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Extended and Mixed Reality Can Be Confusing

Mixed reality continuum

You know VR (virtual reality) and probably know AR (augmented reality) but XR (extended reality) may be new to you. Extended reality is an umbrella term that refers to all real-and-virtual environments generated by computer graphics and wearables. Besides VR and AR this umbrella term also includes MR (mixed reality). 

It seems that AR is already a kind of mixed reality since it has digital content and real-world content which sounds like mixed reality. But MR has even more, for example, it might include holographic meetings.

When the term XR is used it means that the human-to-tech moves from a screen to an immersive virtual environment or augments the user’s surroundings or both things. I thought the XR term was new but it actually appeared in the 1960s when Charles Wyckoff filed a patent for his silver-halide “XR” film. It is very different in its usage today.

To further add to the abbreviation confusion, this field also uses BCI to mean brain-computer interfaces which may be the next computing platform.

Confused?  Read on


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