Extended reality (XR) is a term referring to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables, where the ‘X’ represents a variable for any current or future spatial computing technologies.
In augmented reality, virtual information and objects are overlaid on the real world. This experience enhances the real world with digital details such as images, text, and animation. You can access the experience through AR glasses or via screens, tablets, and smartphones.
Extended reality, or XR, encompasses augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality, but also 3D audio and human-machine interface technologies. This new, still emerging, reality finds its first applications in several sectors.
The term “extended reality” (XR) refers to all environments that combine real and virtual elements with various levels of interactivity with and between these elements. This includes augmented reality (AR), which superposes virtual 2D or 3D elements onto a real environment, virtual reality (VR), which completely immerses the user in a virtual universe, and mixed reality (MR).
Sometimes considered as a type of AR, the latter merges real world and virtual world to produce a new space in which physical and digital objects coexist and interact more extensively.
In addition to the above are 3D audio and human-machine interfaces (HMI) – that enable a user to control and communicate with a system – , including for example location sensors, motion sensors, and haptic devices.
XR is therefore a superset integrating the entire spectrum of the virtual-reality continuum, from unaltered physical environment to completely immersive virtual reality.