Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term referring to all real-and-virtual combined environments and interactions generated by computer technology. It includes Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
"XR isn’t about the future - it’s already here", says Thomas Walter, section Manager, strategic product marketing at NEC Display Solutions Europe.
Virtual Reality might be the one you are most familiar with.
VR is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person b is immersed within this virtual environment and in most cases is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.
Many people know VR through the use of Head-Mounted Devices (HMD) like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Google Cardboard. If you want to know more about HMDs, check out this blog article.
What is less known by the public is that there are many different types of virtual reality systems, like VR Caves or VR theatres developed for use within scientific and engineering industries.
Augmented reality (AR), on the contrary, does not give a complete immersion. AR adds digital elements to a live view often done by using the camera on a smartphone or tablet. Augmented reality experiences and games include for example apps like Pokemon Go or devices like the Snapchat lenses.
Mixed Reality blends elements of both AR and VR, where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. It allows allows the user to interact with combined virtual and real objects. Examples of MR include games like Halo Recruit or apps such as HoloTour.