Mixed reality is an exciting new technology that makes it possible to combine virtual and real environments. It offers the possibility to interact with and experience the world in a completely new way. In recent years, we have been using mixed reality more and more in our daily lives without even realizing it. If you look at the augmented reality games that millions of people play around the world, or AR apps like Pokémon Go, you’re already starting to get an idea of what mixed reality is and what it can do.
Mixed reality is a versatile tool that can be used in numerous fields. Applications range from entertainment and games to education, training and industrial applications. Furthermore, mixed reality opens up entirely new possibilities for communication and interaction.
The technology is based on the principle of embedding virtual objects in the real world or vice versa – depending on your requirements. In this process, the environment is digitally scanned with the aid of sensors (the best-known of which include depth sensors and RGB cameras) and reproduced in real time. In this way, a virtual copy of the real world is created, to which computer-generated content can then be attached. The expansion of reality takes place with the help of special eyeglass lenses or data gloves, as well as other additional devices that become more powerful over time and are also affordable for broad consumer groups.
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that allows computer-generated content to be embedded in the real world. The environment is digitally scanned with the help of sensors and reproduced in real time. In this way, a virtual copy of the real world is created, to which computer-generated content can then be attached. The expansion of reality takes place with the help of special eyeglass lenses or data gloves, as well as other additional devices that become more powerful over time and are also affordable for broad consumer groups.
AR glasses are an example of wearable technology, that is, technology that can be worn on the body. AR data gloves, in turn, are an example of external add-on devices. They capture gestures and movements of the user and transmit them in real time to the computer-generated world. In particular, virtual objects can be manipulated or interactive games can be played in this way.”
The boundaries between the real and virtual worlds are becoming increasingly blurred, predominantly due to the proliferation of smartphones with integrated AR technology. The apps Pokemon Go and Snapchat, for example, use AR to embed digital content in the real world – with sometimes spectacular results.
What’s more, there are now also the first devices with which you can create computer-generated worlds yourself – such as Google’s Tilt Brush 3D modeling system or Microsoft’s HoloLens, the world’s first fully autonomous augmented reality computer. The uses for AR are almost endless – from shopping advice to repair instructions to diagnosing and treating medical problems. While the technology has mainly gained a foothold in the gaming industry in recent years, it will probably find its way into almost all areas of life in the future.
But what does that actually mean exactly?
Mixed reality is a computer-based extension or modification of perception. In other words, the real world is enriched with digital content.
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