Extended Reality – New Worlds, New Possibilities

The differences between AR, VR, MR and AV

Transform worlds or immerse in alternative, virtual worlds. The possibilities of extended reality are immense. But what is XR anyway and how do the individual real and virtual environments differ from each other? An overview.

Technologies that take consumers into new worlds and open up new business models for providers – that is Extended Reality. The corresponding realities are playing an increasingly important role in our everyday lives, both at work and in our private lives. On the one hand, we can visually reshape the world we live in. On the other hand, we can immerse ourselves in an alternative, virtual world. Extended reality is also becoming more and more important in the sports business (more on this shortly).

But what is Extended Reality (XR) and what does it include? Extended Reality is a collective term that refers to all real and virtual combined environments as well as human-machine interactions. XR includes augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR) and augmented virtuality (AV). The individual “worlds” will be briefly explained below.


Augmented Reality – the extended reality

Augmented reality refers to a computer-assisted perception or representation that expands the real world with virtual aspects. With the help of cameras in mobile devices, information or objects can be incorporated into a currently captured image of the real world. An early example was Pokemon Go, released in 2016. In this game, virtual characters were incorporated into the user’s real environment.


Virtual Reality – the virtual reality

Virtual reality refers to an artificial reality created by special hardware and software. This can be, for example, a simulated flight in a spaceship or a true-to-scale tour of a planned building. The core of the VR hardware is the VR goggles with two high-resolution displays for showing artificially generated images and a sensor system coupled with them for detecting the position and orientation of the head


Augmented Virtuality – the extended virtuality

AV defines the counterpart to AR, so to speak. In augmented virtuality, a real object is inserted into a virtual environment. For example, a user has a VR headset on to play games, but perceives information from the real world – from other people, among others. The combination of virtuality and reality in real time can be achieved with a wide variety of techniques, such as the insertion of video conference participants into the virtual world as in telepresence or the insertion of real players into computer games.


You can read more about extended reality in the sports business and concrete examples soon in another text on the topic.

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