Immersive Technology: Defining the Digital Realities

February 18, 2022

What is Immersive Technology?

We hear a lot of new terms every few months surrounding technology. Sometimes these terms have already existed, but they are only now becoming a relevant conversation for the general public. In the case of Immersive Technology or Extended Reality (XR), you have likely seen or used this tech already. Now you can learn more about what it is. 

This tech is built on a simple thought: immerse a user in the experience. This immersion allows the user to look in any direction of a 360-degree sphere and see the content. Photospheres are the most common and accessible version of immersive technology, but that is not where it stops. The types of Immersive Technology are 360, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR). 

The Different Types of Immersion Technology

360 VR 

360 is what photospheres are. There are also other things that make you experience an entire world by looking around through various devices. Looking around this way makes you an active viewer of the content, as you control where to look in the scenes you experience. 

This kind of tech can be used to augment reality by making new content exist over the real world as you look around.

Virtual Reality – VR

If you follow the Xidax blog, you know what VR is; it is one of the immersive technologies available. VR uses a variety of devices to stimulate a different three-dimensional world other than our own. 

There are three levels of immersion that VR can achieve. However, some are more cost-prohibitive than others. 

Non-Immersive VR is usually played through a computer and is typically set up for you to control a character in the game that can affect the virtual world. 

Semi-Immersive VR is the next step of VR; this gives you more of the intended experience with the content. Using a computer screen or VR headsets, you can move around the artificial environment and affect it with some of your choices. You do not get any physical engagement from this time of VR, only mental and visual. 

Fully-Immersive VR aims for a realistic or fully involved experience. As the user, you would feel present in the virtual reality and be able to fully engage with your virtual surroundings, events, and overall world. 

This type of VR requires some specialized equipment and a powerful PC, as rendering these realities takes a toll on computing ability. Needed equipment would include VR glasses or headsets, gloves, and body detectors to help you interact entirely in the world. Some places you can experience this go as far as introducing smells and temperature changes to ensure you feel like you are in the virtual world.

Augmented Reality – AR

Augmented reality is an enhanced version of the physical world we live in. There are overlays of elements that stimulate a sense, such as seeing a Pokémon hiding in your living room, hearing a sound while interacting with the augmented environment.

You need a smartphone or tablet to interact with augmented reality. It just adds to the world we already have.

This version of immersive technology is growing more common, and you see it in uses such as the ‘view in room’ features from various retailers. In addition, AR technology includes Pokémon GO, the ASOS ‘See My Fit’ tool, and many other applications. 

Mixed Reality – MR

This technology is a mash-up of both VR and AR that renders virtual information into the outside world in real-time. Holographics would fit into this immersive technology category. MR tech is what makes holographic music concerts a reality. 

Generally, you see MR technology in the world of arts and education, as it can make users experience something intensely with the real world or assist in training with a technical-based skill. 

The Future of Immersive Technology

These technologies are not going anywhere. They will continue to become more common. Learning how the world now can give an advantage to the future. There are immersive technology applications in gaming, healthcare, education, live events, and so much more.

We can see the future today if you know where to look, and immersive technology is a great place to start. At Xidax, we are excited for the world of these technologies because we like to push the boundaries of what our machines can do. We will see incredible technology come out of this field with imagination and the will to make it happen. 

If you want to get into immersive technologies, we can help you build the machine you need to get the job done. You only need to let us know when you are ready. Until then, game on!

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