Uses of Mixed Reality in your Field

Why Use it: Mixed Reality (MR) can support a wide variety of learning objectives but most frequently is used to help with understanding learning objectives as it can combine the best of many other technologies to greatly improve how we perceive data. This is one of the newest emerging technologies and has elements of both Augmented and Virtual Reality. While Augmented Reality (AR) simply displays a virtual object in the real world, MR can do this with the level of interaction that Virtual Reality (VR) has. Bridging AR and VR gives virtual objects more presence in the real world, enhancing tangibility and understanding while increasing the interaction giving these objects more practical uses. Innovative Mixed Reality technology like the Microsoft HoloLens is just starting development and not yet available to consumers. MR is likely to become a huge technology once a wider range of more practical software has been developed.

Picture of the Microsoft HoloLensPerson wearing HoloLens at Towson University

How to use it:

Stay tuned for details on opportunities to try out the Microsoft HoloLens.

What it is:

Available MR technology includes only the Microsoft HoloLens so far.

Instructional Application Examples:

Business & Economics

Mixed Reality has great business applications with advertisement and data analysis. Studies have found that MR technology like the HoloLens is effective at helping users understand real-time, highly detailed data. (Garon, Boulet, Doironz, Beaulieu, & Lalonde, 2016) This use makes the HoloLens perfect for analysis learning objectives.


Mixed Reality can revolutionize education and training by making information tangible and intuitive. There are already educational applications for the HoloLens being developed and the potential for these applications is limitless. Specifically, these applications are great for understanding-based learning objectives. (SAAB AND MICROSOFT, 2016)

Fine Arts & Communication

Mixed Reality has become a platform for interactive storytelling that should be explored. By creating videos for mixed reality experiences new compelling narratives can be created. Studies have shown that mixed reality experiences are able to increase the immersion of users by creating tangible multimedia experiences. (Nakevska, van der Sanden, Funk, Hu, & Rauterberg, 2017). These technologies are especially useful for creation-based learning objectives.


In this field, Mixed Reality can ease training and the actual performance of tasks, like surgery. It does this by blending the best elements of Virtual Reality (the simulation aspect) and the best element of Augmented Reality (the ability to see the world around you during the visualization). The HoloLens is set to become a breakthrough technology that revolutionizes the healthcare field. (Tepper, Rudy, Lefkowitz, Weimer, Marks, Stern, & Garfein, 2017) This technology is perfect for applying-based learning objectives.

Liberal Arts

Mixed reality has been shown to improve cultural interest. This is perfect for the study of other countries by experience and interaction. (Fenech, 2017) This application would work well with understanding-based learning objectives.

Science & Mathematics

In sciences such as anatomic pathology, the HoloLens is great for visualization, helping with remembering-based learning objectives. (Hanna, Ahmed, Nine, Prajapati, & Pantanowitz, 2018) In computer science, the HoloLens can help with programming as well as give programmers a great technology to practice developing for. (Guhl, Tung, & Kruger, 2017)




Garon, M., Boulet, P., Doironz, J., Beaulieu, L., & Lalonde, J. (2016). Real-Time High Resolution 3D Data

on the HoloLens. 2016 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR-Adjunct), Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR-Adjunct), 2016 IEEE International Symposium on, ISMAR-ADJUNCT, 189. doi:10.1109/ISMAR-Adjunct.2016.0073



EXPERIENCE. (2016). Asia-Pacific Defense Reporter, 42(3), 6. Retrieved from


Nakevska, M., van der Sanden, A., Funk, M., Hu, J., & Rauterberg, M. (2017). Interactive storytelling in a

mixed reality environment: The effects of interactivity on user experiences. Entertainment Computing, 2197-104. doi:10.1016/j.entcom.2017.01.001


Tepper, O., Rudy, H., Lefkowitz, A., Weimer, K., Marks, S., Stern, C., & Garfein, E. (2017). Mixed Reality

with HoloLens: Where Virtual Reality Meets Augmented Reality in the Operating Room. Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery, 140(5), 1066-1070. doi:10.1097/PRS.0000000000003802


Fenech, G. (2017). Intermezzo: play trajectories in mixed reality worlds. Journal For Cultural Research,

21(4), 383-393. doi:10.1080/14797585.2017.1370489


Hanna, M. G., Ahmed, I., Nine, J., Prajapati, S., & Pantanowitz, L. (2018). Augmented Reality Technology

Using Microsoft HoloLens in Anatomic Pathology. Archives Of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, doi:10.5858/arpa.2017-0189-OA


Guhl, J., Tung, S., & Kruger, J. (2017). Concept and architecture for programming industrial robots using

augmented reality with mobile devices like Microsoft HoloLens. 2017 22nd IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA), Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA), 2017 22nd IEEE International Conference on, 1. doi:10.1109/ETFA.2017.8247749

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