Extended Reality

Guide to XR

Explore virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) tools to ideate, build, and scale multiplatform industry applications in real-time 3D.

Image courtesy of Sentient Computing

Extended reality explained

Access free educational courses and explore products that enable you to seamlessly design, optimize, and deploy XR applications for games and industries.

What is extended reality

Courtesy of Facebook Reality Labs

What is extended reality?

Extended reality (XR) is a dynamic and immersive technology that combines aspects of the physical and digital worlds, providing users an enhanced experience. XR encompasses virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), each of which is distinct.

Virtual reality (VR) transports users to entirely computer-generated environments, creating a fully immersive and often interactive experience. Users wear a headset to explore and interact with this digital landscape.

Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital information and objects onto the real world. This technology supplements what users see with additional digital elements, often through a smartphone or AR glasses.

Mixed reality (MR) merges elements of both VR and AR, enabling users to interact with digital content while still being aware of and interacting with the real world. MR seamlessly integrates virtual and physical elements, creating a more interactive and dynamic experience.

XR has a broad range of applications, from gaming and entertainment to education, healthcare, architecture, and more. As technology continues to evolve, XR is becoming increasingly accessible and is poised to revolutionize how people perceive and interact with the world.

How does extended reality work?

How does extended reality work?

Extended reality uses advanced technologies to blend the real world with digital content, creating an immersive experience. XR involves three primary components: hardware, software, and interaction techniques.

Hardware: XR hardware includes devices like headsets, glasses, sensors, cameras, and haptic feedback tools. Headsets provide the visual and auditory interface that immerses users in the virtual or augmented environment. Sensors and cameras track the user’s movements and surroundings, enabling real-time interaction.

Software: XR software is responsible for creating and rendering the digital content that users perceive. This content can range from fully computer-generated environments (VR) to overlays on the real world (AR). Developers use specialized programming languages and platforms to design XR applications and experiences.

Interaction techniques: XR utilizes various interaction methods to engage users within the virtual or augmented environment. This can include gestures, voice commands, touch controllers, and more. These techniques enable users to navigate, manipulate objects, and interact with the digital content.

By combining these elements, XR enhances education, training, entertainment, design, and numerous other fields. XR technology is evolving to deliver even more compelling and realistic experiences.

Augmented reality at work

Discover how augmented reality is being used to enhance entertainment, transportation, and more.

Enhancing Wallace and Gromit with AR

Aardman Animations, the brilliant minds behind Wallace and Gromit, partnered with Fictioneers to digitally unleash this iconic series on the real world.

Building the Childish Gambino universe – PHAROS AR

Learn how the team behind the Childish Gambino concert experience engaged fans with mobile AR to make the Gambino universe accessible to millions on a global scale.

Valerio Dewalt Train

Discover how Valerio Dewalt Train visualized the iconic 36-story Bell Tower and Bell Park Office Building for the City of Denver in just four weeks with Unity’s AR technology.

Unity for AR development

Discover tools to start developing for AR with Unity.

Unity PolySpatial

Unity is bringing its powerful authoring tools for creating immersive real-time 3D apps and simulations to Apple’s new spatial computing platform, Apple Vision Pro.

Unity Mars

Build AR apps faster with Unity Mars, a local simulation environment that enables you to simulate objects and environments for testing inside the Unity Editor, and deliver multiplatform experiences.

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AR Foundation

Carry features across AR platforms with a framework that enables you to easily integrate features on new platforms without rebuilding your app from scratch.

Build your AR dev skills

Learn how to develop in AR for mobile devices with free courses for all skill levels.

Virtual reality in action

Dive into how VR is making an impact on safety training, design collaboration, and more.

OutHere and Skanska

Learn how OutHere collaborated with Skanska, the world’s fifth-largest construction company, to develop highly realistic VR scenarios for Skanska’s employee safety training program.

SHoP Architects

Discover how SHoP Architects’ talented 200-person team embraced Unity’s VR technology to enhance collaboration and makeg the design process more efficient.

Medal of Honor

Learn how Respawn Entertainment has given new life to a beloved franchise, Medal of Honor, exclusively on the Oculus VR platform.

Unity for VR development

Deliver interactive experiences that drive sales, provide valuable training, and solve your toughest visualization challenges.

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Immersive training

Increase workforce knowledge, skills, and competence with immersive, real-time 3D training experiences. Engage workers from any location with interactive content they retain.

Image courtesy of ABB

Cinematic VR

Pull your audience into new worlds using the leading platform for VR. With groundbreaking features like Timeline and the Post-Processing Stack, you can create truly captivating content.

Learn VR development

Kickstart your VR career with free courses on creating VR projects with Unity.

Mixed reality in full swing

See how MR technology seamlessly integrates virtual objects into the physical environment across industries.

Revolutionizing car development with MR

Dive into Volvo Cars’ journey as an early adopter of real-time 3D, enthusiastically embracing mixed reality to revolutionize the sales, engineering, design, and repair of cars.

Image courtesy of Varjo

Reshaping education with MR

Learn how mixed reality is transforming the way peoplelearn and bringing novel experiences to the classroom.

Surgical training with mixed reality

Discover how VirtaMed, the Swiss-based developer of mixed reality simulators for medical education, is transforming surgical training with Unity’s digital twin technology.

Unity’s integrative MR editors by industry

Unity Pro

Simplify MR app creation across platforms and reduce iteration time with in-Editor simulation features and no-code authoring parameters.

Unity Industry

Get creation tools and enterprise-level support to transform your CAD and 3D data into immersive apps and experiences available on any device, anywhere.


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