Augmented, virtual and mixed Reality are terms that are becoming more and more popular. Especially for marketing managers and developers, they are gaining relevance. This article informs you about the differences between augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) as well as the application areas of these innovative technologies.

How does AR, VR and MR differ?

Before you get detailed information to the application possibilities of AR, VR and MR, we firstly deal with the definition of augmented, virtual and mixed reality.

AR – what is augmented reality?

If a user uses an augmented reality application, he’s actively in an augmented reality. When using an AR app, the mobile device presents camera shots of the real world that complement AR applications with digital elements. This may be a living room where the app user looks at digital objects like furniture or a game like Pokémon Go as one of the best-known examples of the successful combination of real and digital elements. Augmented reality experiences are possible without or with special VR glasses.

VR – what is virtual reality?

Virtual reality surrounds the user with a virtual world and hides the real world. In this case, the experts talk about immersion, the immersion in a virtual reality by using virtual reality apps. In doing so, the user engages with all his senses in the presented experiences and feels like he is in exactly this spot. The journey into a virtual reality takes place via special VR glasses.

MR – What is mixed reality?

The mixed reality combines elements of the real and the virtual world including all intermediate stages of the two realities. In mixed reality, the contents of the virtual and real world interact by putting virtual reality content through real-world movie sequences. Due to this, a digital element which is integrated into a real movie sequence is behaving naturally. For example, if you place a virtual vase on a real table and move the table, the vase interacts with the table. It behaves naturally and follows the table movement.

Typical applications for AR, VR and MR

The first augmented reality and VR applications were already available in 2012. Since then, both the augmented and the virtual reality apps have continued to evolve and thus their field of application. Whereas gaming was the preferred application of VR at the beginning of development, virtual reality is now used in medicine for educational and training purposes as well as for the inspection of real estate or in the automotive industry.

Augmented Reality is the perfect tool for uncomplicated local information gathering. With AR applications, you virtually make products available to potential customers. As a user manual, augmented reality offers important support in the maintenance of complex machines or serves as a planning tool for complex systems and products.

Trends and innovations 2019

The continuous development of augmented reality and virtual reality is constantly generating interesting trends. Actually, the focus is primarily on the widest possible spread of these applications.

  • Virtual reality unites with storytelling for emotional advertising.
  • Augmented reality apps are increasingly becoming the sales boosting tool in B2B and B2C businesses.
  • Virtual reality as a successful therapeutic intervention in anxiety disorders.
  • Self-sufficient and powerful VR eyewear in a sleek design takes over the place of chunky and wired to the PC bound glasses.
  • 360 degree videos are getting more and more important.

Practical examples of augmented, virtual and mixed reality

AR, VR and MR are available for a variety of practical applications ranging from exciting information campaigns to medical education and further education.

Augmented reality generates attention

A successful AR presentation by Pepsi is sure to be remembered for a long time. With free-range tigers, aliens and comet impacts they generate sustainable attention, as the video ( Go9rf9GmYpM) proves.

Also, the US Army is taking advantage of AR to optimize the training of its soldiers in situational awareness, like the video on “Tactical Augmented Reality” ( shows.

A rather simple application but revealing the potential of AR as an everyday product, is the idea of ​​Disney. The company combines the traditional coloring book with augmented reality and explains the technical background in the video (

Virtual reality as a promotional element
Estate agents invite potential buyers on their website with “Country Homes” for a virtual tour of the property (

But virtual reality has also been used in medicine for a long time, as this video on Medical Training ( shows.

Mixed reality in practice
A great example of a mixed reality video is an information video ( from the American Weather Channel.

AR creates new opportunities for every company
Augmented reality is feasible for every company. Especially smaller companies stand out from their competitors by using augmented reality applications. You have the choice between simple apps that you can do by yourself with a little programming experience or complex applications which need to be programmed by a professional app developer.

VR and MR also show a very high potential to conquer professional and private life more and more. Not only as a marketing tool, but as an efficient support for various activities.