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Tech gibberish? XR, AR, VR and MR explained

19 December 2018 Tim Neary
Wade Angelo

A slight leap from our physical world is what has become known in the tech-modern real estate world as extended reality — XR. It spans all three of the augmented, virtual and mixed world realities, and luckily, expert Wade Angelo is on hand to explain what they are and how each one differs from the other.

Mr Angelo, business development manager at PHORIA, explains that augmented reality — AR — is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, and simply put, it rides the middle point between reality and virtual reality.

“Your real world is at the core, with a digital curtain draped across your glasses to craft an enhanced view,” he said.

“A utilitarian example is the IKEA Place app. The application contains the smarts to pick a product directly from the catalog and virtually decorate your home by dropping a digitally crafted version into the camera view.


“This allows users to gain a better feel of the product’s fit, with the freedom to design their space from the comfort of their home with AR.”

But the BDM adds that if furniture shopping makes you yawn, Pokemon Go is a more fun example where our favorite digital monsters were superimposed on the image via our camera, and successfully costing companies millions in productivity everywhere.


Mr Angelo said that virtual reality — VR — sits further down, immersed in a world entirely painted in 0s and 1s.

“During a VR experience, participants strap on a VR headset, blocking out senses to the outside world, and become an active participant of the experience.

“Jump into another digitally enhanced IKEA experience here, where the Swedish-founded retailers have paired up with the digital masterminds at SCANN3D to craft an entirely digital shopping journey.”

Mixed reality — MR — creates a unified experience of AR and XR, says Mr Angelo, forming a middle ground within which our digital layers are anchored in reality.

“Not as alienating as VR, nor as limited as AR, MR provides a digital experience where your virtual elements exist and respond into your real world,” he said.

“Perhaps the most promising from a utilitarian perspective, MR is increasingly used in industries such as education and training and it’s not hard to see why.

“Employees are better trained through exposure to more scenarios, while the organisations gain high-quality staff and cost efficiencies.”

Tech gibberish? XR, AR, VR and MR explained
xr phoria reb
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