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The terms Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality (yes, that also exists) are mixed up often especially in the professional area or it is not always clear what exactly differentiates them. In this short and compact blog post I’m trying to explain the differences.

DEFINITION

  • Virtual Reality (VR): immerses users in a fully artificial digital environment
  • Augmented reality (AR): overlays virtual objects on the real-world environment
  • Mixed reality (MR): not just overlays but anchors virtual objects to the real world.
Unterschiede zwischen Virtual, Augmented und Mixed Reality

VIRTUAL REALITY

  • complete virtual environment generated by a computer
  • users can move in a digital environment and hear sounds
  • special hand controllers can be used to enhance VR experiences
  • special VR headset needed to experience virtual reality
  • most are connected to a computer (Oculus Rift) or a gaming console (PlayStation VR)
  • but also standalone devices (Google Cardboard)
  • most standalone VR headsets work in combination with smartphones

AUGMENTED REALITY

  • users see and interact with the real world while digital content is added to it => example: Pokemon Go – people searched with their smartphones for small virtual creatures
  • AR apps can be easily downloaded on smartphones
  • different way to experience augmented reality, e.g. through AR headsets such as Google Glass, where digital content is displayed on a tiny screen in front of a user’s eye

MIXED REALITY

2 forms of reality technologies that are referred to as mixed reality

  • Mixed reality that starts with the real world
    • virtual objects are not just overlaid on the real world but can interact with it
    • this form of mixed reality can be considered an advanced form of AR
  • Mixed reality that starts with the virtual world
    • the digital environment is anchored to and replaces the real world
    • a user is fully immersed in the virtual environment while the real world is blocked out, digital objects overlap the real ones whereas in conventional VR the virtual environment isn’t connected to the real world around a user

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2018/02/02/the-difference-between-virtual-reality-augmented-reality-and-mixed-reality/#55bf468a2d07

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Homepage, Perspektiven von Usability, User Experience
Eine im Jahr 2011 durchgeführte Studie unter 24 Usability-ExpertInnen aus drei Ländern (China, Dänemark und Indien) fasst den Begriff Usability weitreichender und unterscheidet ihn nicht von User-Experience. (Vgl. Hertzum/Clemmensen, 2012, S. 26ff. DIN EN ISO 9241-210, 2010, S. 3.) Der Begriff Benutzererlebnis wird seit wenigen Jahren in der eigenen ISO-Norm 9241-210 „Prozess zur Gestaltung gebrauchstauglicher interaktiver Systeme“ definiert:
„User experience: Person’s perceptions and responses resulting from the use and/or anticipated use of a product, system or service.“
In einer weiteren Untersuchung aus dem Jahr 2009 wurden 275 User-Experience ForscherInnen als auch AnwenderInnen zum Thema User-Experience befragt. Diese ExpertInnen sind überwiegend der Meinung, dass User-Experience während einer Interaktion gemessen werden sollte, User-Experience nicht dauerhaft stattfindet bzw. sich ständig ändern kann und User-Experience abhängig vom Kontext ist, in welchem die Nutzung stattfindet.
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