What is the difference between AR, VR, MR, XR and 360?

What is the difference between AR, VR, MR, XR and 360?

What is Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Extended Reality and 360-Degree media?

Immersive technologies have rapidly evolved in recent years, offering innovative ways to experience digital content and interact with virtual environments. As these technologies become more accessible and integrated into our daily lives, it's essential to understand the differences between Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), Extended Reality (XR), and 360-degree media. In this blog, we'll explore these terms, highlighting what makes each unique and where you might encounter them.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality (AR) is all about enhancing the real world with digital overlays. It adds virtual elements, like graphics, text, or animations, onto your view of the real world. Unlike Virtual Reality, AR doesn't create a separate environment; instead, it augments your current surroundings.

Where You See AR
Popular AR applications include mobile apps like Pokémon GO, where virtual creatures appear on your smartphone's camera view, and Snapchat filters that apply animations or effects to your face. AR also has practical uses in fields like architecture, where it can overlay building plans onto real-world spaces, or in navigation, providing real-time directions.


Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR) immerses users in a completely digital environment. This technology relies on VR headsets that cover the eyes and often the ears, isolating users from their physical surroundings. VR creates a sense of presence in a virtual space, allowing users to interact with digital objects and explore immersive environments.

VR in Action
Popular VR devices include the Oculus Quest and HTC Vive. These headsets are used for gaming, virtual tours, and even professional training. In VR, you can visit virtual museums, participate in realistic simulations, or play games that require physical movement and interaction.


Mixed Reality (MR)

Mixed Reality (MR) goes beyond AR by blending digital and real-world elements in a way that allows them to interact. MR provides a more immersive experience than AR by allowing digital objects to coexist and respond to the physical environment.

Examples of MR
Microsoft's HoloLens is a prominent example of MR technology. With HoloLens, you can place holographic objects in your physical space and interact with them as if they were real. This technology is used in various industries, from design and engineering to healthcare and education.

Extended Reality (XR)

Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term encompassing all immersive technologies, including AR, VR, and MR. It represents the entire spectrum of experiences that combine real and virtual elements. XR is often used when referring to applications or experiences that blend multiple immersive technologies.

XR in Practice
XR is increasingly used in entertainment, education, and training. For example, an XR experience might start with AR elements, transition into a VR environment, and conclude with MR interactions. The flexibility of XR allows for innovative and engaging experiences.

360-Degree Media

360-degree media refers to photos or videos that provide a panoramic view, allowing users to look around in all directions. Although often used in VR experiences, 360-degree media doesn't necessarily involve interactivity or complete immersion. Users can view 360-degree content on VR headsets, smartphones, or computers, allowing them to explore a scene by rotating the view.

Applications of 360-Degree Media
This technology is commonly used for virtual tours, allowing people to explore locations without physically being there. It's also popular in the travel industry, where it offers immersive previews of destinations, and in journalism, where it can create engaging news stories with a 360-degree perspective.


As immersive technologies continue to develop, understanding the distinctions between AR, VR, MR, XR, and 360-degree media becomes increasingly important. Each technology offers unique experiences, and as they become more integrated into our lives, we can expect to see new and exciting applications in various fields. Whether you're interested in gaming, training, entertainment, or professional use, these immersive technologies are sure to play a significant role in shaping our future experiences.

Back to blog