Our life is linking to the technology and so we live in a world where the divisor line between it and the user is every day more diffuse.

Many of us have heart words like virtual reality, augmented reality or mix reality. But do we know how it work, what are the main characteristics…

Virtual reality

The virtual reality concept was created back in the year 1965 when Ivan Sutherland, and engineer and developer, that introduces in the computing world the tridimensional model concept, the simulations and the mention concept. The first application was on the military field. However, it was not until 1991 when the virtual reality starts to be more popular in the society. That year the concept was used in the entertainment field.

Another definition that we can fins is “ A technologic system that tries to simulate the sensorial perceptions in a way that the users can see it as real . For this, the virtual is defined as something we perceive but does not correspond to reality in that space-time”.

Therefore, the virtual reality can be define as a simulation of the reality through various system equipment and/or computers programs. In the reality the user has the impression that is interacting with real objects and elements, with which they generate stimuli on streaming in order to interact with the environment.

The main characteristics are:

  • Immersion:  The user lost contact with the reality by perceiving only the stimuli of the virtual world.
  •  The user  interact with the virtual world through input devices, in a way that modifies things with it and receives the answer through them own senses. The objective is an immediately answer from the Virtual world. (Virtual time = real time).
  • Imagination: Through the virtual world we can conceive and perceive realities that don’t exist, in a similar way that we do it in the artistic creation.

Augmented reality

On the other hand, we find the augmented reality that in Roland Azuma’s words “Is a reality that combines physic, real and virtual elements, being interactive and in real time through a technological device”. So what we can say about the augmented reality is that provides us in live images of our real environment although some elements are increase with sensorial stimulus generate by computer like sounds, videos, graphics and other kind of data. With the augmented reality the user always will see the physic world that is surround by, but with add virtual coat.

The main characteristics are :

  • It is interactive in real time .
  • It is register in 3D. 
  • Capacity to integrate virtual information inside of a real scene in a realistic and intuitive

Mixed reality

Even know as hybrid reality. Although it looks unbelievable, we should go back to the year 1994 to find the first reference to this term called mixed reality. Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino ** definied at that moment as “Any space between  the ends of the virtual continuum “.

However, a lot of time has come by /have passed since that first reference and today it is possible to define mixed reality as “Immersive experiences in which augmented reality and virtual reality are mixed”. It is possible to use this reality in different fields of our lives such as IoT, videogames, art or other kind of leisure activity.

.The main characteristics are :

  • It allows to  combine real and virtual environments.
  • It is an  interactive technology  and real-time technology.
  • Can be registered in three dimensions.

Therefore, we can see that virtual reality and augmented reality have given rise to the mixed reality, a reality that is increasingly applied to our lives thanks to the advancement of the technologies that surround us, facilitate it and give rise to numerous advances.

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*Ronald Azuma Pioneer in the field of Augmented Reality. **Paul Milgram y Fumio Kishino in the article A Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Visual Displays.