Mixed reality allows, users, to navigate through the real world and the virtual environment seamlessly at the simultaneously. The virtual objects are positioned in the real world space and coordinates. Whenever a user moves towards it, the virtual objects get bigger and vice versa. And whenever a user moves around it, one can see the virtual objects from different angles and perspectives… just like real objects would behave. The experience is like viewing holograms objects.
Furthermore, in mixed reality, users are also able to manipulate the virtual objects. Users can interact with their concepts in virtual objects form as if they really existed in front of them.
Some examples of the mixed reality technology are Microsoft HoloLens, Magic Leap and Canon MREAL System. Although some say that HoloLens is under the AR (Augmented Reality) category; according to Microsoft, it should get categorised under the MR (Mixed Reality) domain. Below is the Youtube video clip showing the anticipated capabilities of HoloLens for the consumers and industrialist.
Mixed Reality is yet in its infancy. However, there are still some applications that MR may be suited for.
Augmented Reality turns the environment around into a digital interface by placing virtual objects in the real world, in real-time. Augmented Reality can be seen through a wide variety of experiences. We distinguish 3 main categories of Augmented Reality tools.
Augmented Reality 3D viewers, like Augment, allow users to place life-size 3D models in your environment with or without the use of trackers. Trackers are simple images that 3D models can be attached to in Augmented Reality.
Augmented Reality browsers enrich your camera display with contextual information. For example, you can point your smartphone at a building to display its history or estimated value.
The last way that Augmented Reality is generally experienced is through gaming, creating immersive gaming experiences that utilise your actual surroundings. Imagine shooting games with zombies walking in your own bedroom! The biggest use of Augmented Reality gaming to-date is Pokémon Go, allowing users to catch virtual Pokémon who are hidden throughout a map of the real world.
As is evident by name, images or 3D models are projected on to the physical space. This technology can also enable interactiveness. For example, as the image portrays, a digital keyboard can be projected on your desk that you can work on; or, put a dialler on your hand. Projection based AR can also be used to project objects on to the real world. It allows for a user to be able to see the position and depth. For example, if a user wants to understand if a fridge he is going to buy will fit in to a space, this AR tech would allow for the fridge to be projected giving the buyer an idea how it will look and if it will fit in the space.
This AR tech is where a QR code or image is scanned and it comes above. Think how iGreet cards work. The fundamental of this tech is the AR app recognises a marker that is already learnt by the app. Once it recognises the marker, it replaces it with a corresponding object or information as per requirements. One more way that AR tech uses recognition is also where the app sees words through the camera and translates them. This kind of AR is very widely used.
Location-based AR uses the location by reading the smart device’s GPS, compass and accelerometer and provides relevant information as per requirement on the screen. This kind of tech can be used by retailers to help customers find their outlets. Cities can map the city and guide tourists in finding areas of interest, important govt. offices like police stations, hospitals, embassies etc. and other areas of interests.
Outline based AR may at times get confused with Projection based AR. Outline AR also uses object recognition to design it’s functionality. It is mostly deployed in situations where our eyes get weary or simply cannot see in low light conditions. These are the conditions where this tech is deployed. For example, low visibility on the road can he helped using Outline AR to outline the road and ensure road safety.
Superimposition based augmented reality is spawned covering at a partial or complete level the object that the augmented information triggers from. It relies on recognising the trigger image or object explicitly. This is because the application cannot replace the original view with an augmented one if it cannot determine what the object is.