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VR vs. XR: What's the Difference?

Thanks to the ever-evolving nature of technology, there are always new and exciting devices and interactive forms of entertainment coming along. XR, also known as extended reality or cross reality, is a new form of technology that combines things like VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), and MR (mixed reality). There are plenty of differences between the various types of realities, but they all strive to be immersive in nature to give the user a clear and innovative experience that can impact their lives and routines.

Do You Need to Choose VR vs. XR?

The idea that it’s XR vs. VR is a bit of a misnomer: It’s not one or the other. Instead, they go hand in hand.

XR refers to all environments, both real and virtual, that use computer-generated imagery to blur the lines between the real and digital worlds. It provides a catch-all term for VR, AR, and MR, including all forms of media and technology that combine the real world with the virtual world.

VR is only one part of that umbrella term. VR takes the user out of the real world by obscuring their view of it and plants them in a digital environment. A VR experience can either be incredibly realistic or stylized, but the point is the same: It’s designed to make you feel like you’re really in an alternate environment.

Extended Reality in the Real World

Both VR and XR are components of the world of immersive entertainment, education, gaming, and even enhanced interpersonal interactions. Together with augmented reality and mixed reality, they provide realistic experiences on headsets, computers, and consoles, adding to reality to evoke strong emotions and offer experiences that may have seemed impossible at one point. XR and all of the technologically designed elements that go into it are slowly making their way into the world with the intent of changing it for the better.

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