Technology has been constantly reshaping the professional landscape and its rise has led to revolutionary perspectives that respond to new trends of the Industry 4.0 and the digital transformation of companies. In the center: The XR technology. It is gradually becoming part of the life of professionals and individuals. To better understand the XR technology, it is necessary to know some basic vocabulary. That is why we offer you in this article some definitions of the basic terms used for the XR technology.
What is the augmented reality (AR)?
As its name suggests, augmented reality technology augments the reality, the user environment. It overlays virtual elements in a real environment through a screen, a headset or even via glasses. This reality creates a certain interactivity between the technology and the user because it uses the user’s real environment. It is one of the most accessible technology where you only need a compatible smartphone to try it. Thanks to these smartphones, it has been democratized to the public with the phenomenon game Pokémon GO or with Snapchat filters.
What is the virtual reality (VR)?
Often mistaken with the augmented reality, the virtual reality is totally different technology. Highlighted by the video games field, it is the term used to refer to an immersive and interactive experience. It immerses the user in a 2D or 3D environment. This technology is used through headsets, connected or not to a computer, and can be completed with other devices (haptics gloves, suits, etc.). This technology plays with the brain’s perception of being in a “real” world but evolving in a virtual one. It allows users to escape their reality to be in another one more comfortable thanks to the possible complete immersion that offer the virtual reality with headset, controllers, sound etc.
What is the mixed reality (MR)?
Nowadays, the mixed reality tends to be more and more used for professional purposes because it has the potential to change processes and ways of interacting between the virtual and the real. Indeed, this technology is situated halfway between the augmented and virtual realities. It merges virtual and real worlds in order to produce new environments and news visualizations where digital and physical objects coexist and interact in real time within the user’s environment. MR can be used through glasses or MR headset equipped with a camera. The most famous MR headsets are the HoloLens, the R1 Lynx and Varjo ones.
What is the extended reality (XR)?
The extended reality is the umbrella word that includes different immersive realities. It includes AR, VR, MR, and other future immersions forms. It combines real and virtual environments and also, less common, it considers HMI (human-machines interactions) generated by computer-based technology. The XR leads to combines users’ virtual and real contents to create XR user experience.
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