What’s The Difference Between VR, AR and MR
What’s The Main Difference Between VR, AR and MR

Extended reality is rapidly developing technology, and today more and more different enterprises apply XR solutions to increase their efficiency. According to P&S Intelligence, in 2021 the XR market was estimated at 28 USD billions,  and by 2030 it will be estimated at 1000 USD billions.

Efficient application of new technologies requires a clear understanding of their possibilities, functions, and limitations. With no understanding, companies might face  some difficulties. Like, for example, excessive or insufficient functionality, unjustified expectations, and incorrect tasks for XR solutions. 

That’s why we decided to discuss  the meaning of virtual, augmented, and mixed realities in details and what’s the difference between them.

A Brief Issue Review

If virtual reality completely immerses a VR headset user in digital world, augmented reality superimposes virtual elements into physical world. 

Mixed reality has similar traits, that’s why MR is often combined with AR in one category,  and you can see it in our website. And sometimes, due to the similarities of two technologies, some people can’t see the difference between augmented and mixed reality, and don’t completely realize how these two technologies work. 

Extended Reality As An Umbrella Term

At first, let’s figure out the concept of extended reality. Extended reality is an umbrella term, which unites virtual, augmented, and mixed realities, as well as other technologies, which can be created in the future. The key common feature of technologies mentioned above is an immersion effect they create for a user and the changes in the perception of reality with digital solutions.

Brief Information About Virtual Reality

So, let’s begin with VR. Virtual reality is a digital space, in which a person immerses themselves, using VR goggles, and interacts with digital objects with hands, controllers, or sight. Some smartphones also provide a possibility to use virtual reality. Moreover, some models come complete with special equipment, that allows consumer use as a real VR headset. Also, in virtual reality, a user is able to communicate with other people using avatars. 

Your perception of the world can be warped,” said Phia, virtual host of YouTube channel The Virtual Reality Show, “as you realize your body responds to what it perceives as real, not necessarily what is. There’s a great video that demonstrates people using VR for the first time, where they walk a plank for atop a skyscraper. Their brains respond to the experience, thinking that it’s real, making them hesitant to walk out of the plank, despite it being an illusion.” 

In business, VR is used for remote work or training, where workers learn how to handle equipment properly and communicate with customers and business partners.

How Augmented Reality Works

With augmented reality, digital elements are overlaid in a physical environment. This process is carried out with the help of a smartphone, tablet screen, or smart glasses. One of the very first and most popular examples of using AR is the mobile game Pokemon Go, where a player looks for digital creatures, hidden in the real world. 

A smartphone shares its location and can place a model and fix it in a space. And you can walk around this object, look from different sides. But, in fact, how does it happen? When you move to the right with the smartphone in your hands, a device changes its location with you. It can calculate its own position in relation to the digital model. So, we have an impression, that the model stays on its place, and the phone moves around it,” said Oleksii Volkov, the XR department head of our company. 

Augmented reality nowadays is widely used for training, exhibitions, and marketing. Also, AR is applied for designing navigation, equipment assembly, and operating instructions. 

In general, there are four types of augmented reality:

  • AR with markers. Images and items are used as markers to activate AR on a device. The AR Watches Mobile app allows trying on NFT models of watches with bracelet marker, that can be printed and be worn on a wrist.

  • Markerless AR. This type of the technology uses navigation, that allows AR apps to  orientate in space and place virtual objects on a location. These AR apps can use GPS, digital compass, etc. Samsung WebAR is the one of examples of markerless AR apps.

  • AR projections. Here virtual objects are superimposed on real items, using projections. Lightform developed AR projections where houses are used as background  for showing 3D illusions, like in this video, for example.

  • AR, that enables real object recognition algorithms. It augments or completely replaces the real object with digital data. These AR apps can also be used in healthcare, where AR projections of internal organs are superimposed on a patient’s body. Sync AR by SNAP (Surgical Navigation Advanced Platform) is a device that places digital versions of internal structures on a human body during surgery.

The Way Mixed Reality Extends Real World

Mixed reality, in its turn, combines physical and virtual worlds, places digital objects in reality, and allows users to interact with them. For mixed reality, you can use the same MR headsets you usually use for AR and some VR headsets, like Meta Quest Pro.

According to the article on the website of Microsoft, the company which released Hololens for the first time in 2018, mixed reality is created according to such principles:

  • Real space maps and markers, that allow to place a virtual object;
  • A possibility to track an MR headset user’s sight, hands movement, and speech;
  • Recreation of virtual space sounds, just like in VR;
  • A possibility to place objects both in virtual and real spaces;
  • A collaboration of MR headset users on the same 3D objects.

Mixed reality is often used in architecture, engineering and construction, design, healthcare, and many other fields. 

We can highlight two types of mixed reality:

  • Adding virtual objects into physical world. In this case, MR really resembles AR. But in mixed reality, there are more possibilities to interact with virtual object. During TED-Talk in Amsterdam, Beerend Hierk, explained how MR works, using mixed reality app for medical students as an example.

Our application allows me to see a holographic three-dimensional model of the leg and the foot right here, in front of me. I can walk around and explore it in all its dimensions. I can select, but also hide structures, like bones and muscles. And if you would wear a Hololens too, you would be able to see the same model, as me. And we would be able to study the ankle together. What’s really cool is that if you move your ankle, the holographic ankle moves with you”.

  • Adding real objects into virtual world. Usually, this type of mixed reality is applied in games, remote work, and other fields. For example, Immersed, a VR-office, allows a headset user to create additional digital screens for a physical laptop and transfer a real keyboard into virtual conference. In this video, you can see how this program works with the newest headset, Meta Quest Pro.

Augmented Reality vs Mixed Reality

Having understood the definitions of the three types of immersive technologies, let’s try to find out what are the actual main common and distinctive features of AR and MR. 

At first glance, these technologies are almost identical. Even Wikipedia provides one of the definitions of mixed reality as synonymous of AR. Yes, both technologies give possibility to place a virtual object into real environment and observe it from different angles, and also allow a user to receive additional inforrmation about it.

But, on the other hand, differences between AR and MR are evident. In his short video, famous influencer and entrepreneur Bernard Marr said, that in AR you can emphasize certain physical object and provide it with additional information with digital object. 

So, that’s augmented reality,”said Marr, “where these digital images stay pretty much in place, and you can’t change them. You just point at a building, and these images pop up”.

Meanwhile, in MR you can place digital objects into real world as well, but there’s a possibility for different manipulation: increasing the size, changing the shape and design, augmenting them with additional details, etc. 

So, just imagine placing a digital drumkit into your room,” explained Marr.  “And then, you have digital sticks that you project into your hands, and you can now play the drums and hear the music. This is possible with mixed reality”.

Moreover, mixed reality gives a user much more than playing virtual musical instrument or creating digital document in MR headset. Mixed reality provides a possibility to work on 3D objects both in real and virtual environment. With MR, a user can digitalize and transfer not just real room details, but a whole real room into a virtual space. You can see how it works in this video by Microsoft. 

So, we finally found out the main difference between VR, AR, and MR. If virtual reality immerses a headset user into a digital world, AR and MR allow them to place 3D objects into real space. But, at the same time, mixed reality gives more expanded possibilities to interact with digital objects and the digital world. 

Latest Articles

June 25, 2024
The Advantages of Integrating Immersive Technologies in Marketing

Even while immersive technologies are becoming more and more commonplace in our daily lives, many firms remain skeptical about their potential for corporate development. “If technology does not directly generate revenue, why invest in it at all?” is a common question in the public mind. Because of their careful approach, only very large companies in the business with substantial marketing expenditures are using immersive technologies to generate excitement at conferences, presentations, and events. But there are far more benefits to using VR, AR, and MR in marketing than just eye candy. These technologies provide a plethora of advantages that can boost sales, improve consumer engagement, and give businesses a clear competitive advantage. Marc Mathieu, Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Electronics America said: “The future of marketing lies in immersive experiences. VR, AR, and MR technologies allow us to go beyond traditional advertising and create unique, memorable interactions that can influence consumer perception and behavior in powerful ways.” Captivating and engaging audiences is one of the main benefits of VR, AR, and MR. According to a 2023 Statista analysis, AR advertising engagement rates are predicted to rise by 32% over the course of the next several years, indicating the technology’s capacity to capture viewers. An information-rich culture can be a hostile environment for conventional marketing strategies. Conversely, immersive technologies offer compelling and unforgettable experiences. For example, augmented reality uses smartphones or AR glasses to superimpose product information or advertising onto the real environment, while virtual reality can take buyers to virtual showrooms or give them a 360-degree view of a product. A stronger emotional bond and improved brand recall could result from this degree of involvement. Here are other possible advantages. Personalized Customer Experiences Marketing initiatives that are highly customized are made possible by immersive technology. Businesses may learn more about the tastes and habits of their customers by gathering data on user interactions inside VR and AR environments. The relevance and efficacy of marketing campaigns may then be increased by using this data to customize offers and messaging for specific consumers. Because consumers are more likely to respond favorably to marketing that seems to be tailored just for them, personalization raises the chance of conversion. Demonstrating Product Benefits For many products, VR, AR, and MR offer a distinctive approach to showcase benefits, especially for those that are complex or have characteristics that are hard to explain through traditional media. Potential buyers may be able to virtually test out a product and get a firsthand look at its features with a VR experience. With augmented reality (AR), one may see how a product would appear in its natural setting, for example how furniture would fit in a space. Sales can rise and buyer hesitancy can be considerably reduced when consumers can see and engage with a product before making a purchase. Creating Shareable Content Social media users are more likely to share content that uses VR, AR, and MR. Individuals are more likely to tell their friends and followers about interesting and engaging events, which generates natural buzz and raises brand awareness. Since suggestions from friends and family are frequently more trusted than standard commercials, word-of-mouth marketing has the potential to be quite effective. Differentiation from Competitors To stand out in a crowded market, distinctiveness is essential. Through the integration of VR, AR, and MR into marketing tactics, companies may establish a reputation for being creative and progressive. This draws in technologically sophisticated clients and establishes the business as a pioneer in its field. Those companies that adopt these technologies early will have a big edge when additional companies start looking into them. Enhanced Data Collection and Analytics Immersive technologies provide new avenues for collecting data on customer interactions and preferences. By analyzing how users engage with VR, AR, and MR experiences, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. This data can inform future marketing strategies, product development, and customer service improvements, leading to a more refined and effective overall business approach. Detailed Examples of Immersive Technology in Marketing Pepsi’s AR Halftime Show During the Super Bowl halftime show in 2022, Pepsi introduced an inventive augmented reality (AR) experience created by Aircards with the goal of interacting with fans in a whole new way. Through the use of their cellphones, viewers may access an augmented reality experience by scanning a QR code that was flashed during the broadcast. With the use of interactive multimedia including behind-the-scenes videos, exclusive artist interviews, and real-time minigames, viewers were given the impression that they were a part of the event. To add a gamified aspect to the experience, the AR halftime show also included virtual Pepsi-branded products that spectators could “collect” and post on social media. In addition to offering amusement, this program gave Pepsi useful information on user behaviors and preferences. Through data analysis, Pepsi improved total customer engagement and brand loyalty by honing future marketing initiatives and creating more tailored content. Visa’s Web3 Engagement Solution Visa launched an innovative Web3 interface technology in 2024 with the aim of transforming loyalty programs for clients. Visa developed an easy and engaging interface that let users interact with virtual worlds and benefit from the combination of blockchain technology and augmented reality. Customers can engage in virtual treasure hunts and simulations of real-world locations through augmented reality (AR) activities. In order to provide clients with safe and transparent incentive tracking across many merchants, the Web3 system also made use of blockchain. More adaptability and compatibility across various loyalty programs were made possible by this decentralized strategy. Customers benefited from a more satisfying and engaging experience as a consequence, and Visa was able to implement more successful marketing campaigns thanks to detailed data analytics that provided deeper insights into customer habits and preferences. JD AR Experience by Jack Daniel’s To bring their brand story to life, Jack Daniel’s introduced an immersive augmented reality experience. Users could access an immersive trip through Jack Daniel’s production process and history by scanning a bottle of whiskey with…

May 8, 2024
A Comprehensive Guide to Developing Immersive AR/VR App for Apple Vision Pro

We offer comprehensive support to our clients throughout the entire product development journey, from conceptualization to execution. Recognizing your keen interest in developing products for Apple Vision Pro, we’ve consolidated the expertise of our team into a single article. This article serves as a step-by-step guide on crafting a product tailored for Apple Vision Pro, ensuring that you navigate the process seamlessly and effectively. Create a Concept The first thing you need to do is come up with a concept for your app. Think of this as the blueprint that will guide the entire development process. This stage involves: Idea Generation: Coming up with potential app ideas based on market needs, user preferences, or solving specific problems. Market Research: Analyzing the market to understand existing solutions, competitors, target audience, and potential gaps or opportunities. Defining Objectives: Clearly defining the goals and objectives of the app. This includes identifying the problem it aims to solve, the target audience, and the desired outcomes. Conceptualization: Translating the initial idea into a concrete concept by outlining core features, user interface design, user experience flow, and technical requirements. Prototyping: Creating wireframes or prototypes to visualize the app’s user interface and interactions. This helps in refining the concept and gathering feedback from stakeholders. Feasibility Analysis: Assessing the technical feasibility, resource requirements, and potential challenges associated with developing the app. Validation: Testing the concept with potential users or stakeholders to validate its viability and gather feedback for further refinement. Overall, creating a concept sets the foundation for the app development process, guiding subsequent stages such as design, development, testing, and deployment. It helps ensure that the final product meets user needs, aligns with business objectives, and stands out in the competitive app market. Market Research The next step in developing a product for Apple Vision Pro involves conducting thorough market research. This crucial step provides insights into the competitive landscape, user preferences, and emerging trends, which are vital for shaping your product strategy and positioning. To perform effective market research: Identify Your Target Audience: Define the demographics, preferences, and behaviors of your target users. Understand their needs, pain points, and expectations regarding immersive experiences offered by Apple Vision Pro. Analyze Competitors: Study existing apps and solutions within the Apple Vision Pro ecosystem. Assess their features, user experience, pricing models, strengths, and weaknesses. Identify gaps or areas where you can differentiate your product. Explore Market Trends: Stay updated on industry trends, technological advancements, and consumer preferences related to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences. Identify emerging opportunities or niche markets that align with your product concept. Gather User Feedback: Engage with potential users through surveys, interviews, or focus groups to gather feedback on their preferences, pain points, and expectations regarding AR/VR applications. Incorporate this feedback into your product development process to ensure relevance and user satisfaction. Evaluate Technical Feasibility: Assess the technical requirements, limitations, and capabilities of Apple Vision Pro. Understand the tools, frameworks, and APIs available for developing immersive experiences on the platform. Determine the feasibility of implementing your desired features and functionalities within the constraints of the platform. By performing comprehensive market research, you gain valuable insights that inform your product strategy, enhance user experience, and increase the likelihood of success in the competitive Apple Vision Pro marketplace. Choose Your Apple Vision Pro Features After conducting market research, the next crucial stage in developing a product for Apple Vision Pro is selecting the features that will define your app’s functionality and user experience. Here’s a breakdown of key features to consider: Eye-tracking: Leveraging Apple Vision Pro’s advanced eye-tracking technology, you can create immersive experiences that respond to users’ gaze, enabling more intuitive interaction and engagement within the app. High-quality 3D content: Incorporate high-fidelity 3D models, animations, and environments to deliver visually stunning and immersive experiences that captivate users and enhance their engagement with the app. Live video streaming capabilities: Enable real-time video streaming within the app, allowing users to share live experiences, events, or demonstrations with others, fostering collaboration and social interaction in virtual environments. MR/VR-based calls and text messaging: Integrate augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) communication features, such as AR/VR-based calls and text messaging, to facilitate seamless communication and collaboration between users within immersive environments. Real-world sensing and navigation: Utilize Apple Vision Pro’s real-world sensing and navigation capabilities to enable location-based experiences, indoor navigation, and context-aware interactions within the app, enhancing usability and relevance for users in various environments. Support for third-party applications: Enhance the versatility and functionality of your app by providing support for third-party applications and services, allowing users to seamlessly integrate external tools, content, or functionalities into their immersive experiences. By carefully selecting and integrating these Apple Vision Pro features into your app, you can create a compelling and differentiated product that delivers immersive, engaging, and valuable experiences to users, driving adoption and satisfaction in the competitive AR/VR market. Determine Your App Development Stack Once you’ve identified the features for your Apple Vision Pro app, the next step is to determine your app development stack. This involves selecting the tools, frameworks, and technologies that will enable you to bring your concept to life efficiently and effectively. Here’s how to approach this stage: Evaluate SwiftUI, ARKit, and RealityKit SwiftUI: Consider using SwiftUI for building the user interface (UI) of your app. It offers a modern and declarative approach to UI development, simplifying the process of creating dynamic and responsive interfaces for your immersive experiences. ARKit and RealityKit: For AR and VR functionalities, leverage Apple’s ARKit and RealityKit frameworks. ARKit provides powerful tools for building immersive AR experiences, while RealityKit simplifies the creation of 3D content and interactions within your app. Choose Xcode as Your IDE As the official integrated development environment (IDE) for Apple platforms, Xcode is the go-to choice for building apps for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Utilize Xcode’s robust set of tools, including its intuitive interface builder, debugging capabilities, and integrated performance analysis, to streamline your app development process. Consider Additional Tools and Libraries Explore…

April 29, 2024
Apple Vision Pro Software Transforms the Construction Industry: The REEKON Experience

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Extended Reality technologies are revolutionizing various industries, and construction is no exception. While the utilization of Apple Vision Pro in manufacturing or construction industries may not yet be widespread, an increasing number of companies are endeavoring to integrate virtual reality, augmented reality, and extended reality technologies into their daily operations. Why? Let’s try to figure it out in this article! Construction Industry Problems While one might anticipate that technological advancements would alleviate challenges within the construction sector, construction firms frequently encounter a myriad of obstacles that impede efficiency, escalate costs, and compromise safety. Here are some key challenges in construction: Design Visualization and Communication: Traditional blueprints and 2D drawings can be difficult for stakeholders to interpret accurately. Design Iterations and Prototyping: Iterating on design concepts and prototyping can be time-consuming and costly. Construction Planning and Logistics: Planning construction activities and logistics on-site can be complex and error-prone. Worker Training and Safety: Safety is a paramount concern in construction, yet traditional training methods may not effectively prepare workers for on-site hazards. Quality Control and Inspection: Ensuring quality control and conducting inspections during construction can be labor-intensive and prone to human error. Client Engagement and Marketing: Engaging clients and stakeholders in the design process and marketing new developments can be challenging with traditional presentation methods. Remote Collaboration and Coordination: Coordinating teams and stakeholders who are dispersed across different locations can be challenging and time-consuming. Immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality, utilizing Apple Vision Pro, offer innovative solutions to many of these problems. Seamless AR Integration with the ROCK Jobsite App on Apple Vision Pro by REEKON Tools One notable example of this transformative technology in action is the implementation of the ROCK Jobsite App on Apple Vision Pro, as demonstrated by REEKON Tools. The ROCK Jobsite App, designed to streamline construction processes, represents a significant advancement in leveraging AR technology using Apple Vision Pro within the construction industry. Unlike many other VR/AR solutions that require extensive customization and integration efforts, the ROCK Jobsite App boasts seamless functionality on the Apple Vision Pro platform. Within just five minutes of installation, users can experience the full capabilities of this powerful tool, making it incredibly accessible and user-friendly. One of the key features of the ROCK Jobsite App is its ability to display measurements in real-time, providing construction professionals with immediate access to crucial data directly on their screens. The integration of Apple Vision Pro enhances this process, making it both effective and engaging. Whether annotating over photos, adding measurements to calculations, or collaborating with team members remotely, this app serves as a valuable companion throughout the construction process How Immersive Technologies Address Construction Problems The integration of Apple Vision Pro into VR/AR/XR technology marks a significant leap forward in the construction sector’s evolution. By tapping into the immersive capabilities of these technologies, construction companies can not only tackle challenges but also unearth fresh avenues for innovation. Here are some standout benefits: Advanced Visualization: With immersive technologies and Apple Vision Pro, stakeholders can immerse themselves in architectural designs and construction plans. This heightened visualization enables a clearer grasp of project requirements and early detection of potential issues. Enhanced Collaboration: Real-time data sharing and annotations foster more efficient collaboration among project teams, regardless of their physical locations. Boosted Efficiency: By automating tasks like data capture and measurement, Apple Vision Pro-equipped tools help construction professionals save time and resources. Manual efforts are replaced with streamlined processes, leading to heightened efficiency on-site. Cost Reduction: AR technology, when integrated with Apple Vision Pro, minimizes errors, lowers rework, and optimizes resource allocation, resulting in cost savings across the project lifecycle The potential applications of AR technology in construction are boundless, from fortifying safety measures to facilitating training simulations. By addressing industry challenges and equipping construction professionals with AR solutions powered by Apple Vision Pro, are reshaping the construction landscape. They’re paving the way for safer, more efficient, and more sustainable building practices.



Let's discuss your ideas

Contact us