Meta Quest 3 will bring advanced mixed reality to consumers. Here is another reason to be excited about the technology.
In part one of a series of articles, I defined mixed reality as the ability to bring digital elements into the physical environment, or to blend the real and the virtual, and addressed the first of three reasons why I, as a consumer, am excited about the technology.
I argued that mixed reality fits more easily into everyday life than virtual reality, which is designed to replace reality as you use it. Mixed reality keeps you in the world instead of blinding you, making it easier, safer, and faster to use, which could open up the technology to a new class of (casual) users.
The simplest form of mixed reality is demonstrated by the mixed reality modes of games like Cubism, Puzzling Places, or Squingle, which bring digital objects into your environment. You interact with these objects, but the objects do not interact with the environment. But that’s far from all mixed reality can do, which brings us to the second reason.
Mixed Reality will enable new types of experiences
Mixed reality becomes more powerful the more it incorporates physical reality.
To do this, it must first understand the environment, spatially and semantically. This means it must be able to recognize the arrangement and layout of rooms in real time, as well as classify and distinguish the objects within them. Once this is achieved, and this won’t happen overnight because the technical requirements are complex, mixed reality will open up new (gaming) experiences.
Our list of the 15 best mixed reality experiences for Meta Quest shows how unexplored these possibilities are. Many of the games and experiences listed simply place their digital content in the physical environment without interacting with it.
This is because Meta Quest 2’s mixed reality technology isn’t fully developed and does not automatically detect rooms or objects. This should change with Meta Quest 3.
Better hardware and more powerful APIs will allow developers to explore the full potential of mixed reality for the first time. Because Quest 3 is relatively affordable compared to other mixed reality or AR headsets, a profitable ecosystem for fully immersive mixed reality applications could emerge, driving innovation in the field.
With mixed reality, the world becomes a canvas, and every pixel of reality and our perception itself can be controlled. We can’t even begin to imagine what that means.
Our list also includes some more experimental mixed reality apps that incorporate the environment into the experience. These include I Expect You To Die: Home Sweet Home, Dungeon Maker, and Hauntify. They show the direction the journey could go.
Home Sweet Home cleverly combines different levels of reality, Dungeon Maker turns your home into an obstacle course, and Hauntify plays with our perception in a scary way.
Those who say that mixed reality, unlike virtual reality, is not immersive are wrong: mixed reality can be even more immersive because it uses tactile reality as a base and does not have to create another, artificial one.
I’m looking forward to the new forms of interaction and immersion that mixed reality will enable. I’ll go into the third and final reason for my excitement next week.
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