VR/AR/XR: new ways to experience digital content and interact with the world around us

Virtual reality, augmented reality, extended reality


One of the most buzzed-about terms lately in terms of cutting-edge technologies is VR or virtual reality, as well as other associated terms, such as augmented reality, mixed reality or extended reality. 

These technologies offer new ways to experience digital content and interact with the world around us, revolutionizing the way we interact with digital content, offering new opportunities for education, entertainment, and communication.

Let’s take a moment to explain what they are about, their differences and benefits.

What is VR/XR/AR

AR, or Augmented Reality, is a technology that allows virtual information and objects to be overlaid on the real world, enriching the real world with digital details such as images, text and animations, which are accessed through AR glasses or via screens, tablets and smartphones.

VR, or Virtual Reality is a technology that allows users to immerse themselves in a simulated environment through a headset or other devices. Users can interact with this environment and move around within it, which can create a sense of presence and immersion. Unlike AR, it has nothing to do with the real world as devices used provide a 360-degree view of an artificial world that deceives the brain and makes users believe that they are fighting dragons, flying a plane or diving in the deep sea. 

Finally, XR is an umbrella term that encompasses both VR and AR, as well as other forms of immersive technologies such as mixed reality (MR) and extended reality (ER).

What are the differences?

The main differences between VR, AR, and XR are in the way they create and present digital content to the user, as well as the level of immersion they provide.

VR creates completely immersive environments with the help of devices such headsets or special glasses. The user experiences being in a virtual world, often with little to no interaction with the real world. 

AR, on the other hand, overlays digital content onto the real world through a device’s camera or display. This allows users to see and interact with digital content while still being aware of their real-world surroundings. 

As pointed out above, XR is a more generic term that comprises all technologies in which virtual and real worlds are combined with different levels of immersion.

What are the benefits of these technologies?

There are numerous benefits to using VR, AR, and XR technologies, including:

  1. Enhanced learning as they can provide immersive and engaging learning experiences for students, helping them to better retain information and understand complex concepts.
  2. Improved safety since VR can be used for training in hazardous or high-risk environments, allowing workers to learn and practice safety procedures without putting themselves in danger.
  3. Increased productivity: AR and XR can be used to provide real-time information and assistance, allowing workers to complete tasks more efficiently and accurately.
  4. Cost savings: VR can be used for simulations that eliminate the need for costly physical equipment and facilities, while AR and XR can reduce the need for travel and in-person meetings.
  5. Better healthcare: VR can be used for pain management, rehabilitation, and exposure therapy, while AR can be used for surgical training and assisting with medical procedures.

Overall, these technologies have the potential to revolutionize numerous industries and provide new opportunities for learning, training, and entertainment.

Applications in the real world

There are numerous applications of VR, AR, and XR technologies in the real world, across various industries. Here are some examples:

  • Entertainment: VR and AR are used in a variety of entertainment applications, such as video games, movies, and live events. 
  • Education and training: XR can provide hyper-realistic training tools, especially for life-threatening scenarios. For example, XR can help soldiers, medical personnel, pilots/astronauts, chemists and others to find solutions to problems or learn how to react to dangerous circumstances.
  • Healthcare: Extended reality can be used in the healthcare industry for training, surgical simulations, and therapy.
  • Manufacturing and design: XR technologies are used in the manufacturing and design process to visualize and test products before they’re built. Blueprints can be scaled down to the size of a table and examined by designers for inaccuracies before implementation.
  • Marketing and advertising: AR is used to create interactive and immersive marketing and advertising experiences. For example, a brand could use AR to let customers “try on” a new line of clothing or makeup, or visualize how furniture would look in their room next to their other décor.

So a new world is opening up in front of us and from Alaian we want to help innovators in these areas to make it through and achieve successful solutions with applications in the real world.

Soon a new call for these types of startups will be announced.

Open innovation: the path to success

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