What is VR, AR, and MR?

Sparsh Srivastava
Nov 7, 2018 · 4 min read

Virtual Reality(VR), Augmented Reality(AR) and Mixed Reality(MR) has completely revolutionized the digital world and are seeking to change the way we perceive our reality. But there’s a lot of confusion about what each version of reality is.

So to clear out your confusions below are some of the points that help you distinguish between the three:


All reality-altering technology changes the way we perceive the world in some way, but virtual reality (VR) completely changes the visual environment around us.

VR is an experience that takes users to a purely synthetic environment, which involves nothing of the immediate reality that surrounds them. VR involves rendered graphics that fill your entire vision and is usually complemented by 3D sounds to make the experience more real.

So where is VR used?

For the moment, gaming remains the main use case of VR. However, it is also being used in professional work, such as training athletes, or real estate business.


The crucial difference between VR and AR lies in the way digital content is mixed with reality. Augmented reality (AR) doesn’t block out the world around the user in favor of a new, fabricated one; rather, it places a digital layer between the viewer and reality.

Augmented reality is “an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (as a smartphone camera).”

Augmented reality is the most versatile of the “VR” technologies today. Unlike VR systems that require users to remain tethered to a stationary unity, AR is typically delivered through a visor or portable screen that allows for mobile use.

So where is AR used?

Along with gaming, AR has wide applications in fields like Education, Art, Marketing, Military(Fighter Jet Visors), The Media and Businesses.


Mixed Reality is the newest and probably the most exciting of the terms. Even though Augmented Reality could be considered a form of Mixed Reality, true mixed reality is much greater. True Mixed Reality takes the augmented, virtually displayed information and adds it to the real world. These virtual additions can do more than simply augment what you are seeing or doing. Rather, they seem to become a part of the real world.

So where is MR used?

It’s still early for MR with most solutions being too imprecise, costly or complex to use at commercial scale. But stay tuned, over the next few years initiatives like Google’s Project Tango, Apple’s AR Kit, and Microsoft’s Hololens are going to continue to push MR towards the mainstream.

Now that you know about all the three technologies, you can choose which suits you best and probably even master them, to push your limits or just have fun!


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Sparsh Srivastava

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A publication to know about recent technologies that are being implemented and get your hands on exclusive tech articles/tutorials.

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