Know Difference Between VR, AR & MR

Now a days in technical (specifically gaming and media) world few words are very common to hear such as VR (Virtual Reality), AR(Augmented reality) and MR(mixed reality). They are acronyms for gaming & media simulations to make people feel that they are inside the virtual world.

But many people becoming confused as how to differentiate between these acronyms. But here is some information to clear that confusion.

VR(Virtual Reality)

As its name says it’s a virtual world that will draw you into it to feel an immersive simulation. Reality of real world can be replaced with sound & views and you will actually feel that you are a part of that virtual world.


To enjoy and feel the VR one need to be isolate or block with real world and you need some set of machines or equipments to do so.

  • First you need a good headset with noise isolation to interact with the sound of virtual world.
  • VR 3D glasses to put in front of your eyes(very closely) to block yourself from outer world.

You can see VR in gaming industry such as Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo and many more. Even military and medical people are also getting benefits by VR simulations in their field to a different level.

Although virtual reality is here from very long period of time but it still rules the gaming and simulation industry.

AR(Augmented Reality)

It’s an enhanced version of reality where direct or indirect views of physical or real world environments are augmented with superimposed system(Computer) generated images. But its a user’s view of the real world, hence it’s an enhancement of current perception of reality.

Augment means to add or to enhance something. So augmented reality add sounds, graphics or videos to the real world objects. sometimes it can be touch sensitive also over a touch screen display.

There are many categories of AR available such as

  • Marker base AR (Image Recognition): QR Code
  • Markless AR (location / position based): Location detection feature in smart phones
  • Projection based AR: Projecting light in real world and communicate with the same. An example can be to to project some dialer on a wall and dial numbers on that wall.
  • Superimposition based AR: Replace partially or fully real world object with superimposed computer generated graphics. A very nice example will be Ikea AR furniture catalogue

MR(Mixed/Merged Reality)

Its a mixture of real world and digital world to give you a totally new experience. It’s kinda new evolution in computer, human and environment interaction. Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino introduced first MR in 1994 by publishing a paper “A Taxonomy of mixed reality visual displays“.

MR become possible by achieving better graphics processing, high quality displays and better sound qualities. There are few devices to make MR possible such as

  • Holographic devices
  • Immersive devices

A better example can be Window Holograms using HoloLens headset. It allows you to interact with holographic scenes that shows your emails, calenders etc.

I hope this article will help you to understand basic difference in between VR, AR & MR.