How does mixed reality expand on augmented reality?

Let's take a look at the key differences between mixed reality and augmented reality.

3/29/20242 min read

How Does Mixed Reality Expand on Augmented Reality?

In the ever-evolving landscape of immersive technologies, augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) represent two facets of experiences that blur the lines between the digital and the physical worlds. While both technologies enrich our perception of reality, mixed reality offers a more nuanced, interactive experience that builds upon the foundation laid by augmented reality. This blog post delves into how mixed reality expands on augmented reality, highlighting the technological advancements and practical applications that distinguish MR as a transformative medium.

Understanding Augmented Reality

Augmented reality overlays digital content onto the real world, allowing users to see and interact with virtual items placed in their immediate environment. AR can be experienced through smartphones, tablets, and dedicated AR glasses, making it accessible and widely adopted in various sectors, including retail, education, and entertainment. The essence of AR is to enhance the user's perception of the real world by adding digital elements that are not physically present.

The Advent of Mixed Reality

Mixed reality takes the concept of augmented reality further by not just overlaying, but integrating digital content into the real world in a way that these virtual objects can interact with the physical environment in real time. MR technology recognizes the geometry and spatial dynamics of the surrounding space, allowing virtual objects to behave as if they are genuinely part of the real world. This creates a seamless blend of physical and digital worlds, where virtual and real objects can coexist and interact with each other.

Key Differences That Define MR's Expansion on AR

  1. Interactivity: Unlike AR, where digital content might simply overlay the physical world without acknowledging the user's interaction with the environment, MR allows users to manipulate virtual objects with hands or controllers, creating a dynamic two-way interaction.

  2. Spatial Awareness: MR devices, equipped with advanced sensors and spatial computing capabilities, map the physical environment in real-time. This spatial awareness lets virtual objects recognize and respond to physical surfaces, obstacles, and changes in the environment, offering a more immersive and realistic experience.

  3. Depth Perception: MR technology provides a more sophisticated understanding of depth, enabling virtual objects to appear behind or in front of real-world objects, further blurring the lines between the digital and physical realms.

Practical Applications of Mixed Reality

The expansion of MR over AR opens up new possibilities across various fields:

  • Education and Training: MR can simulate complex environments and procedures, offering hands-on learning experiences. Medical students can practice surgeries on virtual patients, while engineers can visualize and interact with 3D models of machinery.

  • Design and Creativity: Architects and designers can use MR to visualize and manipulate 3D models of buildings and products within a real-world context, streamlining the design process and enhancing creativity.

  • Entertainment and Gaming: MR games and experiences offer an unprecedented level of immersion, allowing players to interact with virtual elements as if they are part of their physical environment.

  • Collaboration and Remote Work: MR can create shared virtual workspaces that combine physical and digital elements, enabling more interactive and productive collaboration for remote teams.


Mixed reality represents a significant leap beyond augmented reality, providing more immersive, interactive experiences that seamlessly integrate the digital with the physical. As MR technology continues to evolve, it promises to unlock new potentials across various sectors, transforming how we learn, design, play, and work. By expanding on the capabilities of AR, mixed reality paves the way for a future where the boundaries between the real and the virtual are increasingly indistinguishable.