Latest technologies such as virtual reality and mixed reality have shown tremendous advancement popularity wise over the past few months. It is believed that by 2025, the global compelling reality market is expected to reach $814.7 billion. Virtual, mixed, and augmented reality are the prime technologies that are gaining the client’s attention. A vast number of organizations worldwide want to implement these technologies in their businesses to provide their clients with an improvised experience. However, these technologies seem to be quite similar to one another, and it might be challenging for developers to understand which technology would work best with their business. Hence, this answer covers all the significant differences between virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) and how MR is winning over VR.
In Terms of Technology Environment
Virtual reality empowers its users to get completely immersed in a simulated digital environment. In the last few years, the computer-generated reality experience has advanced significantly. The reason behind this advancement is the realistic graphical and sound content, as well as interactive features such as haptic feedback, where the user feels sensations.
Mixed reality technology combines real and virtual elements and is one step ahead of augmented reality (AR). In this technology, virtual objects are overlaid in real-world surroundings, co-exist, and can be interacted with in real-time in a similar manner as one would interact with the objects in the real world. For instance, an MR headset offers the user to visualize 3D content in the space, and it also provides its users with different perspectives of the object as the user moves away or closer to them. Some of the best MR devices available in the market are Microsoft’s HoloLens, Samsung Odyssey, Acer Windows Mixed Reality, and Lenovo Explorer.
In Terms of Implementation
Virtual Reality transports users to a completely virtual environment. This technology provides the user with an experience stimulating the virtual ocean floor, another country, or space or creates a fictional world that seems real.
Mixed reality is the latest immersive technology, which does not have as many publicized cases as compared to virtual reality. However, there are still some companies that implement MR to expand their businesses. HoloLens 2, Microsoft is an untethered tool designed to help users across an organization communicate, collaborate, and learn.
In Terms of Device Functionalities
A virtual reality head-mounted display or headset is required to experience this technology. This gear is connected to a PC or console that consists of the software. This software creates virtual objects that are seen by the user. Some of the popular VR headsets available in the market are Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, or Google Cardboard. These headsets implement the use of a smartphone to enable the visuals of a virtual environment. The headsets are explicitly designed on an advanced architecture where two video signals are sent to each LCD on the headset. These signals are meant to fool the brain and the user’s binocular vision and make them believe that the virtual environment is physical rather than just a scene playing out on a screen.
On the other hand, mixed reality takes a lot more processing power than either virtual or augmented reality devices. The MR headset provides either a holographic experience through translucent glasses or an immersive experience.
Mixed reality is a technology that might be less immersive than a virtual reality experience, but it combines both of these technologies to create an extraordinarily, believable, and compelling interaction. Additionally, MR also allows users to connect with other users with gesture/gaze/voice recognition technology through a headset or a pair of motion controllers.
In Terms of Applications
Following the entertainment and gaming industries, many industries, such as military, fashion, business, sports, education, healthcare, construction, and engineering, have adopted VR technology. Many industries have successfully incorporated VR equipment from training for high performance in sports to implementing it at a fashion show. All of these applications have driven this technology to grow at pace.
Various organizations are focusing on mixed reality applications to support multiple initiatives. Some of these applications include engineering and design modeling, employee training, and the education sector. Mixed reality also helps in the sales process of products.
All the points mentioned above evidently state the benefits of implementing virtual reality and mixed reality technology to businesses. As both the techniques are new and both have their significant advantages, it would not be possible to state that mixed reality is winning over virtual reality or not. The businesses should understand both of these technology's criticalities and then decide which of them is more suitable for their business.