MIXED REALITY IS HERE
All you need to know about the next stage in the VR revolution
Mixed reality? Is that the same as augmented reality?
Sort of. Mixed reality (MR) refers to any environment where virtual and real worlds collide. So that could mean augmented reality (AR) – where virtual objects appear in an on-screen representation of the real world, à la Pokemon Go – or it could mean a VR environment that lets you interact with real-world objects. In other words, AR is one form of MR while both are, broadly speaking, forms of virtual reality.
Who are the key players?
Microsoft is leading the MR charge with its Windows Mixed Reality platform, for which headsets are being developed by the likes of Asus, Lenovo, Dell and Acer.
What’s the point?
Windows’ MR system uses less hardware than a ‘full’ VR setup – the movement of your hands, for instance, is tracked by cameras on your headset, rather than by external sensors – and no special software is required, because Windows MR will form part of new versions of Windows 10. It’s therefore a bit cheaper, though some commenters have suggested that Microsoft just wanted a buzzy new name for what’s essentially a late rival to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive platforms. The first Windows MR headsets should start shipping soon.