MIXED REALITY Definition
Mixed reality (MR) is the merging of real and virtual worlds, where physical and graphical objects appear to interact and integrate naturally. MR is an overarching technology, which includes an underlying group of technologies encompassing the spectrum of immersive displays and interactive systems that spans from the digitization of real environments, to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
MR will become a widely used human-machine interface technology in the coming years, especially within the Retail segment. Retailers can use MR to integrate real-world objects and their virtual counterparts to inform and increase consumer confidence in products as they virtually "try" them on. For example, a customer could design a room and interact with the digital objects like moving a piece of furniture around to see how it would look in their home or try different cosmetic looks using MR devices which will present a visually integrated view with the customer's view of that real-world object. Interaction is a key feature and benefit, and MR experiences should be designed into immersive and interactive features.
Retailers can use MR technology to enable new types of contextualized customer experiences. It can also be used to foster team collaboration in instances when working in close proximity is needed, but not always physically possible. Additionally, MR can be used for operational activities to understand the impact before investing in the actual physical changes.
Business Impact Areas
During the next 10 years, MR and the user experiences that it enables will undergo a fundamental change above and beyond the capabilities of AR and VR. MR expansion will continue for retail to include many types of experiences that can visually enhance everyday objects. New business models will emerge that change how customers buy products using MR, both in and outside a retailer's physical store. Key retail segments for MR include home improvement, furniture, beauty, and specialty like jewelry, beauty and eyewear. For internal use cases for MR, consider associate training, store design, or space and merchandise (visual) planning.
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