Immersive, virtual reality, and 3D content are just some technological buzzwords that have been circulating in the tech community for years now. If you are not as technologically savvy as you would like to be then it’s difficult to understand the immersive media market and why it is expected to reach, according to this NASSCOM report, $180 billion by 2022. That is a massive market.

Reports project immersive media solutions to be key players across a variety of industries soon. That is why the Imagine 4D team thought it was important to breakdown what immersive media are and their moving parts.

What are Immersive Media?

We can define immersive media as technologies that attempt to create, or imitate the physical world through digital simulation. It is the coming together of technology and reality. Examples of immersive media are virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and Imagine 4D’s new technology, Reflected Reality.

A chart visually explaining VR, AR, MR, and RR

Fig.1 Extended Reality Diagram, Imagine 4D

  • Virtual Reality (VR): A digital environment replaces the user’s physical environment. VR completely immerses individuals in this digital world and this is typically done using head-mounted displays.
  • Augmented Reality (AR): Digital content overlays a real-world environment. This technology enhances reality rather than replacing it. An example of AR includes Snapchat’s photo filters.
  • Mixed Reality (MR): As its name suggests, MR is a blending of the real world with a digital world. This experience creates an environment in which technology and the physical world coexist and interact with each other. We can understand it as the coming together of VR and AR. Thus, MR also requires headwear.
  • Reflected Reality (RR): Using curved mirrors and a curved projector screen, RR creates a virtual environment with an accurate sense of depth and three dimensionality. We achieve this immersive experience using no head-mounted displays and thus avoid VR’s limitations. RR is a proprietary feature of Station IX, our immersive 3D display environment.

To learn more about RR, check out our explanatory blog post here.

The dimensions of immersive media include sound, visual cues, and intuitive movements and feedback

Fig.2 NASSCOM image depicting the dimensions of immersive media.

Immersive Media: A Timeline

As a concept, immersive media have been developing over the last 50 years, but have only become disruptive technologies in recent years.

Ivan Sutherland is credited with having created the first head-mounted display in the late 1960s. It was so heavy that it had to be suspended from the ceiling for a user to wear it. A lot has changed since then. VR goggles have become a lot lighter, and now have incredible graphics and audio.

In early 2018, Imagine 4D upped the ante by introducing Station IX. We design our 3D display environment to ensure effortless collaboration in training and visualization scenarios. Team members can view 3D content with their own eyes and easily interact with each other, thus making the immersive environment ideal for high-value training, collaborative design reviews, or project presentations.

For more information about Station IX, download our brochure.

For a more in-depth history of immersive media, check out the timeline below.


An immersive media timeline ranging from 1883 to 2018

Fig.3 Immersive Media Timeline

Going Forward

Immersive media have come a long way from where they began, and honestly, it still has a long way to go. NASSCOM’s study suggests that the immersive media ecosystem has evolved from its original conception. It has gone from an alternative display technology to a technology that provides multi-sensory experiences. It is the future of real estate, computing, high value training, and so many other industries. The coming years hold some exciting developments for tech users.

VR headsets and AR technologies are growing in popularity among everyday consumers, but it is within the enterprise sector that we are seeing, and expect to see, an immersive media boom. Immersive media, and Station IX specifically, can be used in high-value emergency training, within military operational command centres, work as tools within architectural visualizations, and countless other scenarios.

VR, AR, MR, RR all function as indispensable tools within application categories such as connectivity, knowledge, education, exploration, and entertainment. NASSCOM’s report also provided an in-depth visual aid to explain these applications.

Categories for applications of immersive media

Fig.4 NASSCOM image depicting categories for applications of immersive media

Station IX works comfortably within each of these categories and can provide support to a variety of industries that fall within them.

The future of technology and of enterprises lies in immersive technology and so it is important to have, at the very least, a basic understanding of these concepts. With Station IX, the possibilities of what you can do within this market are endless.

We would love to hear from you! Let us know in the comment section, or on Twitter, the ways your business could benefit from immersive media, or the ways you are already using this technology.

If you would like to book a Station IX demo in Montreal, or get in touch with a member of our team, contact us here.


Imagine 4D

Author Imagine 4D

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