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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Acronym Soup

I'm watching a Miku Miku Dance video by Anonymous Boat F***er in YouTube today, and I read this comment to him:

lychanking 13 hours ago
Have you thought about doing these kinds of vids in vr?

To which I replied to lychanking:

Joe Nickence 1 second ago
I understand your question, but I had to smile and suppress a chuckle. Think about what you just asked. XD

Miku Miku Dance is broadly defined as Virtual Reality. Albeit more of a gaming engine for dance motions, along the lines of Unity and Unreal.

For a while the industry had it all figured out. We had "Virtual Reality", "Augmented Reality", and "Mixed Reality". These separated us from "Real Life". Occasionally I started to see "3D". Not too bad. Most understood that it meant old style flat screen virtual reality. I read a page many years ago by a person that used the term "Default World" to define what many call RL. I personally like that definition, so I use it a lot. And I prefer to use MR whenever possible. Now we have "Internet of Things" to add to the list, being powered by "Artificial Intelligence". But now I've recently come across a definition called "eXtended Reality". I actually do like that one, because it attempts to pull in and combine the blending of MR, IoT, and AI. Let's add "Immersive Computing" to the list. Oh, let's not forget "eSports", perhaps the most blended activity of the last five years.

Confused yet? You're not alone. As the big four, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and now Apple, attempt to jostle each other to be the ones to precisely define this hodge-podge of acronyms. Microsoft, perhaps, should be lauded for stubbornly sticking to the Mixed Reality label. However, they are choosing to simply ignore the individual acronyms AR and VR, that make up MR, never mind that they want to be your hub platform as well for IoT in the foreseeable future. Mixed Reality just doesn't reach far enough to blanket IoT as well.

I'm going to go out on a limb in this post, and officially say that I believe that XR, eXtended Reality, will eventually be the acronym that triumphs. So I'll be using that as I move forward.

Don't anticipate the gaming industry to capitulate to that one any time soon. For them, it's VR, with a respectful nod to AR. And most people that haven't curled up in a whimpering ball in the corner will keep to MR. IoT will interchange between commercial and residential applications and trudge along in parallel to MR, possibly dipping into XR as needed. It's an uphill fight, folks. One that has no clear winner for some time to come.