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Choose Your Reality

Who hasn’t wondered if their own definition of reality was completely grounded? Never was this more true than it is today, with “reality” coming in so many flavors: virtual, augmented and mixed. Re/code’s Eric Johnson offers a primer on the topic.

“In VR,” he writes, “you wear something on your head — currently a “head-mounted display” that can look like a boxy set of goggles or a space helmet — that holds a screen in front of your eyes, which in turn is powered by a computer, gaming console or mobile phone.

“The key term for AR is utility,” he adds. “A typical augmented reality experience will probably be a lot less exciting than meeting a dinosaur or riding a roller coaster, but analysts have argued that the potential market for AR applications is actually much larger than VR’s.”

The thing to understand about MR (mixed reality), such as that used in Microsoft’s HoloLens technology, he concludes, “is flexibility. It tries to combine the best aspects of both VR and AR, wrapped up in a marketable term that sounds marginally less geeky than its cousins.”