VR vs AR vs MR: What Is the Difference between the Technologies?

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Nowadays, we often come across such terms as VR, AR and MR. However, some people can’t clearly define what these expressions mean and what is the difference between AR, VR, and MR. We decided to provide with a brief explanation of VR vs AR vs MR.

VR vs AR vs MR: Plunge into Virtual Universe

There is a lot of talks about the immersion effect but the process itself is barely explained efficiently. The word came from the movie industry and means a state in which users forget whether they are in a real world.

VR vs AR vs MR

What is VR?

VR or virtual reality is a content that creates a completely alternative reality displayed with the help of VR helmets, smartphones, and other digital devices. It can be either linear video or 3D simulations. The significant aspect is the effect of presence and sensation of the immersion into another space – anything that may embody the fantasy of a writer, designer or developer.

Due to the different angular displacement of images for the right and left eyes, viewers see the voluminous picture surrounding them. And thanks to positioning sensors in the displaying device, any movement of the viewer is transferred to the virtual world.

Virtual Reality

To try the effect of the three-dimensional video, you don’t even need to have virtual reality glasses. You can simply change the viewpoint by swiping the screen with your finger or with a mouse on your PC.

VR-content, which responds to user actions, is called interactive. It can be found in many computer games and even in mobile games. Usually, to start interacting with the content, the person just needs to look in a certain direction. And if the viewer has a special controller, they can select, move, change and delete objects without using the context menu.

What is AR?

Augmented Reality, AR, allows overlaying the virtual content over the real objects. Is augmented reality the same as virtual reality? AR enhances reality by adding digital information to it, so the user is still in contact with the real environment through a ariety of devices: AR headsets, laptops, tablets, smartphones etc. Augmented reality has a lot of implementations but the most famous are AR games.

The possibilities of augmented reality are limited only by the hardware capabilities of digital devices. The first ever AR-app was a native application for smartphone, working on the principle of adding textual overlays to the image from the camera.

Augmented reality

A huge contribution to the development of AR technologies was provided by Google project – “Tango”, which is developing hardware, as well as software, for smartphones. Devices that support Tango technology have additional sensors that allow collecting and processing data on the exact locations of the objects around you.

What is MR?

MR or Mixed Reality indicates videos where VR-content is integrated into a real-time linear video.

What is the difference between mixed and augmented reality? MR aims to blend aspects of both virtual reality and augmented reality.

The shooting of an actor in VR is conducted using the Chroma Key technology. In this case, the position of the real camera is associated with the position of the virtual actor camera. As a result, viewers can see the actors as if they are in an artificially created environment.

Mixed reality

VR vs AR vs MR: What Is Necessary To Remember When Making Content?

In the augmented reality vs virtual reality issue, panoramic videos are really important as they should attract viewers’ attention from the very beginning. More exciting and believable content will be watched more. This is the significant point for those who want to effectively use VR vs AR vs MR in their business.

The professional shooting of panoramic video isn’t an easy task. Since viewers must have a capability to freely change their viewpoint, it is important that the shooting equipment and the props do not fall into the frame.

In order for the audience to truly feel what is happening, every detail, its place, and meaning is important as it will help to plunge in the virtual world absolutely.

To make virtual reality look natural, the scene transitions should be as smooth as possible. A smooth transition has a great meaning as it gives viewers the opportunity to get used to changes and orient in new scenes.

Panoramic shooting poses new challenges for filmmakers. Appropriate framing, movement, and animation, as well as sound, will help to attract the viewers’ attention.

VR vs AR vs MR: Used Technologies

With the help of special software, VR and AR applications work on smartphones, tablets and smart glasses, using a number of technologies:

  • GPS (to locate the current position);
  • inertial compass (to determine the direction);
  • tracking of text, hyperlinks, videos, and photos in the database;
  • screen information composition in overlays.


VR vs AR vs MR: Summary As you can see, VR vs AR vs MR technologies are quite complex and different from each other but they quickly gain the market and attract the attention of businessmen. These technologies will allow brands and advertisers to attract the attention of consumers. Thanks to immersion in virtual worlds, users can experience incredibly strong emotions. If you know how to give these emotions to your audience, you can increase the recognition of your brand. Trying to implement these technologies to your business, you should pay much attention to the software. If you want to get high-quality tools and apps, first of all, you need to find an experienced and qualified team of developers
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