on current progress without being at the physical site.
Written by Alex Kipman.
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