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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?
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
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Virtual reality in action
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Mixed reality in full swing
See how MR technology seamlessly integrates virtual objects into the physical environment across industries.