Extended Reality, also known as XR, is a catch-all word describing technologies that either supplement or entirely replace how we see the world around us. This is typically accomplished by superimposing or immersing computer-generated text and imagery into real-world or virtual surroundings, or even by combining all of these approaches.
The terms augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) are all included in extended reality (XR). Although all three realities have some features and criteria that overlap with one another, each one serves a unique function and relies on a separate set of technology.
It is anticipated that XR will play an important part in the development of the metaverse. The ‘next iteration of the Internet’ will combine the actual, digital, and virtual worlds into new realities, which may be accessed through a ‘gateway’ device powered by Arm, such as a virtual reality headset or a pair of augmented reality smart glasses.
The following are some essential characteristics shared by XR technologies: The capacity to navigate one’s surroundings and show information that is responsive to context is an essential feature shared by all XR wearable devices. Some examples of visual input modalities are object, gesture, and gaze tracking. The qualities that enable depth perception and mapping are also responsible for enabling the location features.
However, XR devices differ in terms of the type of AR, MR, and VR experience that they are designed to enable as well as the level of complexity of the use case that they are intended to support.
What exactly is meant by the abbreviation “AR”?
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that enhances our vision of the actual world by superimposing computer-generated information on top of what we already perceive. This technology is now widely used in augmented reality (AR) applications for smartphones, which typically require the user to hold their phone in front of them. The software is able to display information that is relevant or create gaming and social experiences that give the impression that they are based in the real world because it processes the image that is taken from the camera in real-time after it has been taken from the camera.
Although augmented reality on smartphones has seen enormous advancements in the previous decade, its applications have not yet reached their full potential. The delivery of an augmented reality (AR) experience that is more comprehensive through the use of wearable smart glasses is becoming an increasingly important focus. These devices need to have a form factor that is light enough to be worn for long periods of time, as well as a processor that uses a very minimal amount of power. Additionally, they need to have several sensors, including ones for depth perception and tracking.
AR smart glasses need to have navigation that is constantly on, easy to use, and secure even when users are moving around. This necessitates significant developments in aspects like depth, occlusion (the state that occurs when one object in a three-dimensional space obscures the view of another object), semantics, location, orientation, position, and posture, as well as gesture and eye tracking.
In the year 2021, a variety of new kinds of smart glasses were introduced to the market. These new models included Snap’s Spectacle smartglasses, Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3, and Vuzix’s Next Gen Smart Glass. As seen in the video that follows, augmented reality (AR) smart glasses are destined to make our lives easier in the not-too-distant future. They will probably also play a part as portals to the metaverse, which is a place where virtual elements and the actual world come together.
What exactly is meant by the abbreviation VR?
The user’s field of vision is wholly altered as virtual reality (VR) totally surrounds them in a computer-generated simulation of a real-world setting. This particular kind of XR technology has been around for some time, and it has undergone steady development. The majority of its applications are in the realm of entertainment, such as gaming, concerts, movies, or sports, but its expansion into the realm of social interaction is gaining momentum. The immersive entertainment experiences that will be possible in VR will require skills such as high-definition rendering pipelines, volumetric capture, six degrees of freedom motion tracking, and facial expression capture.
Virtual reality (VR) is also utilized as a teaching tool, particularly in the realms of education and healthcare (particularly rehabilitation). In virtual reality technology, the emphasis is frequently placed on high-quality video and graphics as well as extremely low latency in order to make the aforementioned experiences feasible for the end-user while also ensuring that they are unbroken.
In conclusion, virtual reality (VR) devices are now boosting the experiences of video conferencing through the use of platforms such as RecRoom, which enable virtual meet-ups in a variety of virtual environments. RecRoom, which now supports the Oculus Quest, was featured in episode three of Arm’s New Reality series in 2020. This program, which examined immersive encounters using VR, was broadcast in 2020.
The Oculus Quest 2 and other independent virtual reality systems are able to give AAA-level gaming and metaverse experiences, in contrast to other virtual reality systems, which must be connected to a personal computer. These independent virtual reality gadgets, which are powered by high-end Arm processors, may be brought anywhere. In the not-too-distant future, standalone VR devices will take on the role of gateway devices, allowing users to enter the metaverse.
What exactly does “Mixed Reality” (MR) refer to?
The real and the virtual worlds collide in MR, which places it in the middle ground between augmented reality and virtual reality. There are three primary use cases for a system like this one that employs XR. The first way is to use a smartphone or an augmented reality wearable device with the ability to superimpose virtual items and characters onto real-world situations, or potentially vice versa.
In 2016, the mobile game Pokémon Go swept the world by storm and overlays virtual Pokémon in real-life locations using a smartphone camera (this was also shown on a HoloLens 2 as seen at Microsoft Ignite 2021). In 2019, the Pokémon Go mobile game is expected to continue its meteoric rise in popularity. It is frequently referred to be a ground-breaking AR game, but in reality, it is a fantastic illustration of MR, which is the process of combining real-world settings with computer-generated elements.
Mixed reality is also being used to enable real-world players to be superimposed into virtual reality (VR) video games. This helps to introduce real-world personalities to game broadcasting sites like Twitch and YouTube.
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