AR & VR Definitions – PART 3: Mixed Reality
BY KAYLA NOBREGA
1 – Mixed Reality
Mixed Reality is the merging of the physical world with the digital world. It is a more immersive form of Augmented Reality where digital simulations are able to accurately interact with the environment. For example, a digital character can hide behind your physical curtains. This is not a form of Virtual Reality as it still includes the external environment.
2 – Spatial Mapping
Spatial mapping is a method of scanning a physical environment using Mixed Reality hardware (such as the HoloLens or HTC Vive Pro) in order to produce a 3D mesh of the space. The Mixed Reality hardware is then able to display digital simulations in relation to the physical aspects of the space.
3 – Occlusion
Occlusion in Mixed Reality is when an augmented object is obscured from view by a physical object. This is what would enable the digital character to hide behind the physical curtains from the first example. Occlusion is one of the features that distinguishes Mixed Reality from Augmented Reality.
4 – Fields of View
A field of view in Mixed Reality pertains to how wide the view is in the Mixed Reality hardware. The wider the view, the more immersive the experience.
5 – Latency
Latency is a term used in the world of Mixed Reality, as well as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. It is the time between a simulation and a response, so in the case of Mixed Reality, it is when the digital simulation does not react to the user’s movements or the external environment immediately. Gamers would use the term “lag” instead.
An interesting fact about Mixed Reality is that its capabilities are based on physics in the sense that if you throw an augmented ball at a physical wall, the technology will enable the ball to bounce off the wall even though it is a simulation. The ball will bounce off the wall and on the floor as if you had thrown an actual one.