Difference between VR, AR and MR

To get an idea and a basic knowledge of what the differences are between VR, AR and MR, I started with this in my research:

Virtual Reality:

  • Is the most commonly used
  • It allows the user to fully immerse himself in another world
  • With the use of head mounted displays, screens, sensors, gloves, etc. the images can be seen and interacted with
  • Simulations of real-life situations or entire environments can be immersed and interacted with
  • To use VR, the needed program or software, vision devices like TV, laptop, projector, smartphone, tablet, gaming console, OPI etc. and interactive devices like keyboard and mouse, haptic devices, joystick etc. must be provided

Augmented Reality:

  • It combines direct or indirect physical environments to the real world with other digital elements (like Pokémon Go for example)
  • While the user is in his real environment, virtual elements are generated in real time which the user can interact with
  • Through a device, these virtual elements can be seen and interacted with
  • To use AR, a program is needed that can mix the real and virtual world, capture devices such as webcam, video camera, smartphone, etc. for object recognition or geolocation, devices that can display the images such as smartphone, laptop or computer display, projector, etc. and activators that recognize at what time which virtual elements should be displayed
VR, AR and MR.

Mixed Reality:

  • Digital elements and the real environment are combined – it is a mixture of virtual reality and real-life
  • Real objects in the physical world are masked by virtual objects so that it feels as if the virtual objects really exist
  • With VR, you are immersed in a virtual world that does not exist. With MR, you feel like the virtual world is immersed in the real world and they merge together
  • For MR, you not only need sensors, displays and headsets but, most importantly, an environment where the location exists in both the real and virtual world
Mixed Reality is the result of blending the physical world with the digital world.


  1. Virtuality Continuum ́s State of the Art, Héctor Olmedo (2013), https://www.researchgate.net/publication/257388578_Virtuality_Continuum%27s_State_of_the_Art
  2. What is Mixed Reality?, Brandon Bray (26.08.2020), https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/mixed-reality/discover/mixed-reality