You’ve heard about virtual reality, and maybe augmented reality, but what about mixed reality? In the world of cool tech, mixed reality is something you definitely want to know more about. So what is exactly makes something mixed reality? For that, we turn to Reality Technologies’ definition, “Instead of residing in an entirely virtual world (i.e. virtual reality), virtual objects are anchored into a user’s real world space and augment their real world environment, making virtual interactions appear to be ‘real.’”[1] Let’s delve a bit deeper into how mixed reality is used and what you can expect to see from this technology in the near future.

 

How Do You Use Mixed Reality?

If you want to experience mixed reality content, then you’re going to need to invest in the right tools. Tech like the Microsoft HoloLens helps you to get into the world of mixed reality. While these headsets look a bit similar to those used in virtual reality, there are some differences. Todd Haselton tested out the Microsoft technology for CNBC and reports that, “Mixed reality is more like virtual reality in that you can’t see your actual surroundings, but a bit like HoloLens in that you can interact with Microsoft apps and move around a digital space.”[2]

Developers are about to get the opportunity to test out mixed reality for themselves. Engadget just reported the pre-order announcement for Acer’s and HP’s Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which will cost in the realm of $300 – $400.[3] We can expect that the more developers play with these gadgets, the more incredible ideas they will begin to experiment with using them.

 

What Is Mixed Reality Content Like?

Here is where things get really interesting. Projected uses for mixed reality are pretty much endless. One practical application that could change the way we work is Holoportation which The Next Web predicts will change how we will communicate at work, “…will allow device users in different cities or countries to sit and interact with each other in the same space virtually, while remaining miles and miles apart.”[4] If you have ever missed out on a meeting because you were in another country, then holoportation might just be the solution. Not to mention the amount of money it could save companies who shell out thousands on sending their employees on business trips each year.

While mixed reality certainly has some great practical uses, there are a bunch of cool ways to use the technology as well. Venture Beat recently did a great story covering the Ghost Girl gaming concept that immerses you in a thrilling and potentially terrifying gaming experience. As mixed reality becomes more advanced, games will get more immersive. You won’t just be a passive observer anymore, you will actually be a part of the experience. Kids games like Coding Jam for the iPad also prove that mixed reality will influence both recreational and educational gaming in the future.[5]

Side note while we are discussing some of the fun applications of virtual gaming, Conan O’Brien recently did a sketch of him interacting with an office simulator that you might want to check out.

 

Learn More!

Interested in keeping up with the latest mixed reality innovations? One of the best ways to stay up-to-date is by following the innovators behind the new tech. Next Reality has combined a helpful list to make this process easy. Check out their article, Next Reality’s 50 People to Watch in Augmented & Mixed Reality, to see who is making the biggest waves in mixed reality.

 

What mixed reality applications are you looking forward to the most? Anything that you think the developers should work on? Share your thoughts on mixed reality and the future of the tech in the comments below!

[1] http://www.realitytechnologies.com/mixed-reality

[2] http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/28/microsoft-mixed-reality-first-look.html

[3] https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/11/microsoft-acer-hp-windows-mixed-reality-headsets-pre-order/

[4] https://thenextweb.com/insider/2017/01/07/mixed-reality-will-be-most-important-tech-of-2017/

[5] https://9to5mac.com/2017/05/11/osmo-announces-ipad-mixed-reality-game-kids-coding-principles-music/