So that’s where the market is suggesting Mixed Reality (MR) changes the game for consumer and business applications.

Imagine working with the engineers of a bridge building project or pump station deployment and, in real time, using tools that place virtual plans and CAD drawings over or under the ground of the area that is the actual site?

The plan becomes an experience rendered before the reality takes shape. You see what you need to build before you turn the ground. That’s right, you can even see what it would be like in stages with the dig and preparation right through to completion. Imagine what that does for prebuild discussion and training of teams!

Mixed Reality (MR) has emerged from the Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) world.

It’s a new term and it doesn’t have anything to do with psychological dispositions or reality television shows. Mixed reality refers to the merging of virtual environments with real environments, where both of them co-exist together.

Mixed Reality users will be able to navigate through the real world and the virtual environment seamlessly at the same time. It’s akin to the holodeck in Star Trek, except virtual objects are cast into the space in the real world, versus creating a virtual world around you.

In civil and construction it’s similar to Building Information Management (BIM) where you see virtual overlays in the area you are standing in to see how they would look or fit in that space.

Furthermore, in Mixed Reality (MR), users are also able to manipulate the virtual objects as well. That means if something looks better in the virtual overlay, play with it and then discuss.

Rather than miss the opportunity all together. Users can interact with their concepts in virtual objects as if they were exist in front of them. Some examples of the Mixed Reality (MR) technology are Microsoft HoloLens, Magic Leap and Canon EAL System and the opportunities are vast. It’s worth taking a look at this emerging space just to see where it’s heading.

To put the market into perspective, Microsoft's asserts that 80 million Mixed Reality (MR) devices will be sold by 2020. That's a significantly bigger estimate than many other pundits and analysts are predicting.

While VR will drive nearly all of the hardware volume in 2016, Augmented and Mixed Reality (AR) hardware is forecast to ramp up over the next few years. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the combined device markets will see hardware shipments surge past 110 million units in 2020.

So of course the big boys have started playing and Microsoft is shuffling to take a front seat by making Windows 10 a Mixed Reality environment, using a device-agnostic platform that can encompass all manner of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) hardware and applications. This has the potential to become mainstream very quickly and the industry should start ramping up for this now.

It’s no different than when the smartphone hit the market. In fact, this space is a child of the smartphone revolution. It has piggy-backed off growth in processing, display, connectivity and is even delivered by the smartphone.

Look what the smartphone has provided in terms of productivity and safety improvements to industry! There is no question the smartphone has been monumental in driving real world outcomes of high value.