What is Mixed Reality?

Mixed reality (MR) is a technology that blends physical reality with the digital world. Sitting somewhere between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), MR merges the physical and virtual worlds, allowing users to interact in a newly constructed environment where the user still perceives the real physical environment, but with added elements. One popular example is Pokémon Go, which overlays virtual Pokémon in real-world environments via a smartphone camera. Often thought of as an AR game, it’s actually an example of MR – where computer-generated objects are “mixed” into real-world environments. MR is also beginning to be used to superimpose real-world players into video games on streaming platforms.

Why is Mixed Reality Important?

Advances in MR will certainly enable more exciting experiences for movie goers and video gamers, but the technology also has important applications in the fields of construction, engineering, employee training, sports, and education. In healthcare, for example, MR can be used by surgeons in the treatment of tumors and highly-intricate medical operations. In 2018, surgeons at the University of Texas Health Science Center were the first in the US to perform sinus surgery using this blended view of real and digital imagery. Many of today’s AR, VR and MR devices use Arm processor technology for performance and energy efficiency, and to deliver innovative new features and capabilities.

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