Mixed Reality vs Augmented Reality: Points of Convergence and Divergence

Christina Tziouvara
The dilemma of mixed reality vs augmented reality relies on the fact that mixed reality (MR) is an extension of augmented reality’s (AR) capacities as the additional elements of MR have the ability of responsive function.

Defining the Two Technological Experiences

Augmented reality is the technology that enables digital visual and auditory elements to enhance real-world objects in real-time. In contrast, mixed reality operates as an amplified version of augmented reality. Hence, as mixed reality, we define technology, where digital elements, which correspond to visual and auditory senses, blend in with real-world objects; digital elements and real-world objects can interact. Mixed reality is characterized as the technology that combines features of augmented and virtual reality experience. Therefore, an addition to MR technology is the immersive environment.

Mixed Reality VS Augmented Reality: Examples of Application

Here are four applications of augmented reality and mixed reality, two of which will help you clarify the implementation frame of each technology.

  • Gatwick airport passenger application is an AR example that travellers use for navigation purposes in the airport premises. In particular, travellers can navigate the airport’s two terminals through AR maps using their mobile phones.
  • AR has applications in healthcare as well. There are applications addressed to medical students, where they have the opportunity to practice telemedicine. Furthermore, AR environments can be used before surgical operations.
  • Microsoft HoloLens 2 is a device based on MR technology. It is a device that allows working with lifelike holograms and intervention to the 3D images.
  • Mixed reality applies to the field of engineering as well. The real-time simulating environment that MR technology provides can train future engineers.

Obviously, in the dilemma of mixed reality vs augmented reality, choosing between the two technologies is not an easy deed. There is a common ground between these two technologies; but, MR has magnified potentials compared to AR. Hence, the choice between these two mainly relies on the purpose of application and the desired outcome.