Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality: Differences

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Earlier this year at CES in Las Vegas, IoT, wearables and virtual/augmented reality were key themes and the focus of many growing businesses. South Florida’s growing tech hub has started exploring uses of these nascent technologies. Particularly in the AR/VR space, we’ve seen tremendous investment in companies like Magic Leap (Backed by Google and more recently by Alibaba) as well as budding startups like Magic Xperience, whose augmented reality app is quickly penetrating  the US Market.


Today, StartHub’s Tech Incubator in Miami explores current developments in Augmented & Virtual Reality, and shares the differences of what’s currently available.

VRtravelVirtual Reality

Key Word: Presence

VR immerses the user in another location entirely. Whether that location is ­computer-generated or captured by video, it entirely occludes the user’s natural surroundings.

VR is the only medium that guarantees the user’s complete focus on the content. There is no looking away, no checking email or text messages and no updating social-media statuses. VR is the most immersive way to tell a story because what happens inside that headset makes you feel something in your head, heart and gut.

VR is a powerful way to experience content, but is not practical for interacting with the real world.

Currently, there are several Virtual Reality devices available on the market:

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Augmented Reality 

Key Word: Utility

In augmented reality—like Google Glass or the Yelp app’s Monocle feature on mobile devices—the visible physical world is overlaid with a layer of digital content. AR adds contextual layers of information to our experiences in real time.

There are a number of mobile phone applications that also provide augmented reality. These can range from the city applications that let you point your phone down a city street and prompts on the screen shows you a description of various buildings. Microsoft is working on HoloLens AR headset glasses. Developer kits are scheduled to hit the market in early 2016. 

Reflecting the rapid growth in the augmented reality space, France-based ARTECH SAS has chosen StartHub, as its new US headquarters to continue growing operations and develop US and South American markets. Magic Xperience designs in-house custom animations for virtually everything and places focus on enhancing experiences, like special events; theme parks & sporting venues; and holidays & birthdays. As it stands currently, Magic Xperience is the only consumer augmented reality company that allows users to capture precious moments on video with augmented reality animations. To see Magic Xperience in action, visit:

Or try it out now! Download Magic Xperience app here and view the Superhero below with your iPhone or Android Phone to enjoy the Magic of Augmented Reality!

Augmented Reality Miami



Mixed Reality

KEY Word: Flexibility

Mixed Reality is the newest of the terms. In technologies like Magic Leap’s, virtual objects are integrated into—and responsive to—the natural world. A virtual ball under your desk, for example, would be blocked from view unless you bent down to look at it. In theory, MR could become VR in a dark room. Sometimes referred to as hybrid reality, is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. Some other examples of the mixed reality technology are Microsoft HoloLens  and Canon MREAL System. Although some said that HoloLens is under the AR (Augmented Reality) category, but according to Microsoft it should fall under the MR (Mixed Reality) domain.

The best is yet to come, we can assure that 2016 is the year of exploration for the next generation. The hardware for Virtual, Mixed and Augmented Realities is going to hit the market hard this year. It will be interesting to see how it is applied to not only gaming, but also to home use and business. Many of the things that have been seen in the movies over the last decade can actually be done using these technologies. It will be interesting to see how developers tap into this hardware.





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