Mixed Reality

What is mixed reality?

Johnny Reid
Nov 6, 2023

Mixed reality represents a major leap forward in computing by seamlessly blending the physical and digital realms.

What is mixed reality?

Mixed Reality Solutions

What is mixed reality? 

Mixed reality represents a major leap forward in computing by seamlessly blending the physical and digital realms. The static, 2D digital experiences of traditional screens, such as TVs, smartphones, and computers, are being replaced by immersive, 3D digital environments that seamlessly integrate with the physical world through heads-up, hands-free headsets. These devices display 3D holograms that can be manipulated through eye and hand tracking, providing a much more natural and intuitive way to interact with digital information. Mixed reality technology presents exciting opportunities for collaboration, learning, and development, providing users with immersive and engaging experiences that bridge the gap between the real and virtual worlds.

This convergence of physical and digital experiences will allow us to access and interact with digital information in a much more seamless and efficient way. For example, cooking a new recipe will no longer require switching back and forth between physical cookbook and digital instructions. Instead, you can simply swipe your hand in the air to advance to the next holographic step, streamlining the process and eliminating distractions. Mixed reality is poised to revolutionize the way we engage with the digital world.

How is mixed reality different from augmented reality?

AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality) are sometimes used interchangeably due to their similar nature of blending the physical and digital world. However, there is a subtle distinction between the two. AR specifically relates to the enhancement of visual elements in the real-world environment, while MR expands on this by allowing interaction with digital renderings via eye and hand tracking technology in addition to visual augmentation.

How does mixed reality work?

Mixed reality technology seamlessly combines the physical and digital worlds by using sensors and cameras to capture the real world, displaying digital content like 3D holograms on transparent or semi-transparent screens in front of the user's eyes. Users interact with these digital elements through gestures, voice commands, or controllers, with real-time adjustments to ensure accurate alignment with the user's surroundings. This technology creates immersive and interactive experiences, facilitating various applications that blend physical and digital realities.

How will mixed reality solutions define the next decade?

Mixed reality is poised to define the next decade as a cornerstone of digital innovation. By blending the physical and virtual worlds, MR will transform industries, redefine entertainment, and reshape how we interact with technology. It promises to enhance education through immersive learning, revolutionize design with interactive 3D modeling, and create collaborative workspaces that transcend physical boundaries.

When will mixed reality become fully adopted by consumers?

The consumer adoption of mixed reality hinges on accessibility, content richness, and user-friendly interfaces. While it's challenging to predict a precise timeline, as hardware becomes more affordable and content more compelling, we can anticipate a gradual yet steady integration of MR into daily life, mirroring the adoption curves of past technological innovations.

What does mixed reality do better than traditional touch screens?

Mixed reality excels where touch screens fall short: spatial engagement and context-aware interactions. MR devices understand and interact with the environment, allowing for richer, more intuitive experiences. They can project information and virtual objects into the real world, making data visualization and interaction more dynamic and natural than the flat, confined surfaces of touch screens.

Why will mixed reality be the next wave of computing?

Mixed reality is the next wave of computing because it represents a fundamental shift in how we perceive and interact with digital content. It moves beyond the limitations of screens, allowing for a more organic and integrated digital experience. As computing becomes increasingly ubiquitous, MR technology will likely become the default for personal and professional digital interactions, signifying a leap forward akin to the transition from command-line interfaces to graphical user interfaces.

What is the mixed reality spectrum?

To the left (close to physical reality), users stay rooted in their physical surroundings, with no illusion of departing from it.

In the middle (fully mixed reality), these encounters seamlessly merge the physical and digital realms, as seen in movies.

To the right (close to digital reality), users delve into a digital realm, largely detached from their physical surroundings.

Credit: Microsoft

When was the first VR/AR head headset released?

In the 1960s, Ivan Sutherland, a computer scientist and Harvard professor, created the first VR/AR head-mounted display called 'The Sword of Damocles.' The device, which was suspended from the ceiling, displayed computer-generated graphics that changed perspective as the user moved. Despite its intimidating appearance, it was considered as a groundbreaking invention that marked the beginning of virtual and augmented reality technology.

Who created the first mixed reality headset?

The first widely known and successful mixed reality headset was the Microsoft HoloLens, which was first released in 2016. It was the first self-contained, holographic computer that enables users to engage with digital content and interact with holograms in the world around them.

Describe mixed reality developers:

Mixed reality developers are professionals who specialize in creating MR applications and experiences. They use various programming languages and development tools to create interactive and immersive environments that blend the real and virtual worlds. The team at goHere consists of mixed reality developers who are skilled in creating interactive 3D graphics, animations, and physics simulations, as well as programming gesture and voice recognition, spatial mapping, and other MR-specific features. Our team also has a great understanding of user experience and design principles. 

How is mixed reality used in education?

Mixed reality technology is being used in education to provide students with interactive and immersive learning experiences, such as virtual field trips, and allowing students to participate in interactive science experiments in the safety of their own classroom.

What use cases in manufacturing are there for mixed reality?

The use of mixed reality technology in manufacturing aims to enhance efficiency and ensure quality control by giving workers access to interactive and realistic simulations of the production process. Additionally, it allows remote teams to work together in virtual environments, thereby improving collaboration.

How can mixed reality be applied in architecture and construction?

Mixed reality technology is applied in the field of construction and architecture to enable visualization of building plans, virtual walkthroughs of architectural models and training of workers on new equipment and procedures.

What are the healthcare use cases for mixed reality?

Mixed reality technology is being utilized in the healthcare sector to offer medical professionals interactive and realistic simulations for training, education and patient treatment, as well as therapy.

What is the forecast for the mixed reality market?

According to a report by Market Research Future (MRFR), the mixed reality market is projected to be valued at USD 9.21 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.28%.

How does mixed reality improve business performance?

Mixed reality solutions can be utilized by companies to improve productivity in various ways. One method is through the creation of digital representations of real-world objects, known as digital twins. This allows for testing and optimization of new designs before physical production, resulting in cost and time savings. Additionally, mixed reality can be employed to establish virtual environments for improved collaboration among remote employees.

What are the industrial use cases for the HoloLens 2?

Industrial mixed reality applications using HoloLens have a significant impact in various industrial settings by enhancing day-to-day operations. The potential for increased productivity and cost savings is substantial. Our team of Microsoft mixed reality developers can assist in areas such as maintenance and repair, training, product design and development, quality control, assembly and order picking, among others.

What is a hologram?

Hologram technology represents an innovative advancement that brings virtual objects to life, seamlessly blending them with the real world. This cutting-edge concept creates captivating and interactive experiences, allowing users to interact with virtual objects in a tangible way. Holograms open up new opportunities for creativity and productivity, enabling developers to design engaging applications and users to immerse themselves in a world where virtual and real elements coexist harmoniously.