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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Mixed Reality (MR) – An Introduction and How It Works

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People are usually confused when they hear the term mixed reality (MR). This is no surprise because about half a decade ago, we didn’t even know there’d be such a thing in the nearest future.

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However, Mix reality is a technology that is very vital to understand it.

Why must you know what it is?

Mixed reality is the future of Humanity, and we need to get on the train fast.

What Is Mixed Reality?

Mixed reality is a significant advancement of augmented reality (AR), which is already getting popular. Augmented reality is the technology behind the 2016’s Pokémon GO phenomenon.

This means that in a “hybrid” environment, it is possible to map interactive virtual objects to the physical environment, creating a blend between the virtual and the real.

While the basic premise of both MR and AR is similar, the significant difference between both is the underlying technology. For the moment, mixed Reality is headset-based, while Augmented Reality is viewed via a flat-screen such as a tablet or smartphone.

Mix Reality also takes note of the geometry of your surrounding environment – using that as the canvas for you to bring to life immersive content that is structured by the space you are in.

The recent lunch of Magic Leap (ML) has stirred up huge interest in Mixed Reality, but the technology has been around for some time now – (it is worthy of note that Microsoft launched HoloLens in 2016).

At present, Microsoft’s primary focus is to solve enterprise needs, while Magic Leap is working to bring great wonder and delight to our present world.

However, in a matter of time, the choice of MR technology will quickly fade away, and the world will only pay attention to an essential aspect… the content.

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Mixed Reality Promises To Be An Indeed Transformational Technology

When smartphones came, they changed our lives for the better because they offered us access to something that was already in existence – the internet – but more conveniently than when a desktop computer was the only way.

Just like smartphones, mixed reality is coming to change so much about our lives for good. Not by offering us something that is already in existence and having us access it more conveniently, but by completely changing the way we view and interact with the world we live in.

The chance to finally separate ourselves from our visible bounds will revolutionize how we exist in today’s world.

Just imagine the impact MR technology will have on travel and businesses. If people can have a life-like meeting with the aid of a mixed reality device, then there is less need for a physical appearance at business meetings.

This means reduced travel and commuting. Frequent business travelers will save so much time and money (not to mention the stress you’ll be avoiding).

And how will it affect education? Let us first agree that smartphones and tablets have been of great help to learners as a single Google query answers almost any question.

If we have an AI assistant that is always on and knows what we are trying to do or achieve – in addition to digital overlays offering us knowledge in real-time – there is no way we are sticking to the old way of learning things.

Imagine having your car broken down and knowing what exactly is wrong once you open its bonnet. Fixing it becomes natural, too, as you know exactly what to do once you know the problem. This and much more is achievable with MR.

MR & Enterprise

A Toshiba survey carried out In May 2018, revealed that 82% of enterprises speculate that their establishments will use augmented Reality smart glasses’ (or mixed reality glasses ) in the next three years.

This is not far from achievable because mixed reality poses an excellent opportunity to tackle business issues – being able to visualize what you are planning is attempting to achieve is very powerful when it comes to business.

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An example of the power of visualization can be seen with French manufacturer Renault Trucks. In their collaboration with tech partner Immersion, Renault Trucks has been making use of a HoloLens at its Lyon-based facility to better the processes of quality control with its engine assembly operations.

Similarly, a German manufacturer of escalators and elevators known as ThyssenKrupp, is using HoloLens.

It has been useful to field technicians as they use the device to make sure that they have all the essential information they require, literally in front of them, so that they can fix the machinery in the best and most effective way possible.

Another company that has been making use of the HoloLens is BAE Systems. This multinational security, defense, and aerospace company has also been the technology in its processes to create electric propulsion devices.

The company reported having realized a 50% drop in assembly time through the use of this device.

Google Glass

MR in the world of business isn’t restricted to Microsoft HoloLens. It will be recalled that In 2014, Google had its Google Glass in the consumer marketplace, but it failed to survive due to privacy issues.

However, the tech was excellent in an industrial setting, and that success resulted in Google Glass Enterprise Edition.

This ‘hands-free device for hands-on workers’ created by Google has been helpful to diverse clients from automobile assemblers to doctors.

Annotated images, training videos, and even quality assurance checklists can be accessed with ease to make sure that jobs are done safely and quickly.

Users can also be connected to conditions workers through the glasses, enabling them to see the same thing they see through a live video stream to enable real-time troubleshooting and collaboration.

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A Bright Future

Deloitte has made predictions that over 150 companies in several industries, including 52 of the Fortune 500, are either testing or have already deployed AR/VR solutions’.

This means that more than 10% of the Fortune 500 companies are considering new technologies to help move their businesses forward, while a recent Forrester study report claims that by 2025, almost 14.4 million workers in the US will wear smart glasses.

Now, this is just enterprise; imagine what MR will do to other aspects of life. Mixed reality surely can and will change a lot of things for us in a positive way. MR lets us decide how people see the world, and how we want them to react to it.

By connecting the physical world with the digital in unexpected ways, we can stimulate, reinvigorate, and inspire. One thing is sure; with MR, the possibilities for entertainment are limitless.

Let us know what your thoughts and questions are by leaving a comment below. Don’t forget to checkout our other post on ML, AI, AR, VR.

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