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Everything you need to know about the Mixed Reality (MR)!

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Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are terms relatively known in the simulation world. Mixed Reality(aka Merged Reality) is the third term which is increasingly becoming popular and it refers to the merging or combination of virtual environments and real environments where both worlds can exist together. In other quarters, mixed reality is also known as “Hybrid Reality”.

 In mixed reality, the user is given the ability to explore the virtual environment and the real world seamlessly at the same time. Through the use space and coordinates, the virtual objects will be positioned in the real world and whenever you move towards the virtual objects, they become larger while moving away from them makes them smaller. Moving around the virtual objects will also give you different angles and perspectives. Additionally, mixed reality will allow users to manipulate the virtual objects and interact with them as if they were with them in the same place.


How does Mixed Reality work?

With the development of the technology is shrouded in secrecy by the major players, all that is known on the operations of the technology is that it uses virtual reality and augmented reality as well as space and coordinates. Magic Leap is the company at the forefront in the development of mixed reality and they have remained tight lipped about the finer details of what they are doing or developing. The scanty details we know however, suggests that just like Hololens, mixed reality will use a projector for displaying images on semi transparent materials which will then be reflected to the eye with the help of beam-splitting technology.


Applications of Mixed Reality:

Due to the unique features and experiences offered by mixed reality, businesses, developers and the world in general are beginning to explore the various ways to utilize the technology for the best possible results. Currently, fields such as medicine, architecture and urban planning and education and training appear to be the greatest beneficiary of mixed reality technology. 

A topic of much research, MR has found its way into a number of applications, evident in the arts and entertainment industries. However, MR is also branching out into the business, manufacturing and education worlds with systems such as these:

IPCM – Interactive Product Content Management:

Moving from static product catalogs to interactive 3D smart digital replicas.The solution consists of application software products with scalable license model.
SBL – Simulation Based Learning

Moving from e-learning to s-learning—state of the art in knowledge transfer for education. Simulation/VR based training, interactive, experiential learning. Software and display solutions with scalable licensed curriculum development model.

Military Training:

Combat reality is simulated and represented in complex layered data through HMD.
Real Asset Virtualization Environment (RAVE)

3D Models of Manufacturing Assets (for example process manufacturing machinery) are incorporated into a virtual environment and then linked to real-time data associated with that asset. Avatars allow for multidisciplinary collaboration and decision making based on the data presented in the virtual environment. This example of Mixed Reality was pioneered and demonstrated by Kevyn Renner of Chevron Corporation for which a United States Patent 8,589,809, B2 "Methods and Systems for Conducting a Meeting in a Virtual Environment" was granted November 19, 2013. One of the earliest patents describing mixed reality is shown by Michael DeLuca in United States Patent 6,064,354 "Stereoscopic user interface method and apparatus" granted May 16, 2000.

Remote working:

Mixed reality allows a global workforce of remote teams to work together and tackle an organization’s business challenges. No matter where they are physically located, an employee can strap on their headset and noise-canceling headphones and enter a collaborative, immersive virtual environment. Language barriers will become irrelevant as AR applications are able to translate accurately  in real time. It also means a more flexible workforce. While many employers still use inflexible models of fixed working time and location, there is evidence that employees are more productive if they have greater autonomy over where, when and how they work. Some employees prefer loud work spaces, others need silence. Some work best in the morning, others at nightEmployees also benefit from autonomy in how they work because everyone processes information differently. The classic VAK model of learning styles differentiates Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic learners.

Healthcare:

Surgical and ultrasound simulations are used as a training exercise for healthcare professionals. Medical mannequins are brought to life to generate unlimited training scenarios and teach empathy to healthcare professionals.

Aviation:

Virtual models are used to allowed scientists and engineers to interact with a possible future creation before it touches the factory floor. These models provide the opportunity to gain an intuitive understanding of the exact product, including real size and constructions details that allow a closer inspection of interior parts. These virtual models are also used to find hidden problems and reduce time and money.


While MR experiences can certainly happen to a smartphone, headsets will likely dominate this space with a more immersive experience. The most well-known mixed reality device currently in development is Microsoft's HoloLens. It can scan the room and understand the space it's in so it can accurately mix in digital objects into your existing environment. You can interact with the projected images on your HoloLens by using your own hands just as if they were real—but they're not, and that's what mixed reality is all about. The digital world gets mixed in with the real one, and by donning a headset you can interact with it all.


When multiple mixed reality devices are brought into a shared space, there will be the creation of new collaboration options. Through a mixed reality, members of a team can network in a shared virtual world overlaid in the physical world. A connected environment will thus be created where workers can collaborate and work together and interact with virtual items in the real world. This will be made possible by the utilization of image recognition and real time mapping capabilities of mixed realities. Sharing real world virtual spaces through mixed reality can be especially beneficial for sales team when making a pitch for a new offer. For instance, a pharmaceutical sales rep can carry along two mixed reality devices to an appointment with the doctor. The doctor and the sales rep can then both wear the devices and see a model of the new drug as explained by the sales rep. Through this, they can then visualize the chemical composition of the drug and also simulate how the drug will move in the body to fight diseases. Through such a shared experience, the sales rep will not only build deeper connections with the doctor, but also offer a more detailed explanation of the product being offered.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning:

Because we will rely on these new MR devices for practically everything we do, and because we could potentially wear them throughout most of our day, there will be a significant increase in the amount of time and content we consume on a daily basis. For brands, this could mean more advertising opportunities that allow them to capture – and learn from – behavioral data. Ultimately, however, this will also mean that more physical objects in our world must be indexed in order to have some type of relevant content associated with them. So how will all this messaging and content be segmented so that it’s delivered in all the right places and to all the right audiences?

Using advanced computer vision, AR start-up Blippar has been working on a real-time deep learning engine that will recognize average everyday objects like fruits and vegetables, flowers, plants, animals, etc. and will then scrape the web to apply a thin layer of relevant digital content on top of these objects – otherwise referred to as the Internet on Things. Imagine the ability to pull nutritional content, recipes, store locators, etc. simply by looking at a piece of fruit.

Windows Mixed Reality:

Most enterprises usually find it difficult to address all the support requests from all the clients in need of expert advice. It is not only costly to fly in specialists to fix things in different locations, but also time consuming. Besides, it is never adequate to troubleshoot an issue over the phone and video conferencing in such situations also have its limitations. But all these can now be avoided through the application of mixed reality for offering over the shoulder coaching remotely. With mixed reality, access to experts can be done quickly and inexpensively. For example, doctors in the healthcare industry can offer guidance and decisions to students or other doctors without the need of being in the actual locations.

Check out the MR mode of Magic Leap:

Mixed reality comes along with immeasurable potential of changing how people work, interact and communicate with the real world. As the technology matures and the accompanying devices get smaller, it is expected that various sectors and industries will adopt the use of mixed reality in their day to day operations. But while the technology develops and gets better each day, topics such as the acceptable social use and etiquette will also have to be addressed. For instance, how will an employee with mixed reality device interact with fellow employees at the workplace? Or how are the social norms expected to change so as to accommodate devices such as holograms which can only be seen by a few people?

Check out the MR development in Japan tourism:

Also, since mixed reality experiences take place in the physical world, individuals are likely to react to them more emotionally than to a mere digital experience. As the technology develops, it is imperative for developers as well as the intended users to be aware of such issues and be ready to address them accordingly. So indeed a next trendsetter in the world of technology. If VR and AR can attain this much public interest, then there is no doubt that MR will also gain much attention than those two because MR has much more potential and features. So what do you guys think about MR? Is it the next trendsetter

Do REPLYdown your opinions.


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