The metaverse promises to change the way we interact with the world around us. This disruptive technology has the potential to impact every aspect of our lives by fusing reality with simulation. Extended Reality (XR), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) form the foundations of the metaverse. They promise to revolutionise the future of how we engage socially, in games, entertainment, education, and business. The technologies provide 3D virtual experiences and are easily confused so what is the difference between XR, VR, AR, and MR?
Virtual Reality (VR) immerses people into a completely computer-generated world where the surroundings are all virtual and experienced in 3D. Augmented Reality (AR) combines the real world with computer-generated visuals. Mixed Reality (MR) is similar to Augmented Reality but allows you to interact with the virtually created objects using eye and hand tracking. Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term for all computer-enhanced perceptions.
Examples of Virtual Reality can be seen in the metaverse with platforms such as Horizon, AltspaceVR, and CEEK. These platforms transform the user into a completely simulated world. Augmented Reality can be experienced on many Smartphone apps where computer graphics are projected into real-world environments and Mixed Reality can be experienced through new platforms such as Microsoft Mesh where the user can manipulate and adapt holographic virtual objects.