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Mixed reality is a type of hybrid system that involves both physical and virtual elements. Many experts describe mixed reality as the sliding scale between a fully physical environment with no virtual elements, and a completely virtual environment.
Mixed reality is a term that is often used interchangeably with the term "augmented reality," although some contend there are essential differences. In general, both mixed reality and augmented reality involve placing virtual objects in a "real" visual field. However, in some cases, people use the term "augmented reality" to specifically describe a virtual overlay, such as a digital overlay on a car windshield, while using the term "mixed reality" to describe specific situations where virtual objects are instead integrated into a physical view individually and fixed in that view.
In addition, many other mixed reality projects experiment with adding virtual phenomena to the physical world. For example, some mixed reality projects involve adding digital avatars or holograms, or other virtual images and displays to a physical installation to innovate human experience. Other types of mixed reality projects include building devices and technologies that simulate physical human senses that are more difficult to simulate, such as taste, touch and smell.