XR, AR, RA, VR, RV, augmented reality, virtual reality… Please help!

XR, AR, RA, VR, RV, augmented reality, virtual reality… Please help!

Extended reality, mixed reality, virtual reality, augmented reality, VR, AR, MR, XR, Virtual reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed reality, extended reality, etc…. it can be difficult to differentiate all these terms and acronyms, as well as to understand who is who and for what context. 

We will define all these Paradigms.

First of all we will discuss virtual reality (VR/Virtual Reality or RV).

The latter is a fairly easy concept to understand. Indeed, virtual reality allows you to be completely immersed in a new world. You no longer see reality at all, your landmarks no longer exist, you are completely immersed in another reality and your sense of vision is completely altered.

With this type of alternative reality you are able to perform actions that are impossible in reality. The laws of physics may no longer apply or, conversely, be completely realistic. You can travel to a world that doesn’t exist. Visualize objects or explore buildings that will exist in the future. You can visit places destroyed by the course of time or which are completely imaginary!

We will now talk about augmented reality. We have two types of augmented reality families. First, what is called mixed reality, second, augmented reality.

The simplest example for augmented reality (RA or augmented reality or AR) is a device: the Google Glass. The latter allowed the information to be displayed on a very small screen. The information of augmented reality is not correlated to reality. It is therefore impossible, for example, for this type of augmented reality to overlap 100% with an object in reality, unlike mixed reality. 

The major difference between mixed reality (MR) and augmented reality is that mixed reality includes the environment in which you work. Thus, in mixed reality it is quite possible to embed virtual elements in the real world. So you can put your next purchase on a table, a vase for example, or something less down-to-earth like a Pokémon. By abuse of language people talk about mixed reality and augmented reality as augmented reality.

Finally, the last paradigm, the extended reality (XR or eXtended Reality).

Reality is what defines the set of everything that alters reality, whether directly or indirectly. All technologies that change the meaning of vision are represented by extended reality. 

This term is often used in the professional world for industries, for video game platforms or by all hardware manufacturers.

If you would like more information on similar topics, it is strongly recommended to target your search with terms in English and acronyms in English.

By Gérald Dupont (Positive Thinking Company Consultant & CTO of Epekina)