Extended Reality is the umbrella term for AR / VR / MR computer altered reality. Extended Reality refers to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables. Extended Reality includes all its descriptive forms such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR). Extended reality provides a wide variety and vast number of levels and sensor inputs to Immersive Virtuality.
Augmented Reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. As AR exists on top of our own world it provides as much freedom as you have in your normal life. AR utilizes your existing reality and adds to it using a device of some sort. Mobiles and tablets are the most popular mediums of AR at the moment. Through the camera, apps can add an overlay of digital content into the environment, which you can interact with.
Mixed Reality / hybrid reality, is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. It means placing new imagery within a real space in such a way that the new imagery is able to interact, to an extent, with what is real in the physical world. The key characteristic of MR is that the synthetic content and the real-world content are able to react to each other in real time.
Virtual Reality is an immersive experience and a computer-simulated reality. It refers to technologies using reality headsets to generate the realistic 360-degree soundscapes, images and other sensations that replicate a real environment or create an imaginary world. VR is a way to immerse users in an entirely synthetic world. A true VR environment engages all five senses (taste, sight, smell, touch, sound), but this is not always technically possible.