XR

Not very often I get to write about an interview someone that is the direct source of a modern definition. Prof. Paul Milgram, pH., P.Eng. is out of an exception in more than one level since he’s in charge of the complex definition of XR and other related definition. We are dealing in this post with the range of experience that covers the full range between reality, augmented and virtual in relations with our human perceptions. To put it in simple words Virtual Reality is when you have fully emerged into the experience with all your senses and Matrix is probably the best example though still fictional one. In the other range right above reality is augmentation which means that there is even a small layer of sensing right above our simple reality. I would consider pink lenses on a sunglasses a very basic “augmentation of one’s reality at least for the sack of the argument. Now we can go the next step and list the early and modern history of the technology but maybe before that, we should draw some borders to what we are dealing with in this article. I won’t consider any ancient technologies, use of illustration drugs and any experience that doesn’t include a vision system, there is a great example of sound but that’s for a different time.

So the modern history of VR started with the early computers and the movie industry interpretation of the (future) technology. If I have to draw the start line it was probably “The Lawnmower” that brought the idea to the masses and ignited the imagination of so many teenagers at the time. I would argue that the impact is still seen today on the modern devices and technologies that finally…some 20 years later finally meets the expectations and in some levels even topping those. So of course like any other technological Cinderella story also our story is strongly depended on computation powers that today are available on decides as small as mobile phones…

When it comes to Augmented I believe that the story is more complex, I believe that at some point we realized that being inside a complete VR totally disconnected from you surrounding is at least not so much fun at least not for long periods of time and I believe it’s not only related to the maturity of the technology but also to the psychological fact that we like to be aware of our surrounding…probably as a survival mechanism, and so came the AR to life which actually became a lot of fun in one hand (for gaming) but also extremely useful for navigation, instructions, control and many more application that just keep growing.


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