What is XR?

XR is an Acronym for Extended Reality, Encompassing VR, AR + MR.

XR stands for Extended Reality and encompasses four realities including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR).

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) requires a Head-Mounted Display (HMD) like the Oculus Quest, HTC Vive or PlayStation VR to access and navigate. VR is a closed environment, meaning you cannot see the outside world through the headset. Therefore, VR performs exceptionally well in 3D immersive gaming and video entertainment; you can experience content in a highly immersive way with 360° video and spatial audio sound. Haptic devices can also be added to further enhance the experience, providing tactile feedback to heighten the sense of reality.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) – uses your smartphone or tablet device to project a holographic overlay into your real-world environment. Some examples of popular AR applications include Pokémon GO or the IKEA Furniture app. AR experiences allow you to see your real-world environment through the camera lens with additional holographic information displayed on whatever you’re pointing it at.

With AR, you can use your phone or tablet to focus on a restaurant, and a display pops up giving a menu and customer reviews, look at a historic building, and see when it was built, or point towards that chap sitting opposite you on the metro, and find out this stranger’s name and age. These are the sort of possibilities afforded to the technology of Augmented Reality.   AR is a relative of MR. In that we mean, the word Augment is to make something greater by adding to it. This comes in the form of Visual and Graphical Information, an add-on to the real world through Glass (Screen).

Mixed Reality

Mixed Reality (MR) projects realistic 3D holograms into your real-world environment in a hands-free manner using a Mixed Reality headset like the Microsoft Hololens or the Magic Leap One. Mixed Reality is the most likely to change the way we use computers as we head into the future simply because its hands-free, no further devices are required other than HMD (and the contact lenses are on the way…), the holographic experience is contextual to the tasks we seek to perform and our real-world environment making it the perfect choice for communication, commerce and productivity applications.

Further Realms Defined

What is IRL?

IRL stands for In Real Life

Real Reality (RR)

RR is the natural world we live in on a day-to-day basis. – In RR, we can perceive that the human body is essentially an organic computer. We interact using the Human Body as an interface with 5 primary senses; the brain serves as the Central Processing Unit, our eyes as the Graphics Processing Unit and our ears process audio – decoding the frequencies into ‘sounds’ we can decipher. Much debate has been had and remains ongoing on the idea that this “Real Reality” we live in just might be a simulated projection.


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