VR vs. AR vs. MR vs. XR: What’s the Difference?

It’s no longer just VR vs. AR. There is an alphabet soup of metaverse acronyms, often used imprecisely. So, what do they all mean?

With all the hype around the metaverse these days, many people are asking for definitions of the acronyms flying around — VR, AR, MR, XR. If you’re confused, it is not your fault. The industry has not been precise, often using incorrect, overlapping, and conflicting language. To reduce the confusion, Big Think asked me to provide some historical context and helpful definitions.

It’s all immersive
At the top of the pyramid is the phrase immersive media, which refers to digital content presented to users from a first-person perspective, providing the illusion that users are present within the content rather than observing the content from the outside. It is this sense of presence that is the common denominator among VR, AR, MR, and XR.

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