Welcome in Extended Reality (XR)
The term Extended Reality (XR) refers to immersive technologies that extend our real world and combine it with virtual experiences.
There are currently 3 forms of Extended Reality: VR (Virtual reality), AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality, combining VR & AR).
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality creates a fully computer-generated, 360 degree environment. The user is completely immersed in this new universe with which he interacts (via additional controllers most of the time), while the real world is hidden.
The degree of immersion is particularly high thanks to a device (helmet) that is hermetically sealed and allows the user to immerse himself in this new world.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Humans see, and for the most part think in 3D. We can imagine the back side of an object, and grasp the size relative to its place in the movement. It's one of the advantages of having stereoscopic vision, and cognition. However, we have had to deal with projections of 3D objects on to flat 2D surfaces in the form of drawings on paper, maps, and illustration of people.
Translating 2D spatial information really works the brain as it tries to move from one dimension to another and back and forth until the 2D representation is fully understood.
Augmented reality systems overcome this cognitive dimensional challenge by providing 3D information superimposed and correctly aligned with the environment.
These virtual elements (holograms) can be pictures, text or entertainment.
The way we interact with our devices has evolved. Every advancement in computing technology has required a new method of input : from keyboard, to mouse, to touch. Yet, next-generation devices are using limited methods of control, like head, hands, and voice, with are carried over from the generations of devices before them. AR systems are going to break those paradigms, and invite new natural user interfaces such a voice, and eye-tracking, abandoning earlier approaches borrowed from touch screens, and virtual reality gesturing. Proponents of natural eye-tracking say it transforms intent into action through your eyes.
Mixed reality combines the practical elements of VR and AR. This newer technology is also more complex to implement.
This form of reality mixes our real world with virtual environments to create a new reality. The user interacts with both their real and virtual environments. Real physical objects influence digital elements.
Sometimes confused with Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality is nevertheless distinguished by its ability to interact between the 2 "worlds".
This technology requires the use of a high performance MR helmet.