Difference Between Extended Reality and Cross Reality

Escaping from the real world is the tendency of humans. Of course, not all the time but a yearning effect that leads us to watch movies, television and play games.

With technology growing with abnormal speed, many concepts have evolved and being practised, too, like Virtual Reality and the Augmented reality. That’s not all. Extended and Cross reality has been the talk over the years.

Though these two are similar in a lot of ways, there are key differences between the two.

Extended Reality vs Cross Reality

The main difference between Extended Reality and Cross Reality is the union and function of the environment. Extended reality is a term used to an environment that includes ”All real” and ”All virtual” in it, while Cross reality is the combination of all the realities along with the interaction between virtual and the real world.

Extended Reality vs Cross Reality

Extended Reality is the environment that has virtual and real-world combined and also the human interactions that are generated by the systems. These systems can be wearables too.

The intensity of virtual experience can range from partial to completely immersive. Extended Reality is a combination of ”All the real Environment” and ”All the Virtual Environment”.

Cross Reality is a type or a kind of Mixed Reality where it unifies Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and also the reality itself. This is an environment that can interact either ways.

That means to say, you do something in the virtual world, the real world can get affected. It is possible with a wide range of software and hardware that includes top-class sensors too.

Comparison Table Between Extended Reality and Cross Reality

Parameters of ComparisonExtended RealityCross Reality
DefinitionAn environment that contains the real as well as the virtual world.An Environment that can help to interact with both sides; real and virtual.
Base FunctionExtended Reality is a platform to have a virtual and real-world feel.Cross Reality uses the Extended Reality to interact with both worlds.
Technology CombinationIt is wholly real and whole virtual.Cross Reality Is the combination of Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality.
Immersive levelsRange from partial to a completely immersive experience.One can alter the changes in the real world by making a change in the virtual world.
Technological FunctionExtended Reality is used to create AR, MR, and VR.Cross reality utilizes AR, MR, and VR to superimpose the functions.

What is Extended Reality?

Extended Reality is the environment that includes all the real world and virtual world objects. It is the environment that helps in creating

  1. Augmented Reality
  2. Virtual Reality
  3. Mixed Reality

The term Extended reality is the one coined to connect all the real world and virtual realities in one phenomenon. While VR being the completely Digital Atmosphere, AR is the real world aspect with a digital layoff. The mix of them is the Mixed reality.

Having said this easily, the concepts are a bit complicated as these technologies grow every minute. With the endless work going on to make excellent immersive experiences, Extended reality is all set to pull people to different dimensions. The experience of

  1. Vision – Sight
  2. Sound – Hearing
  3. Feel – Touch
  4. Feel – Smell
  5. Feel – Taste

The scientists are working on bringing the 6th sense too. Though the ”Vision – Sight” is an old technique, the other 4 aspects are growing daily. Imagine, you can taste a strawberry that you do not find in your home.

The sensorial experience created in the extended reality is something amazing. The 3D version of the audio and multidimensional visioning aspects makes life completely adventurous.

All you can do is switch on a gadget that can take you to a different world.

What is Cross Reality?

Cross Reality is an immersive technology that shall bring the interaction between the real and virtual world. All these can happen with the help of AR, MR and VR. Yes, Cross reality combines the functionality of all three.

It uses AR and VR mostly. This technology helps take the real-world objects to the virtual world and vice versa too.

The scientists have been working on this day in and day out to make it work for the Military too. The advanced techniques have made it possible to interact with either side of the world.

The shortcomings of VR, as you shall find the difference between the real and virtual world, is completely nullified using the Cross reality gadgets.

The Cross Reality applications are still under scientific research as you may tend to feel like living in a different world. Yes, the immersive intensity is absolutely the highest.

You can activate action in the real world or the virtual world by activating it in the opposite worlds. Sounds Matrix completely, isn’t it? But that’s how the technology works.

Though Extended reality contains AR, VR, and MR, Cross reality is the one that superimposes these three technologies to bring a sea change in user experience.

Main Differences Between Extended Reality and Cross Reality

  1. The main difference between Extended Reality and Cross Reality is, the former is the platform by itself, whereas Cross reality helps in the interaction between both the real and virtual world.
  2. Extended reality consists of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality but the Cross Reality also belongs to Extended reality at the same time makes use of AR, VR, and MR.
  3. Extended reality is the platform set to interact with either side of the world, while Cross reality helps in the real world interaction with virtual and vice versa.
  4. The immersion level in Extended reality depends on how AR, VR and MR work. The Cross reality creates its immersion level in the extended reality.
  5. AR, VR, MR and Cross Reality are created in Extended reality, while Cross reality makes use of AR, MR, and VR.
Difference Between Extended Reality and Cross Reality


Current technology allows VR to dominate the world. The levels of immersion are not as powerful as the ones that shall be created using the Cross reality.

The total immersion is entertainingly impressive with VR but based on productivity, Cross reality wins the contest. The technological advancements have led to the governments encouraging the fact to use these in their defence systems too.

In the technology world, these terms – Extended, Cross and Mixed realities are interchangeably used, but there are differences in their working functionalities.


  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1866029.1866050
  2. https://picture.iczhiku.com/resource/paper/WyKdWgWtppRFkxBc.pdf
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