What Is Mixed Reality?

Text Jussi Kangasoja

Interfacing with digital information belongs to our daily routines, creating a new type of reality, Mixed Reality, combining the physical and the digital. Location-aware terminals, three dimensions, global services connected to geographic information and real-time geodata will all influence our observations of the surrounding world, offering a new layer of information available for all.

From War -Making Industry to WOW Effects and Beneficial Use

The technology applied in mixed reality was originally developed after World War II for the needs of defence industries. Later, it has been applied in the architectural design of buildings, machine design, and research.

Mixed reality applications are only now making their way to consumer markets. People look for wow-effects in their leisure time, and virtual environments and mixed reality are able to supply an almost limitless amount of those. At present, such effects have been in use in e.g. web shops in which customers may try on clothes in clothing stores virtually, sharing the experience in Facebook. The sharing of observations and objects of interest in social media forms an important part of user experiences.

The supply of applications is shifting from entertainment to utilities. The possibilities they offer may help and accelerate many tasks at work, promoting economical growth. We will see the use of the opportunities brought to us by mixed reality for making information visual in educational situations as well; a good example is the social and health sector. This technology could be used in education for e.g. presenting accident sites in a visual manner to add authenticity to the situation.