What is immersive technology

To put it simply: immersive

“Immersive Media” - the term is appearing more and more frequently in connection with 5G. What does it mean and what do the abbreviations VR, AR and MR have to do with it?

The term “immersive” is derived from the word “immersion”, which means something like embedding, entry, immersion. Until the 2000s, it was mainly used to describe computer games in which the player was literally immersed. So he became part of the gaming world in his own perception. At that time it was a special predicate. In addition to the pure optics, for example through the first person or first person perspective, the game physics, i.e. the interaction of the character with the game world, was also decisive. Of course, the story told, the plot, was an important factor.

For some years now, immersive media have been used primarily to describe the techniques Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).

The focus is on the user

With virtual reality, we primarily associate the familiar glasses that a user puts on in order to experience content in 360 degrees. These headsets can be holders in which a smartphone is inserted, such as the Samsung Gear. With the so-called "Head Mounted Display", all of the technology is integrated. One example of this is the Sony Playstation VR system. In both cases, the focus is on the user and his virtual gaze thus follows his own movement.

Augmented Reality means that the user experiences an application in the real world that is made possible with digital aids. One example of this was “Pokémon Go” in 2016, in which millions of players were able to catch small monsters with virtual Pokéballs. A lot can be expected this year from the Pokémon Go developer company Niantic, a Telekom partner. Another possible application is AR maintenance. Here, for example, a technician in front of a multifunctional housing can receive additional content via a special headset that makes work or diagnosis easier. The same opportunities exist in other professional fields, such as medicine.

A new kind of hyper-reality

Mixed Reality is not only the generic term for the two terms AR and VR, but also describes a new kind of hyperreality in which both worlds are combined - either a virtual person in the real world (holoportation) or the integration of film scenes in a virtual one Reality.

The examples given show that we are only at the beginning. The possible uses are already very diverse and go beyond the area of ​​gaming. The next step towards networking people is "Social VR". Here several users come together in a virtual reality in order to experience something together, for example watching video clips or following sporting events.

All of this places increasing demands on the network. High capacities and low latencies, i.e. response times, which the new 5G communication standard in particular offers. Both are necessary in order not only to process huge amounts of data - for example when playing games with a large number of participants in one place - but also to do this in real time.