AR vs. virtual reality vs. mixed reality vs. extended reality
In the recent growth of types of virtual realities, it can be challenging to keep up because of their subtle differences. The types of digital realities are:
- Augmented reality (AR)— designed to add digital elements over real-world views with limited interaction.
- Virtual reality (VR)— immersive experiences helping to isolate users from the real world, usually via a headset device and headphones designed for such activities.
- Mixed reality (MR)— combining AR and VR elements so that digital objects can interact with the real world, means businesses can design elements anchored within a real environment.
- Extended reality (XR)— covering all types of technologies that enhance our senses, including the three types previously mentioned.
As all technologies blur the lines between reality, determining a suitable use case for your business is crucial. For many businesses, AR is usually the easiest to integrate into the company’s processes.
Types of augmented reality
In deciding which type of AR technology you’ll need for your business, you’ll first have to determine what kind of AR to use. There are two types of augmented reality: marker-based and marker-less. Choosing one of these types of AR will determine how you’ll be able to display your images and information.
Marker-based AR is created using image recognition to identify objects already programmed into your AR device or application. When placing objects in view as points of reference, they can help your AR device determine the position and orientation of the camera. This is generally achieved by switching your camera to grayscale and detecting a marker to compare that marker with all the others in its information bank. Once your device finds a match, it uses that data to mathematically determine the pose and place the AR image in the right spot.
Marker-less AR is more complex as there’s no point in which your device will focus on. Because of this, your device must recognize items as they appear in view. Using a recognition algorithm, the device will look for colors, patterns, and similar features to determine what that object is and then, using time, accelerometer, GPS, and compass information, it will or orient itself and use a camera to overlay an image of whatever you’d like within your real-world surroundings.
Integrating AR into your employee training and education
In the workplace, adding augmented reality to your processes and procedures can help enhance the learning and comprehension benefits for your employees. AR training is an educational experience presented through the software on AR devices to help employees gain critical professional skills. This type of training experience can be launched at any time, any place with the right software.
AR can also help guide and support employees regardless of their location, leading to better collaboration and safer working conditions in your fields. By enhancing traditional learning methods, this method can offer more information for better comprehension. Some ways your team could use AR would be:
- Performance support
- Learning and training modules
- New hire onboarding
- On-demand training opportunities
- Customer service and experience
Many industries and sectors already use AR for business processes, including:
How can we help?
Contact a Microsoft partner to:
See a live demo.
Set up a free trial.
Get expert guidance on transforming business processes.
Learn about purchase options, implementation and deployment.
This service is available only to organizations based in the United States.
Thanks for requesting a call
A Microsoft partner will be in touch within four business days.