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5 ways mixed reality will change future workplaces

We are creating technology that can generate digital interfaces out of thin air through the use of glasses or a headset.

Devices enabling virtual reality, augmented reality, or mixed reality all provide the opportunity to view information without needing a traditional physical screen, but mixed reality (MR), specifically, creates digital elements that behave as if they’re in our actual scene.

Such a capability provides value in many areas of our lives - a major one being the workplace.

We can generate MR with a headset that completely covers a user’s eyes but records what they would otherwise see, such that they are then relayed an immersive video of the real world that is then overlaid with digital elements.

This version of MR can then act as VR if it completely replaces the video feed with other visual information.

MR can also work by using goggles, as seen with Hololens, Meta, or Magic Leap(and maybe even glasses in the future) that don’t completely cover users’ eyes.

Though, narrow fields of view on digital elements sometimes presents as a challenge for more minimalistic devices. With such goggles, the actual workplace scene would pass through their lenses, where it either overlays elements on the glass or stimulates the eye with projections.

Although this technology’s functionality currently varies from brand to brand and requires continued enhancement until it reaches widespread stability and usability, it is improving every day. Its capability to enact change in many areas of life means we sometimes need to project forward to realize how best to utilize it.

The workplace presents a prime location to benefit from the digital interactivity enabled by mixed reality. Since MR produces motion-tracked elements that react to real world features and gestures, it can serve as a powerful tool in these environments, where individuals constantly process, display, and exchange information. Here are just five of the many ways MR will make an impact.

1. Computing experience

Enterprise grade MR headsets and glasses will relinquish workers from fixed, physical computer monitors to bring them into a new age of computing.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, agrees and says “the ultimate computer for me is the mixed reality world.” He adds, “Your field of view becomes an infinite display. You see the world and in the world you see virtual objects and holograms.”

Instead of relying on a single screen or a dual monitor, workstations will consist of as many screens as desired in a 3D space.