Intro to XR

Technology Defined

Virtual reality (VR) uses advanced display and immersive audio technologies to create an interactive, three-dimensional environment. Think of experiencing a roller coaster without actually being on one or walking through the great pyramids of Egypt from the comfort of your living room.

Augmented reality (AR) uses digital technology to overlay digital content onto the physical world to provide information and embellish our experiences. Think of using AR to help you assemble a piece of furniture. Or use it to see if a table would fit in your dining room.

Mixed Reality (MR) blends the real-world environment and digitally-created content in a way that both environments can co-exist and interact with one another in real time.

Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term encapsulating AR, VR, and everything in between.

infographic venndiagram of XR technologies. On the left in one circle is VR with an icon of someone in a virtual reality headset. On the right circle is a AR with an icon of phone displaying augmented reality. The circles overlap and display MR for mixed reality in the middle.
infographic to illustrate the immersiveness of XR technologies, starting with least immersive on the left. 1. 2D video, images 2. Instragam & Snapchat filters 3. Pokemon Go 4. Hybrid Reality Headsets such as HoloLens and Magic Leap 5. 360 video and images 6. Simulated 3D environments on Head-Mounted Devices such as Oculus, HTC Vive. Ending with the question what will be next?

Introductory Resources

What is AR, VR, XR, 360? : An XR glossary created by Unity

Created by UR Senior Emma Schaale
The Mixed Reality Continuum: Steve Benford, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham

3-DoF vs 6-Dof (Degress of freedom)