Importance of Mixed Reality in Real World

Analytics Insight recently posted an article discussing the role of Mixed Reality in the digital world. MR consists of both Augmented and Virtual Reality, and allows users to blend their real-world environment with digital data.

The technology is used worldwide, and provides solutions for a range of industries. For example, leading brands such as Volvo and Ford use MR to enhance their process and the customer experience. Early integration of MR is said to add value for enterprises in the long term.

To give a better understanding of the technology, the article states the differences between MR and VR:

  • VR is digitally rendered, whereas MR is based in a real-life, physical space
  • VR headsets must be worn for users to enter a virtual environment, in addition to gloves or handheld sticks, but MR does not require special gloves to communicate with virtual objects
  • VR headsets turn black when switched off, whereas MR headsets turn transparent like glasses

MR acts more like AR, as they both depend on real-life environments, but the differences between MR and AR are also detailed:

  • AR can only showcase virtual objects onto physical spaces, whereas MR can facilitate users to interact directly with the object
  • AR is operated via a screen and camera, but MR is more immersive via use of a head-mounted display

MR applications have already been applied to remote support for construction workers, virtual testing for engineers, and training methods for police. The following MR use cases are addressed in the article:

  • Healthcare: Trainee doctors can use MR to practise surgeries and gain better visuals of data throughout the process to maintain focus. MR is a key tool for rendering enterprise solutions, particularly for distant integration. For example, Microsoft’s Holoportation development enables users with MR devices to remotely collaborate with team members in the form of 3D holograms.
  • Manufacturing: MR allows users to view digital versions of equipment by pointing their mobile phone or tablet screens towards areas in the factory. Technical training also benefits from MR, as superiors can give instructions to workers about machinery via a headset. MR provides training solutions as well as reducing repair times.

According to Deloitte, over 150 companies in various industries have deployed MR solutions.  Another report recently discovered that almost 14.4 million US workers will wear smart glasses by 2025. MR therefore has great potential for innovation, increasing engagement and interactivity to existing technology.

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