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Pioneer Jaron Lanier on the difference between VR and AR


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While we’re on the subject of different kinds of reality, Jaron Lanier is a useful man to listen to, having been one of the original pioneers of virtual reality technology.

Wired has been talking to him about the difference between VR and ‘mixed reality’ (MR), and his thoughts may prove handy for any music companies exploring these technologies.

“I think the relationship between them is similar to the relationship between film and television: They come through the same streams to the same devices, yet they’re still distinct,” he said.

“They have distinct cultures, they’re made in different ways, we have different expectations of them. Classical VR is ultimately more about you, it’s more about the human body, human identity, human interaction. Mixed reality is about exploring the world. What was interesting about Pokémon Go was people were going out to places. Which maybe got a little out of hand and silly, but they were still appreciating the world.”

Lanier also talks about his desire to have more improvisation tools within VR. “Almost like a musical instrument, but you’re playing reality—that would be the most important thing for the future of expression…”

Stuart Dredge

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