Article

Ripal Vyas
Ripal Vyas 26 September 2017

Why mixed reality has an edge over virtual reality

Virtual reality transposes users to an alternate world by offering interactive capabilities. Whereas, Mixed Reality with the blend of VR and AR changes the way users create, connect, and collaborate with a new holographic experience. Therefore, MR is the better choice for industries that are trying to improve their operational efficiency using holographic experiences.

Nowadays, many enterprises want to leverage various types of ‘immersive experiences’, including augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality. Out of these three, mixed reality (MR) has become the common goal for many enterprises due to the distinctive capabilities compared to other immersive experiences.

MR is capable of producing enterprise-focused applications with the best combination of both physical and digital worlds.  This is why many enterprises are investing in MR applications development to deliver a digital experience to their users. The main mixed reality devices available in the market are Microsoft HoloLens and ODG headsets that help different industries improve the way they work.

How mixed reality works

Mixed reality (MR) is the mix of real and virtual worlds where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. MR comes with various powerful features such as mapping physical surroundings, monitoring gestures, and language processing for voice recognition and more. MR indicates a new way of working by communicating and collaborating with its practical uses with enterprises, as it offers ‘real-world, real-life’ experiences.

How Mixed Reality is better than Virtual Reality

In comparison, virtual reality has its limitations as it completely blocks the user’s surroundings and thus, requires the user to remain in place. A few VR headsets allow for limited mobility but not as much when compared to a mixed reality device such as HoloLens.

MR relates to the user’s present surroundings with 3D visuals and creates a continuous view of both worlds; virtual and real. Also, with MR technology the user is allowed to have movements and remain productive while attending tasks.

This is one of the main advantages of MR over VR, where MR has more impact on the enterprise market although VR is on the development curve. However, challenges involving real-time processing and calibration of physical environments need to be overcome.

Enterprises adopting MR are likely to be highly effective, the reason being it will provide a rich experience and personalized views without any distractions.

Let’s see how MR can benefit various industries:

Manufacturing

The industrial environment can greatly improve operational efficiencies from assembly lines to supply chains using mixed reality head-worn display. With MR devices, manufacturers can perform product designing, product maintenance, quality inspection, and more by collaborating in real-time with different teams across the organization. Even, the mixed reality solution is perfect for enabling rapid prototyping, 3D model visualization, and quick decision-making.

Healthcare

MR has many wide applications and features to offer the healthcare industry such as the 3D operating room with simulations, broadcasting options, virtual organ models for complex surgeries and more. This is a powerful way of transforming knowledge and skills with combined data analytics, sensors and artificial intelligence (AI), to practice evidence-based medicine for delivering care. 

Retail

In retail, the stores that use MR are able to offer new features of real experience to their clients such as checking out visual designs of items that mix and match, moving around some of the objects superimposed in real time. One of the best examples is the Lowe’s retailers, they used HoloLens headset to allow their clients build a kitchen of their choice using generic showroom template.

Real Estate

Property builders and realtors can provide their clients immersive 360o virtual walkthrough of the property under development or in the planning phase using mixed reality. Moreover, clients can also decide on furniture designs, colors of the walls and tiles and for more customization. This way MR can allow them to make a better decision.

To conclude, mixed reality technology is still new and emerging, and it is therefore important for enterprises to consider primary advantages as of now. Many use cases, interactive ways, applications and even hardware of mixed reality will continue to evolve with the rise of this technology. This is hence the suitable opportunity for enterprises to invest in this technology. MR has the potential to change how people work, communicate and relate to the world.

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