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What Is Mixed Reality? Why It Matters To Us In The Future

What Is Mixed Reality? Why It Matters To Us In The Future
What Is Mixed Reality? Why It Matters To Us In The Future
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Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino coined the term Mixed Reality (MR) in 1994. Their paper, "A Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Visual Displays," introduced the basis for Mixed Reality advancements. According to them, Mixed Reality is a blend of virtual and augmented Reality.

Mixed Reality enables the connection and interaction between the virtual and physical worlds. With Mixed Reality, you can sit in your office while interacting with the digital world in real-time. Unlike augmented Reality, which translates digital to physical content, Mixed Reality combines both worlds. Mixed Reality undoubtedly enhances real-time simulation, synchronization, and high-level interactivity.

Mixed Reality allows you to access the authentic digital world interaction. You can experience the essence of Mixed Reality using tools like headsets.

What mixed reality entails

  • The Environmental Concept: Mixed Reality helps to map and overlay information onto a space such that there's a connection between the real-world and virtual content.
  • Human Perception: Mixed Reality utilizes the technology of cameras and sensors to track human interaction. One can track motion, speeches, and human user inputs.
  • The Spatial sound: Humans love to interact with realistic and the most immersive digital experiences. MR enables the development of 360-degree spatial sound audio devices.
  • Location and Positioning: Mixed Reality allows for the development of Extended Reality technology that understands its position and the user's, anytime.
  • 3D Experience: With Mixed Reality, you can create 3D real-world content. They're popularly called holograms.

How mixed reality works

There's a thin confusing understanding between Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality. However, nowadays, the application of Mixed Reality shows a clear difference. The technology utilizes intelligent systems to enable complete human-computer interaction fully.

Mixed Reality operates efficiently when it understands the space of human-computer interaction (HCI) well. With the uninterrupted evolution of HCI, Mixed Reality operates at optimum.

Mixed Reality technology uses sensors, Artificial Intelligence, and cameras to operate on data. There must be a space to get the data from. The information produced helps Mixed Reality to create the desired digital experience.

For example, the inputs (camera and sensors) communicate with a software program if you wear smart glasses. The program gets as much data about your space as possible. That's how it develops a virtual appearance of the real-world area.

In the above instance, Mixed Reality adds holographic information (images and content) to the real world. It uses the projections of the photos.

What enhances the effectiveness of mixed reality?

There are four essential elements that Mixed Reality should track to produce the best output:

  • Transparent surfaces and boundaries of the objects. Environmental understanding and spatial mapping enable clarity of the objects.
  • A user's body motion and position.
  • Objects under observation and their physical positions.
  • Sufficient lighting and ambient sound to make content more realistic.

As you can notice, Mixed Reality requires several inputs to merge virtual and augmented Reality. You must have cloud computing devices, sophisticated sensory devices, and environmental understanding.

The mixed reality virtuality continuum

It's also referred to as the "Mixed Reality Spectrum." Extended Reality (XR) innovators believe that Mixed Reality occurs in a virtuality continuum with augmented and virtual Reality.

One end of the spectrum has the physical environment, where humans interact with the physical environment, and the other is the digital world. It consists of software applications and computer programs.

Extended Reality has it that virtual Reality technology exists almost close to the digital world of the spectrum. That's why most of the virtual interaction happens there. But the user is physically present in the setting.

Augmented Reality Technology occurs near the real world of the spectrum. It's where the actual content and interaction of the environment happen. However, there's significant digital interaction too. Additionally, Mixed Reality occurs closer to the separation line between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

Therefore, Mixed Reality creates a completely more captivating user experience. A user can then connect the digital space and the physical world. Such tools as holograms help users to interact in Mixed Reality while physically present in a location.

On the contrary, a user can place themself in the virtual world. It's possible through MR-enabled environments, cloud streaming, and avatars.

What mixed reality does in real life

Innovators believe that the potentiality of Mixed Reality is infinite. However, despite the current innovations, Mixed Reality is still in its initial stages.

For example, Microsoft and HoloLens have been utilizing Mixed Reality to run holographic operations. Have you ever been to a physical room where you use glasses to wander into a virtual world? You must have used one of the above company products.

A user can utilize mixed reality to:

  • Efficient innovations: Innovators can design twin digital products to implement problem solutions with fewer budgets. It saves time if the user wants to explore the same idea using more products.
  • Reduce human labor: Human labor is more expensive than computer-aided operations. Mixed Reality cameras can collaborate to produce content for real-time multipurpose uses.
  • Collaborate: With Mixed Reality, users can create more captivating collaborative human experiences. For instance, a user can develop a holographic version of a phone with their colleague working far away. Medical practitioners can work with professionals using Mixed Reality to view and access records, data, and information.
  • Train employees: Mixed Reality allows users to develop immersive virtual and physical employee training. It's possible with the incorporation of Extended Reality as a development and training tool. Additionally, 3D simulation and projections enhance a more captivating training experience.

The Future of Mixed Reality Technology

Technology is disruptive, and innovators take advantage of this inevitable Reality. Tech enthusiasts strive to combine physical and virtual environments. No wonder immersive Mixed Reality tools and devices are on the rise.

Mixed Reality currently stands out in the development of innovative tools and devices. Innovators are concentrating on establishing ways of connecting digital and physical content. Mixed Reality will soon become more real than imagined.

Mixed Reality rejuvenated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The world of social distancing, quarantine, isolation, and movement restrictions spurred the need for a Mixed Reality. People are demanding a more immersive and virtual connection.

You must have read endless news about 5G. That's the best instance. The technology is expected to minimize latency while boosting rapid data transmission. With the help of AI and other technologies, Mixed Reality tools will better understand the physical and virtual world connection.

It's compelling to believe that Mixed Reality is the future of technology based on statistics. Forrester Research projects that 14 million US workers will use smart glasses by 2025. Therefore, Mixed Reality inevitably grows to become a critical technological player in the future.


Mixed Reality bridges augmented and virtual Reality. It's an emerging technological trend yet to take over the tech world. Major sectors embrace Mixed Reality to ease communication, collaboration, training, and more. The technology provides infinite potential that eliminates human limitations.

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