Have you heard of XR, extended reality? It’s something I came across just recently and want to share with you because it’s expected to be part of everyday life in the next 10 years.
Extended reality is an umbrella term for augmented reality, AR, virtual reality, VR, and mixed reality MR. These are technologies that merge our physical world with the virtual world, a world simulated by a computer.
Augmented reality augments your physical world by adding a new layer where virtual information and computer simulated objects are overlaid onto the real world by using AR glasses or a smart phone . Pokemon is AR where digital creatures are superimposed onto the real world as well as Snapchat which uses filters to superimpose a hat or glasses onto your head.
In contrast to augmented reality, in virtual reality you are fully immersed in a computer simulated environment using a VR headset or a head mounted display. The headset generates realistic sounds and images and engages all five of your senses to create a world you can interact with as if you were at a live concert, scuba diving in the ocean, or walking on the moon.
Mixed realty or MR is a combination of virtual and augmented reality. The real and virtual worlds are blended to create an environment that mixes physical and digital elements. Like AR, mixed reality can superimpose digital content onto a real world and like VR, in mixed reality, you can move objects and interact with everything around you.
There are challenges to this technology such as the vulnerability of having large amounts of very detailed, personal data collected about what you do, what you look at, even your emotions. And there are difficult technical and hardware issues to get the display, power, motion tracking, and connectivity to give a realistic, immersive experience. Also there’s a high cost to implementing this technology.
Despite these problems, XR will include any future realities, too. It’s a fundamental shift in the way you’ll carry out your daily life. Even as you attend a morning conference in China, go over business plans in New York, and host clients in Brazil for drinks after work, all from your office in LA, you won’t refer to the technology at all because your experience will be seamless. Someone has called it the end of distance.
From Short and Sweet AI, I’m Dr. Peper.