Mixed reality (MR) is an innovative technology that seamlessly merges the physical and virtual worlds, creating a hybrid environment where virtual and real elements coexist and interact in real time.
This technology goes beyond the capabilities of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), offering a unique blend of both. With devices such as the Microsoft HoloLens, Magic Leap, and the upcoming Apple Vision Pro, mixed reality is rapidly transforming the way we interact with digital content.
MR vs. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Mixed reality extends beyond augmented and virtual reality. While augmented reality overlays digital information onto the real world, virtual reality immerses the user in a completely virtual environment. Mixed reality, on the other hand, combines these two technologies, creating a spectrum where users can engage with both physical and virtual elements.
Why choose Mixed Reality?
Mixed reality offers an unmatched interactive experience, making it ideal for various applications. It provides a more immersive experience than augmented reality and a more connected experience than virtual reality. With mixed reality headsets, users can interact simultaneously with digital content and the real world, making it a versatile tool for education, entertainment, business applications, and more.
Applications of Mixed Reality
Mixed reality is used in various sectors, from entertainment to education, healthcare, and industrial training. Its ability to overlay digital information onto the real world and enable interaction with the virtual world makes it a powerful tool for diverse applications. Below are 5 interesting applications of mixed reality.
- Remote Assistance: A practical application of MR is remote assistance. For example, Saint-Gobain uses Microsoft HoloLens to provide factory workers with virtual assistance from experts. This increases productivity and reduces the time needed to solve problems.
- Training and Onboarding Airbus uses MR for training employees in aircraft maintenance. MR offers just-in-time training and personalized learning experiences, resulting in faster learning processes and fewer errors.
- Project Visualization: Siemens uses MR for visualizing construction projects. The MindSphere MR platform allows users to view 3D models of projects in real time, assisting in planning and preventing costly errors.
- Visual Impairment: NuEyes uses special MR glasses to assist people with visual impairments, enabling them to perform daily tasks such as computer work and travel.
- Design and Development: Ford designers and engineers use MR equipment like the Microsoft HoloLens to visualize virtual prototypes of their vehicles in a three-dimensional space.
Mixed Reality in various sectors
Mixed reality has a wide range of applications in various sectors, making it a versatile and valuable technology for both commercial and educational purposes. Below are some popular sectors where mixed reality is used and where VR Owl has been active.
- Education and Training: Mixed reality apps are particularly effective for training and education, providing interactive and immersive learning experiences. They enable remote collaboration, allowing people at different locations to work together in a shared virtual environment.
- Healthcare: MR is applied for surgical training, pre-operative planning, and even during surgeries to provide surgeons with real-time, interactive information. This enhances accuracy and efficiency in medical procedures.
- Retail and Marketing: In retail and marketing, MR is used to create unique customer experiences. Customers can virtually try out products or experience interactive advertisements, leading to increased engagement and potentially higher sales figures.
- Real Estate: In this sector, MR enables virtual tours of buildings and properties, even before they are built. This aids in visualizing future projects and can improve sales and design processes.
- Manufacturing and Engineering: MR is used for product design and prototyping, allowing engineers and designers to visualize and modify products in a virtual environment, saving time and costs.
- Entertainment and Media: In the entertainment industry, MR creates immersive experiences for gaming, movies, and virtual tours, allowing users to enjoy content in new ways.
- Business Applications: In business, MR is used for training, team building, and remote collaboration. It enables teams to interact in an engaging way, regardless of their physical location.
- Government Services and Public Safety: MR can be deployed for training in emergency situations, urban planning, and even in legal scenarios to visualize complex situations.
5 Examples of Mixed Reality applications by VR Owl
Our projects range from practical solutions in industries to innovative experiences in consumer markets. Below we present five examples of how our MR applications have revolutionized various sectors, each with its unique approach and impact.
Herman Brood – 75 Years: For the Royal Dutch Mint, VR Owl developed a mixed reality application in honor of Herman Brood. This application allows users to admire the artworks of the deceased artist in a virtual world, blurring the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds. This application illustrates how mixed reality can transform the art sector, providing an interactive and immersive experience.
Ranja – Web Mixed Reality: VR Owl created a web-based mixed reality application for Ranja. This innovative application allows playing a game in a mixed reality environment directly through the web. Users can share their high scores via social media, increasing interaction and engagement. This example demonstrates how mixed reality can be used for marketing purposes and creating engaging brand experiences.
Fitbit & Opel – Social MR: For brands like Fitbit and Opel, VR Owl developed mixed reality experiences that are accessible directly through social media. These experiences include mixed reality face filters and product demonstrations, allowing users to interactively engage with products. This highlights the power of mixed reality in enhancing customer engagement and offering innovative product presentations.
Municipality of Rotterdam – Rotterdam Mixed Reality: For the Municipality of Rotterdam, VR Owl developed a mixed reality application that allows users to view the tallest building in the Benelux, the Zalhaventoren, in mixed reality. This example shows how mixed reality can be used in urban development and architecture, providing citizens and stakeholders with a realistic depiction of future projects.
Schiphol – In Store MR: In collaboration with Schiphol retail, VR Owl developed a mixed reality application for Toblerone. This application allows playing a mixed reality game in the store and rewards users with a discount code. This is an excellent example of how mixed reality can be used in the retail sector to enrich the shopping experience and engage customers uniquely.
Want to create a Mixed Reality app?
Mixed reality apps are applications developed for mixed reality headsets like the Meta Quest 3 (specifically Mixed reality), the Microsoft HoloLens (AR), Magic Leap (AR), and soon the Apple Vision Pro (Mixed reality). It’s a technology that offers endless possibilities with the ability to combine the real and virtual worlds, opening new avenues for interaction, learning, and entertainment.
As the technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more innovative applications that will continue to reshape our digital experiences.
If you’re interested in creating a mixed reality app, feel free to contact us.