AR / VR / Extended Reality

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Extended Reality (ER)

Extended reality (XR) is the overall umbrella term that covers virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR). Its purpose is to mirror the real physical world with the digital world to allow interaction. [1]

Extended Reality AR, VR, and MR [2]

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a real or physical way by a person with equipment. It requires the use of computer technologies (headsets) to allow the virtual/simulated environment explored in 360 degrees. A special feature of VR is that it stimulates our senses of touch, sound, sight, and smell to make the individual immersed in the virtual world. [3]

Types of Virtual Reality


Nintendo Switch: Animal Crossing [4]

Non-Immersive reality is a computer-generated virtual environment where the user is aware and controlled by their physical environment while interacting with a virtual world. out of all the three types, it is the least interactive. An example would be playing Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch using the joystick controllers. [5]


Arcade Game [6]

Semi-immersive is a mix of both non immersive and fully immersive virtual reality. It is more interactive compared to non-immersive and provides users with a partially virtual environment as you are still in your own physical environment. An example would be individuals playing car racing games at an arcade. They would feel the chair moment and wind making the experience feel realistic. [5]


Fly Over Canada [7]

Fully-immersive virtual reality convinces the user that they are completely disengaged from the real environment and are now in the virtual environment that was created. It is the most realistic simulation experience, it provides sound and very high-definition images and videos. Fly Over Canada is a virtual reality experience in Vancouver where it allows individuals to fully immerse themselves into flying over Canada. Users would physically feel like they are moving and gives an amazing bird's eye view of the beautiful city. [5]

History of Virtual Reality

The 1800s

Sir Charles - Innovation of Stereoscope

The Wheatstone mirror stereoscope. [8]

In 1838, Sir Charles Wheatstone, a scientist outlined the concept of "stereopsis" or "binocular vision". Stereopsis is the visual ability to perceive the world in 3D. This led him to innovate the stereoscope where individuals can view different objects from different depths and angles. [9]

The Early 1900s

Pygmalion's Spectacles

Pygamalion's Spectacles Short Story.[10]

In 1935, Stanley Weinbaum, an American Science Fiction writer presented a fictional model for Virtual Reality in his short story Pygamalion's Spectacles. In the story, the main character meets a professor who invented a pair of goggles which allowed a movie to appeal to a human's 5 senses: taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight. It was the very first prediction of VR. [9]

The 1950s to the 1970s


The Sensorama VR Machine.[11]

In 1956, the very first VR machine Sensorama was created by cinematographer Morton Heilig. This movie booth combined 3D, colour video using stereoscopic technology with audio, scent producers to release different smells, and vibrating chairs to enhance the user's experience.[9]


The Telesphere Mask.[12]

In 1960, Heilig also invented the Telesphere Mask. This was the very first head-mounted display (HMD) that provided 3D images with wide vision and sound. However, at this time, there was no motion tracking. At every angle, individuals were only able to view the same image.[9]

Sword of Damocles

The Sword of Damocles.[13]

In 1968, Sutherland created the first virtual reality HMD, the Sword of Damocles. To use this head-mounted display, it required the connection with a computer rather than a camera. With tracking technology in the headset, users are able to change their perspective on the image when they moved their head side to side, up and down. However, this project did not succeed as the equipment was too heavy for users. [9]



In 1975, Krueger's VIDEOPLACE was the very first interactive in-person VR platform that was displayed at Milwaukee Art Centre. It utilized computer graphics, projectors, video cameras, and position-sensing technology that did not require goggles or gloves. The user would use their fingers to draw in the air and their recorded hand movements would be directly transferred onto the screen. This platform allowed users to interact with each other in different rooms while engaging on the same platform. It encouraged the idea that people could communicate in a virtual world even when they were not physically close to each other. [9]

Aspen Movie Map

Aspen Movie Map.[15]

In 1977, the Aspen movie map was created by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) led by Andrew Lipman. This map enabled users to virtually explored the city of Aspen in Colorado like with our present-day Google Street View. It consists of three modes: Summer, Winter, and Polygons. Photographs from a car driving through a city were utilized to create the visuals of the map. The purpose of this creation is to suggest that VR can transport people to different places without physically being there. [16]

The 1980s to the 1990s

VPL Research

VPL Research.[17]

In 1985, Jaron Lanier and Thomas Zimmerman founded VPL Research. They were the very first company to sell VR goggles and gloves. The gloves that they sold were able to monitor hand movements by using light emitters and photo cells from the gloves' fingers.[16]

NASA VR Training

NASA VR Training.[18]

In 1989, Scott Foster, founder of Crystal River Engineering Inc, received a contract from NASA to develop the audio element of Virtual Environment Workstation Project (VIEW) - a VR training simulator for astronauts. This was the first time the public saw that VR was introduced into space.[16]


VIRTUALITY Arcade Machines.[19]

In 1991, the Virtuality Group launched Virtuality. These were VR arcade machines where gamers could play in a 3D gaming world. It was the very first mass-produced VR entertainment system. It allowed multiplayer games and featured popular arcade games, like Pac-Man. [16]

Nintendo - Virtual Boy Console

Nintendo: Virtual Boy Console.[20]

In 1995, Nintendo launched the Virtual Boy console which played 3D monochrome video games. It was the very first portable console to play with 3D graphics. However, despite the hype, it was discontinued after one year as it had a lack of colour graphics, poor software support, and was not comfortable to use. The physical build of the headset was bulky and required too many extra devices to support the games. [16]

The 2000s

Google Street View

In 2007, Google introduced street view which most people are familiar with. This street view collaborated with immersive media which was identified as the contractor who captured imagery for four out of five cities mapped by Street view using moving cars. The idea of being able to transport virtually and tour around different places in the world was supported through this application. [16]

VR Product Lines

In 2014-2016, many VR products were created, these include the Oculus, PlayStation, Google Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR.

VR Gets Real

2019, this is the year where Forbes describes it as VR gets real. This is because Facebook's headset, the Oculus Quest has created lots of interest, selling out in many locations generating revenues over $5 million for the company. Also, many virtual reality experience hubs were opened, increasing demand and curiosity for VR.

Augmented Reality (AR)

AR Defined

AR Process

Technology behind AR

3D Registration Technology

AR Applications

AR in E-Commerce

AR in Healthcare

Mixed Reality (MR)

Mixed Reality Defined

Mixed reality is the blend of the physical and digital worlds, which enables fluid and natural 3D interactions between people, technologies, and the real environment. Different from AR and VR, this new reality is an emergent technology that combines those two technologies together, which blurs the line of what is real and what isn’t. It might be demonstrated by physically touching an object while also influencing a virtual world action or result.

Picture yourself sitting in your workplace. You can see all the surrounding physical objects, such as desks and chairs. At the same time, you may also engage with digital content, such as a shared document that updates in the cloud in real-time or a prototype that you can test out using a digital interface. In essence, it is what mixed reality promises. [21]

Technology Behind Mixed Reality

The advancements in computer vision, graphics processing, display technologies, input systems, and cloud computing serve as the foundation for mixed reality.

Mixed reality requires five main components:

1) Environmental understanding: The ability to combine content from the virtual and physical worlds by mapping an area and superimposing information on it.

2) Human understanding: The ability to track the movements, speech, and inputs of human users through sensors or cameras.

3) Spatial sound: 360-degree audio experiences created to enhance the immersion and realism of digital experiences.

4) Locations and positioning: The ability to understand positions of both the technology and the user in any given moment.

5) 3D assets: Fully three-dimensional content that can be touched, accessed, and monitored in the real world. Those assets are usually referred to as holograms. [22]

MR Applications


24 Hours In Metaverse [23]

The term “metaverse” is a combination of “meta”, meaning “beyond” in Greek language, and “universe”. "Beyond universe" is what "metaverse" refers to. Simply put, it refers to online shared virtual worlds that individuals can access via the internet. The metaverse's vision eventually becomes more promising when combined with Mixed Reality passthrough, allowing users to perform nearly any action there, such as go shopping, attend school, or take part in business meetings.

There are already some instances of the metaverse. Virtual concerts featuring celebrities like Ariana Grande have been held on Roblox Corp. and Epic Games Inc.'s "Fortnite," in addition to other immersive experiences. Metaverse would also be possible to carry out novel, unbelievable feats like walking on the moon.

However, there are serious drawbacks and problems that metaverse is currently facing. The significant amount of money invested in a project with an unclear future is one of the major issues. Some experts worry about security, privacy, and users' mental health. [24]


HoloLens 2 [25]

The most widely utilised, high-performing Mixed Reality product is called Hololens. Through the lens, it projects 3D holograms that can merge with the surrounding surroundings. The lens can assess the area around it and apply virtual graphics based on the actual surroundings thanks to the environmental sensors. [26]

In 2015, Hololens was originally unveiled, and the most recent model, the HoloLens 2, has a $3500 USD price tag.

Intended functions of HoloLens: - Innovate faster: enabling organizations or individuals to quickly develop digital twins of things and test innovative concepts while wasting little money or time. You may quickly and easily test out various materials and concepts with HoloLens. - Collaborate: enabling the creation of more immersive collaborative experiences. For example, it can be demonstrated by being able to construct a holographic replica of a new car with your coworkers, even though you are all located thousands of miles apart. - Support workers: broadcasting content to associates in real-time, enabling experts to annotate what they view (such as the image of a machine in front of a different employee) and give instructions in real time.

MR in Music

Whitney Houston Holograms [27]

Whitney Houston, a singer who passed away in 2012, has utilized the MR technology for her concert through projecting 3D holograms onto the stage. The deceased diva's voice was included on the programme, along with a live four-piece band, additional support singers, and dancers.

Although the morality of using a late performer's hologram to increase ticket sales and album downloads is debatable, Whitney Houston's former manager and current President and CEO of The Estate of Whitney E. Houston, Pat Houston, claims she discussed the idea with the artist a decade ago (before the Apple iPad was invented, for reference).[28]

MR in Fashion

New York Fashion Week [29]

Digitally created psychedelic designs and stylish party attire by designer Maisie Schloss fit perfectly in with a fashion industry that is considering the potential of a virtual future. She embraced this virtual world during New York Fashion Week, showcasing her most recent line for Maisie Wilen on holographic models who stood 7 feet tall.

Visitors to the Fall 2022 show over the weekend discovered virtual models executing a series of repetitive motions like GIFs when they entered a gallery setting. Some of the dolls, which were modelled after the dolls from Mattel's 2010s "Monster High" franchise, spun in space, swayed their hips, pointed at guests, and occasionally released animated blue lightning or bubbles. Others donned green and blue body paint, creature ears, and fins.[30]

MR in Education

MR in Education [31]

HoloStudy: A mixed reality learning tool called HoloStudy was created to gain a better knowledge of people. It revolutionarily engages students while deconstructing challenging disciplines like physics, biology, chemistry, geology, and medicine.

HoloTour: Another cutting-edge application, HoloTour, uses mixed reality to whisk users away to various places and eras. Students can take advantage of educational field trips to various nations and significant periods in human history by stepping into these mixed realities, all without ever leaving their classrooms.

HoloHuman: By examining intricate, under-the-skin holographic simulations of the human body, HoloHuman gives students the opportunity to get a thorough understanding of human anatomy. The learner can examine life-sized bodies and learn how they function in a novel and engaging way thanks to this fully immersive experience.

Lifelique HoloLens: This innovative programme was created by Lilique in collaboration with Microsoft HoloLens to give classrooms, students, and teachers access to an interactive 3D model. Lilique can help make learning more engaging and connect with students in a level that was previously thought to be impossible by incorporating mixed reality models and lesson plans into the regular classroom experience.[32]

MR in Healthcare

MR in Healthcare [33]

Healthcare providers can simplify medical procedures and keep patients safe by using mixed reality. One of the important industries for the introduction of MR is healthcare, which includes training for robots and experts, phobia therapy, and surgical simulation.

The main force advancing the sector is the continued development of mixed reality technology in multiple healthcare institutions. In order to progress their health systems, nations like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE invest in cutting-edge technology like IoT, virtual reality, and augmented reality, according to a study by Fortune Business Insights.

Future predictions indicate that the use of MR in healthcare will skyrocket, especially when it comes to virtual reality simulation and medical training.[34]

MR in Manufacturing

MR in Manufacturing [35]

Manufacturers are now employing mixed reality to drastically reduce call out times instead of relying on engineers who have to read dense, frequently outdated instructions. ThyssenKrupp, a producer of elevators, is one such organisation. Engineers using HMDs not only receive the most recent information, but they can also view it without using their hands, thus cutting down on the time needed for knowledge checks. Additionally, when engineers call a support line, a remote expert has a "you see what I see" view, enabling them to offer assistance as if they were in-person at the client site. Because of the use of HMDs, ThyssenKrupp's service calls are now up to four times shorter on average.

The difficulty is that new technologies need high data loads, the capacity to handle enormous volumes of data at lightning rates, and the capacity to scale projects in a computer environment, which is frequently not possible in typical office settings. To do this, discrete GPUs from one or more servers are used, and the produced frames are sent wirelessly or remotely to head-mounted displays (HMDs), like the Microsoft HoloLens and the Oculus Quest.[36]

MR in Military

MR in Military [37]

The US army has recently been using hololens for war simulation tests. Soldiers will be wearing hololens to simulate different situations in combat and war. However, it has been reported that soldiers felt ill after using the headset for simulations. Issues seem to be recognised and addressed by the military. Brigadier General Christopher Schneider told Insider that IVAS met "most" of the criteria, but that there were other places where it "fell short" and needed development.[38]

Future Predictions & Challenges of Extended Reality


Virtuality has


Bernice Chu Aileen Dasalla Sharan Ghuman Lavena Kwok Amy Le Samantha Mo
Beedie School of Business
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC, Canada
Beedie School of Business
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC, Canada
Beedie School of Business
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC, Canada
Beedie School of Business
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC, Canada
Beedie School of Business
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC, Canada
Beedie School of Business
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC, Canada


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