The Ultimate Guide to Understanding
Mixed Reality (MR) Technology

Mixed Reality (MR)Introduction to Mixed Reality (MR)

Mixed Reality (MR) is used as an independent concept or to classify the spectrum of reality technologies, as referenced in the reality–virtuality continuum.

As an independent concept, mixed reality combines the best of both virtual reality and augmented reality. When used to classify the larger scope of reality technologies, it refers to the coverage of all possible variations and compositions of real and virtual objects.

Mixed Reality Definition

What is the Definition of Mixed Reality (MR)?

Mixed Reality noun

Mixed Reality Defintion (Independent)

The predominantly virtual spaces where real world objects or people are dynamically integrated into virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

Mixed Reality Definition (Continuum)

The continuous scale ranging which covers all possible variations and compositions of real and virtual objects. The continuum ranges from a completely real and natural environment, to a completely virtual environment. The concept was first introduced by Paul Milgram.

Would you like to learn more about commonly used words in Mixed Reality Terminology? Visit our Mixed Reality Glossary to discover 30+ must know industry terms. 

Types of Mixed Reality

Mixed Reality (MR) Categories

Mixed Reality (Continuum)

Mixed Reality Continuum

This spectrum (i.e. Mixed Reality Continuum) covers all possible variations and compositions of real and virtual objects. On the spectrum, beginning from far-left, is the natural world where nothing is computer generated. The most-right point on the spectrum, is the virtual environment where everything is computer generated. Below, we explore the various types of reality technologies that make up this spectrum:

Mixed Reality (Independent)

Mixed Reality (MR)

Mixed reality, either as a standalone concept or used to refer to the entire spectrum of situations between actual reality (i.e. real world) and virtual reality, attempts to combine the best of both virtual reality and augmented reality. When both real and virtual worlds are merged together, new environments and visualizations become possible where physical and digital objects can coexist and interact in real time.

Real Environment

Mixed Reality - Real Environment

Real environment (also called “natural environment”) refers to the natural world we consume everyday. This natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth. Consequently, most virtual environments are modeled after real environments. Re-creating virtual representations of real environment objects (e.g. people, natural landscapes) allow for deepened levels of immersion into virtual worlds.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality brings aspect of the virtual world into the real world. It is closer to the real environment, as opposed to virtual environments, in the spectrum of reality technologies. This is because augmented reality users remain in the real world (i.e. natural environment) while experiencing enhanced virtually created visuals, aurals, and feelings. Augmented reality does this by layering virtual information and/or graphics on top of a user’s view of a real world scene.

Augmented Virtuality

Mixed Reality - Augmented Virtuality

Augmented virtuality describes the environment in which real objects are inserted into computer-generated virtual environments. It is best described as the inverse of augmented reality, where real world objects are layered over virtual environments. An example of augmented virtuality is the kitchen remodeling scenario. By utilizing augmented virtuality technology, a homeowner could visualize and interact with virtual appliances and easily manipulate different layouts, in a digital representation of their current kitchen.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality seeks to provide users with the greatest level of immersion: total-immersion. This deepened level of immersion is distinct from other types of reality technologies. The total immersion experienced in virtual reality requires stimulation of all of the user’s senses in a fully immersive virtual experience, to the extent that the brain accepts the virtual environment as a real environment. In a virtual reality environment, users inhabit a completely synthetic world may or may not mimic the properties of a real-world environment.

Mixed Reality News

Latest Developments in Mixed Reality (MR) News

The field of mixed reality is continually growing with new technology advancements, software improvements, and products. Staying up to date with the latest mixed reality news is important to stay on top of this rapidly growing industry. We cover the latest in augmented reality news, virtual reality news, and mixed reality news.

Mixed Reality Companies

Discover Innovative Mixed Reality (MR) Startups and Companies

Reality Technologies (Mixed Reality, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality) Companies and StartupsIt takes bold visionaries and risk-takers to build future technologies into realities. In the field of mixed reality (MR), there are many companies across the globe working on this mission. Our mega list of augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality companies covers the top companies and startups who are innovating in this space.

Reality Technology Guides

Different Types of Reality Technologies

Mixed Reality is only one pillar of reality technologies. Further explore the depth of these technologies by continuing with one of our other “Ultimate Guide to Understanding” web resources on Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality.