Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality, and Extended Reality (often – misleadingly – abbreviated as XR) are commonly used terms to describe how technologies generate or modify reality. However, academics and professionals have been inconsistent in their use of these terms. This has led to conceptual confusion and unclear demarcations. Inspired by prior research and qualitative insights from XR professionals, we discuss the meaning and definitions of various terms and organize them in our proposed framework. As a result, we conclude that (1) XR should not be used to connote extended reality, but as a more open approach where the X implies the unknown variable: xReality; (2) AR and VR have fundamental differences and thus should be treated as different experiences; (3) AR experiences can be described on a continuum ranging from assisted reality to mixed reality (based on the level of local presence); and (4), VR experiences can be conceptualized on a telepresence-continuum ranging from atomistic to holistic VR.
Rauschnabel, P.A., Felix, R., Hinsch, C., Shahab, H. and Alt, F., 2022. What is XR? Towards a framework for augmented and virtual reality. Computers in Human Behavior, 133, p.107289. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2022.107289
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Computers in Human Behavior