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What Do All of These “Reality” Video Terms Mean, Anyway?

Updated: Feb 18, 2022

Video production, by definition, is anything but static. However, 21st century advances, particularly in XR technologies, have made the industry more dynamic and engaging than ever.

Perhaps the only thing more mind-bending than the latest video technology is the number of acronyms that accompany it.




Here's a quick index of “reality” terms for those new to the medium:

Extended Reality (XR): Extended reality is actually a blanket term that encompasses VR, AR, and MR.

Virtual Reality (VR): Did you have a View-Master when you were a kid? Well, we've come a long way from those brilliantly colored slides. Also known as 360 VR, VR videos are created with omnidirectional cameras that film 360 degrees at the same time. VR videos also can be created from computer generated content with VR immersive video enabled software. VR videos take you on a journey. Whether it's hiking in Yellowstone or skiing in Colorado, VR provides the next best experience to the real thing.

Augmented Reality (AR): Augmented Reality, or “AR”, video is a bit trickier to explain. AR videos are created in a real-world environment and then virtually enhanced to create an immersive experience.

Imagine you're planning to buy a new house. An AR video can give you a completely simulated tour, with computer generated views of what the home will look like with various scenarios applied, allowing you to virtually experience your potential new home. AR video is created using the actual structure as a foundation, which can then be augmented to show what your new home could look like with various paint colors, floor coverings, window treatments, and furniture.

Mixed Reality (MR): If VR and AR had a baby, its name would be MR, or Mixed Reality. MR videos combine elements of both VR and AR to create an experience that is both real world and virtual at the same time. If you've ever been to the Haunted Mansion at Disney World, you probably remember the ghostly holograms (also a good example of augmented reality). Now, imagine if you could actually interact with one of the ghosts, perhaps by adjusting a crooked hat or fixing a stray hair. If you could, that would be an example of mixed reality.

The applications for XR (remember, "XR" is a blanket term for VR, AR, and MR) are limitless. From education to entertainment, healthcare, job training, and so much more, you can use Extended Reality video to design the exact user experience that you desire. Whether you want to create an environment that is completely virtual, real-world with augmentation, or a combination of both, the future of video is here - and it's called XR.

- NorthCoast Media Group Green Bay, Wisconsin


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