VR, AR, MR, XR? – what is it actually?

What Worlds Are Hidden Behind These Abbreviations?

Everyone has heard the term virtual reality. In the world of digital worlds, reality is not just reality. The small but subtle differences are often expressed in the form of abbreviations. VR, MR, XR, AR. But what exactly does this mean? We’ll explain the worlds hidden behind this mix of letters.

guy experiencing virtual reality through Oculus Quest 2 AR googles in white

VR – Virtual Reality

In virtual reality, the user is completely immersed in a digital world. This involves experiencing the digital environment in the form of lifelike images, sounds and other sensory perceptions. Usually, a visual output device such as VR glasses, is used for this purpose. As a result, the user perceives the virtual environment as reality. In this context, the term “immersion” is often used.

AR – Augmented Reality

Here, the real existing environment of the real world is overlaid with elements of the virtual world. The real world is thus enhanced with digital details, for example by superimposing digital information or objects. AR is already used in some modern cars. For example, speed or navigation are projected directly onto the windscreen via head-up displays and thus into the driver’s field of vision.

MR - Mixed Reality (Mixed/Hybrid Reality)

Mixed reality, as the term “mixed” implies, is a mixture of VR and AR and this covers the entire spectrum between the physical and digital worlds. Two forms of MR are distinguished, because on the one hand the basis of the representation can be the real world and on the other hand a virtual one. If based on the real world, virtual elements are inserted into the representation similar to AR, but one can interact with them. However, if MR is based on a virtual world, the real world will be completely hidden as in VR, but the interactions will still be oriented to the real world.

XR - Extended Reality, Also Cross Reality (Augmented Reality)

This is an umbrella term for AR, VR and MR. It refers to all representations of experience in which the boundary between reality and the computer-simulated world becomes blurred. One is visually, acoustically and haptically immersed in another world.

male and female architects wearing augmented reality headsets work

In the future, we will continue to see new developments in augmented reality. XR is already an important element in retail, industry and among consumers. Our numerous panoroom projects show how diverse the implementation and use of XR can be.

Are you also interested in showing your company or your location from the best possible side in the virtual world? Let’s get in touch!

Christian Wolf
Christian Wolf

CEO panoroom gmbh