Virtual reality (VR)
The Wikipedia view: Virtual reality (VR), which can be referred to as immersive multimedia or computer-simulated reality, replicates an environment that simulates a physical presence in places in the real world or an imagined world, allowing the user to interact in that world.
The Foundry’s interpretation: Virtual reality is the umbrella term for all immersive experiences, which could be created using purely real-world content, purely synthetic content or a hybrid of both.
Augmented Reality (AR)
The Wikipedia view: Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.
The Foundry interpretation: Augmented reality is an overlay of content on the real world, but that content is not anchored to or part of it. The real-world content and the CG content are not able to respond to each other.
Mixed reality (MR)
The Wikipedia view: Mixed reality (MR) — sometimes referred to as hybrid reality — is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.
The Foundry’s interpretation: Mixed reality is an overlay of synthetic content on the real world that is anchored to and interacts with the real world — picture surgeons overlaying virtual ultrasound images on their patient while performing an operation, for example. The key characteristic of MR is that the synthetic content and the real-world content are able to react to each other in real time.