Definitions and Characteristics of Augmented and Virtual Reality Technologies (CTA-2069-A)
What’s the difference between virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality? Virtual reality is a fully immersive environment affecting a person’s sensory inputs like sight, sound, touch, and smell. In a virtual reality system people use things like head-mounted video displays, surround sound headphones and hand controllers to interact with a virtual environment. Augmented reality overlays digitally-created content into the user’s real-world environment. For example, eyeglasses that let people see text messages overlaid on what the wearer sees ahead are creating augmented reality. Mixed reality is like augmented reality, except instead of superimposing digital content on reality, a mixed reality system integrates digital content into reality. Think of watching an American football game on TV. The score superimposed on the video feed of the game is augmenting reality. The yellow first down line is integrated into the scene and is a form of mixed reality. X reality – or XR – is a general term that refers to all these, and future similar technologies that may come along. CTA-2069 defines these and other terms related to XR technology.