Virtual Reality vs. Augmented Reality vs. Mixed Reality: Exploring the Virtual Universe

We’ve now entered the realm of “reality.” These forms of reality are, to put it mildly, magical. They are dominating the world without a lot of us noticing it. These technologies transport humans to a virtual world brimming with possibilities, permitting them to accomplish and experience things that real life cannot.

Aside from altering our perception of reality, all three are beginning to be used outside of traditional gaming and entertainment environments. Many industries, including healthcare, are already investigating how AR, VR, and MR can be used to improve medical devices. AR, for example, has the potential to improve current techniques in surgical and invasive procedures, medical training, telemedicine, and education.

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So, what are these three essentially, and are they the same? Definitely not. While they are frequently used together and sometimes interchangeably, there are some critical differences between them. Let’s dive into a deeper understanding of what VR, AR, and MR are and how they are different from each other.

Understanding Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality.

Virtual Reality (VR)

There are numerous definitions of the term Virtual Reality, some of which are lengthy and complicated. To put it simply, virtual reality is a digital environment that completely replaces the real world.

Virtual Reality allows users to experience artificial sounds and sights while feeling as if they are in a digital world. Imagine opening your eyes to find a computer-generated world all around you; you can move around and interact with it. That’s how Virtual Reality works.

Virtual Reality (VR) creates an alternate reality that is displayed using helmets or smartphones. It could be a linear video or 3D simulation. The effect of the presence and sensation of immersion into another space is significant. Thus, anything that could represent a writer’s, designer’s, or developer’s fantasy.

Viewers can see a voluminous image due to the different angular displacements for the right and left eyes. The positioning sensors in the displaying device aid in transferring the viewer’s movements to the virtual world. The most recognizable VR component is the head-mounted display, abbreviated as HMD.

The goal of a VR helmet is to separate the user from their field of vision by blocking the real physical environment. As a result, you enter a three-dimensional world and can engage in a variety of new activities. Furthermore, Virtual Reality glasses are not required to experience the three-dimensional video effect. On your PC, you can change the viewpoint by swiping the screen with your finger or a mouse.

Back in the day, VR devices like the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR caused quite a stir. Now that this technology has established itself, the market is flooded with options. To name a few, HTC Vive, Oculus Quest, and Valve Index. When these offerings are combined with those of every other major consumer electronics manufacturer, such as HP, Dell, or Acer, it is clear that the market for VR headsets is thriving.

The term interactive refers to VR content that responds to user actions. It can be found in a variety of computer games as well as mobile games. To begin interacting with the content, a person must usually look in a specific direction.

Furthermore, if the viewer has a distinctive controller, they can select, move, change, and delete objects without navigating through the context menu. It sounds like true magic, but it is what makes VR so popular among users.

Real-Life Applications of Virtual Reality

When you hear the term Virtual Reality, what is the first industry that comes to mind? It’s most likely gaming. The gaming industry has already embraced this technology; for example, you can connect the PlayStation VR headset to a PlayStation console and enjoy VR experiences.

However, gaming isn’t the only application for Virtual Reality technology. Take a look at our list of the most important VR applications.

Education and Training

VR learning content has the potential to transform education by making learning more immersive and engaging. Aside from schools and universities, virtual experiences can also be used to train employees in businesses. 

VR can also be used to train experienced specialists. Soldiers, for example, can conduct raids in Virtual Reality. Surgeons can also perform operations on virtual patients. VR training improves users’ skills and boosts their confidence as specialists.

Students no longer have to worry if they are unable to attend classes due to personal circumstances, thanks to VR technology. Students will be able to feel as if they are present in the classroom when using VR technologies in 2020. Home-based learning can be time-consuming. As a result, a VR solution allows one to remain present during a lecture. Students can no longer be distracted from the learning process with the help of VR.


Businesses can reach out to their audiences through immersive and engaging marketing campaigns thanks to Virtual Reality. This is especially important in the age of online shopping because Virtual Reality experiences allow people to get a feel for products without leaving their homes.

Today, marketing professionals use VR to allow you to make a virtual purchase. The benefits of such a scenario are obvious for both parties. On the one hand, retailers use Virtual Reality (VR) to promote a product or service. On the other hand, it forces users to spend money before they try out a new product or service.

Real estate is a large industry that greatly benefits from the use of VR technology. Purchasing a home or apartment is a significant step in your life, and you want to ensure that your decision is sound and that you will not be disappointed. As a result, Virtual Reality allows you to buy a new house, walk around it, and live in it. As a result, you save not only money but time as well.

Engineering and Design:

Engineers and designers use Virtual Reality technology to visualize while building 3D models. It can be difficult to visualize how your project will look in reality at times. As a result, engineers and architects must create a prototype and sort through an object. Following that, you can either begin implementation or make some changes. This type of VR application is especially cost-effective.

Before building real estate objects, a specialist examines the object from every possible angle. Using the full 360 view, you can zoom in on any party’s details. Furthermore, with the scientific technologies available in 2020, we will be able to go even further. We can understand how virtual models react to elements like water and wind, by using real-world physics.

VR is beneficial for polishing projects as well as exhibiting projects to clients who may not get the right impression from the CAD document. IrisVR is a good example of this. It is software that integrates with other popular architecture and design programs and allows for VR project visualization.

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Augmented Reality (AR)

Although the term “Augmented Reality” has become trendy, many people are still unfamiliar with the technology. So, to put it simply, Augmented Reality is the overlay of digital content in the real-world environment. Virtual objects can take many forms, including images, videos, and interactive data. AR has numerous applications, the most well-known of which are AR games. Through the use of animation, images, and sound, the user is immersed in a computerized simulation. The AR kit includes special glasses, a handheld device, and a powered display environment.

AR applications are supported by the majority of modern smartphones and tablets. There are also specialized devices for enterprise use, such as Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens.

Apple is also excited about the concept of AR smart glasses, and its device is set to hit the market in early 2020. Other major consumer electronics companies have offerings, but the market for smart glasses is less developed than the market for VR headsets.

The potential of Augmented Reality is currently limited only by hardware capabilities. As a result, a display environment superimposes real-life images of augmenting reality. The first AR app was a smartphone native application.

The mobile app operated on the principle of adding textual overlays to camera images. The AR tennis game for Nokia was one of the first smartphone AR apps in the 2000s.

Applications of Augmented Reality Technology

Now that you comprehend what Augmented Reality is and how it works, try to guess which industries this technology could be used in. No, gaming does not qualify. Though Pokemon Go was a significant advancement in mobile gaming, Augmented Reality technology has much more to offer.

AR, in fact, has applications ranging from advertising to medicine. Let’s take a look at some of the applications of Augmented Reality technology.

Military and Medical

AR is used in practice by members of the armed forces and medical personnel. Jetfighter pilots use the Heads-Up Display (HUD), which is a transparent display. It contains critical information such as airspeed, altitude, horizon line, and others. The advantage is that all of the displayed data is right in front of the pilot’s eyes.

The US Air Force makes extensive use of Red 6 Aerospace software. It increases training efficiency and safety by simulating opponent air presence without requiring the use of real planes and pilots. When there are fewer planes in the air during training, the chances of a collision or malfunction are reduced. It also saves money for taxpayers.

When it comes to medical applications of AR, one cannot help but think of neurosurgery and its use of this technology. Modern neurosurgeons are able to perform complex operations using 3D images with precise coordinates. As a result, during brain surgery, a doctor has information based on the actual anatomy of a specific patient.


Augmented Reality enables marketers and advertisers to approach their target audiences more effectively. Unlike traditional advertisements, AR advertisements are interactive and engaging, so they not only promote sales but also raise brand awareness.


In the manufacturing industry, new technologies can provide a competitive advantage. Augmented Reality assists businesses in increasing productivity and quality. How? AR devices can help manufacturing workers reduce human error, save time, and increase efficiency.

Maintenance and Repair

A mechanic can perform complex repairs with the help of Augmented Reality technology. AR allows for the labeling of some critical elements and parts, while superimposed images aid in repair work. AR aids in the completion of some construction projects by breaking down the entire procedure into separate steps. Engineers can also be trained using AR simulations.

Mechanical engineering and maintenance jobs frequently rely on experience and visual imagination. A mechanic must be familiar with the dimensions and properties of all mechanisms. When he does not, mistakes occur. AR allows for a quick lookup of part specifications, a quick gauge of mechanical parts without the use of other tools, and a better image of the inner workings of an unfamiliar mechanism.

AR Gaming

Year after year, Augmented Reality gaming becomes more sophisticated. It’s no surprise that Augmented Reality is mostly associated with the virtual gaming niche. AR games will be more affordable than ever before with the innovations available in 2020. As an added bonus, you will not need to use your PC to enjoy this new experience. Anyone can download the corresponding mobile app and begin their virtual journey right away.

In contrast to VR, AR struggles in the console and desktop markets. AR gaming is still primarily a mobile experience. Furthermore, despite having a sizable share of overall gaming revenue, the mobile market is still marginalized. Perhaps AR will be the catalyst that propels the mobile market to the forefront of excitement and innovation. Time alone will tell.

Mixed Reality (MR)

MR, or Mixed Reality, refers to videos that incorporate VR content into a real-time linear video. The Chroma Key technology is used to shoot an actor in Virtual Reality. In this case, the camera’s position corresponds to the location of an actor. As a result, viewers who are experiencing MR can see the actors as if they are in a simulated environment.

Simply put, virtual objects can be seen in Mixed Reality just as they can in Augmented Reality, but these objects can also interact with the real world. Mixed Reality is, in some ways, a more immersive and interactive form of augmented reality.

What Are the Benefits of Mixed Reality?

Every year, MR gains traction due to the exceptional combination of AR and VR technologies. MR has evolved into a useful tool for everyday users, business leaders, and government employees.


Immersive communication experiences enabled by MR technology aid in more efficient collaboration. Employees can don headsets and begin collaborating without being cut off from the outside world.


Mixed reality, like VR and AR, is useful in education. MR, as opposed to VR, allows students to see both the real world and holograms. This provides immersive learning experiences and aids in the understanding of what is being studied. Mixed reality can be used for a variety of purposes, including school education and medical training.


Mixed Reality technology aids manufacturing processes by providing real-time assistance to workers. Holographic instructions are displayed directly in front of workers’ eyes, ensuring that they always know what to do. This reduces the possibility of human error and significantly improves quality. MR can also be used for maintenance and repairs, which is especially useful in industries that require expertise and precision.

VR vs. AR vs. MR: What is necessary to remember?

  1. Videos can immediately capture the viewer’s attention in the Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality debate. More exciting and credible content will be watched. Content is an important consideration for those who want to effectively use VR, AR, and MR in their businesses.
  2. Professional panoramic videography is a difficult task. Because viewers must be able to change their perspective, the shooting equipment and props must not fall into the frame.
  3. Every detail, its place, and meaning are important for the audience to truly feel what is happening because it helps to immerse them in the virtual world.
  4. To make Virtual Reality appear natural, scene transitions should be as smooth as possible. A smooth transition is significant because it allows viewers to adjust to changes and orient themselves in new scenes.
  5. Panoramic photography presents new challenges to filmmakers. Appropriate framing, movement, animation, and sound all help to draw the viewer’s attention.

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As Virtual Reality becomes more realistic, it does not imply that real life will become boring and unnecessary in comparison to engaging online experiences. AR, VR, and MR can all help to improve RR by allowing people to discover new joys in their daily lives.

True, there are concerns about the deterioration of real reality. This has already happened with social media. People create their social realities by posting online and communicating through networks, which can be drastically different. Social media, on the other hand, provided people with real-life opportunities: new jobs appeared, people were able to make real-life connections, and their routines were enriched.

Virtual and Augmented Reality may end up on the same path. Although there will undoubtedly be concerns about digital realities replacing actual experiences, we will almost certainly find a way to seamlessly combine all types of environments.

People will receive tangible benefits from this technology, such as new jobs, high salaries, and physical skills after training in or playing in the AR environment, ultimately enriching their real lives with digital experiences.

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