The augmented and virtual reality market is worth over $25 billion with the industry projected to increase by over 650% by 2025.
This huge estimation is based on the speed of innovations and the amount of investment pouring in. Every year, mixed reality becomes cheaper with more uses being developed.
But what is mixed reality and how can it be used throughout industries? This article covers some of the best applications available.
When it comes to digitally altering what our eyes see, there is a spectrum of variations. On one side is augmented reality which lets you view digital objects in the real world through a device. On the other is virtual reality which is an entirely digital world.
Mixed reality is everything in between where the use of digital and real is more nuanced.
For example, you could have an augmented reality where you see the real world, except digital objects interact with reality and you can manipulate them. Or you can have a virtual world overlayed the real world.
This blending of the real world and digital is where mixed reality lies and the applications are endless.
Microsoft recently revealed a mixed reality partnership with Skype and it serves as a great example of the possibilities.
The person wearing the lens can see others on a digital screen while everyone else can see the world from the wearer's point of view. This has great applications for long-distance meetings with clients across many industries.
For example, a real estate company could host viewings of their properties. Clients could call in and get a live walking tour of the property. This way if they notice something that concerns them or want the realtor to check that the taps are running, they will have that ability.
Before a construction company begins physically building a building, they will create a 3D model of the structure.
Advances in virtual reality have allowed stakeholders to wear VR headsets and tour through the virtual model of the construction site to see what it will look like.
With mixed reality technology, this can be taken one step further. Essentially, people can literally walk through the construction site and see a digital mock-up of what will be built there. This allows them to foresee things like wiring, plumbing, or architecture issues.
Without mixed reality, product designers go through a stage of sketching their concepts, modeling it on computers and sharing those with their colleagues.
Any feedback has to be taken and then applied afterward or on the spot if the person happens to be standing behind them at their desk.
With mixed reality, everyone can visualize the model in the room with them. They can move it around, interact with it, and view all the different parts. This makes it easier for everyone to see the product in its entirety and make live changes and updates.
This article only scratched the surface of answering the question "what is mixed reality?"
With the ability to layer digital objects into the real world or reimagine the real world digitally you can create whole new worlds and workspaces.