Difference between Extended Reality Technologies : AR vs VR vs MR

Augmented, virtual and mixed reality are types of extended reality technologies that are used to improve user experience. They are changing the way we interact with computers, play games and watch movies. Both of these technologies offer different user experience and have different applications. In this article we will discuss the difference between Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality vs Mixed Reality.

Augmented Reality bridges the gap between the real and virtual world by bringing the elements of the virtual world into the real world. In AR computer generated images or digital information is superimposed on the real world. Therefore it enhances user experience by enhancing the way we see, listen and feel the virtual world.

Augmented Reality works by overlaying virtual world onto the real world.
Working of Augmented Reality

As a result in AR, real and virtual words co-exists. In this way users get more realistic experience. For example as shown in the above image, a virtual robot is brought onto the real world. Click this Link!!  for more details on augmented reality.

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality is extended reality technology that is changing the way we interact with computers. VR utilizes computer technology to create simulation environments to convince the human brain in different environments. For example, you can experience Taj Mahal while sitting in a classroom.

What is Mixed Reality?

Mixed Reality merges real and virtual words to create a new environment where users can interact with real and virtual environments simultaneously. In other words It combines the best of virtual Reality and augmented reality.

What is the Difference between AR, VR and MR Technologies?

Extended Reality Technologies such as AR, VR and MR are used to interact with the virtual or digital world. Each of these technologies offer different user experiences and have different applications. Augmented reality merges real and virtual environment, Virtual reality brings users in a completely simulated virtual environments. Whereas mixed reality is a blend of both AR and VR. Following are the list of difference between AR vs VR vs MR.

Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality vs Mixed Reality
PropertiesAugmented RealityVirtual RealityMixed Reality
TechnologySuperimposes virtual information on top of real environment.Isolates user from real environment and brings them to simulated environment.Users can interact with both real and virtual environment.
User InteractionInteraction with digital information using virtual buttons or remote.Immersive Virtual EnvironmentUsers can interact with the digital environment using gestures.
ExamplesExample of AR Videogame


In AR game such as pokemon-go game characters pop-up in physical world butto interact with them AR devices such as smartphone is used.

Example of VR Videogame


Virtual reality gives a completely immersive experience to gamers. They have nothing to do with the outside environment. To interact with digital word input devices such as hand gloves are required.

Example of MR Videogame


MR utilizes the immersiveness of VR while being present in the real world. While playing games in MR, Game characters will pop from physical objects present in room and users can interact with the digital world using hand gestures.

Devices
  • SmartPhone
  • Google Glass
  • Epson Moverio
  • Vuzix Blade AR
  • HTC VIVE
  • Oculus Rift
  • PlayStation VR
  • Samsung Gear VR
  • Google Cardboard
  • HoloLens
  • MagicLeap
  • Dimension NXG
  • Project Northstar
  • Occipital Bridge
Application Examples
  • IKEA Augmented Reality App
  • Snap Chat Lens Studio
  • Google AR Core
  • AR City
  • YouTube
  • Solidworks e-Drawing for VR
  • Orbulus
  • Product design review and virtal validation.
  • Instructions to service engineer
  • Training to fighter jet pilots

To sum up, Major difference between AR,VR and MR is in the type of user experience they offer. Augmented reality superimposes virtual world into the real world. Whereas virtual reality takes users in a simulated environment. 

We will keep updating this article on the difference between AR vs VR vs MR. Please share your suggestions and questions on virtual reality and augmented reality technologies in the comment box.

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