Over a year ago (December 2016) the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ reality working group* defined the following industry definitions:

  • "Virtual Reality" (VR) creates a digital environment that replaces the user’s real-world environment.
  • "Augmented Reality" (AR) overlays digitally-created content into the user’s real-world environment.
  • "Mixed Reality" (MR) is an experience that seamlessly blends the user’s real-world environment and digitally-created content, where both environments can coexist and interact with each other.
  • "360° Video" or "360 Video" allows the user to look in every direction around him/her.

I think they are a great start to help get consistency in the industry. I would add that VR and MR require a Head Mounted Display (HMD) where as AR uses a Smartphone or Tablet display. I would also add the following definitions:

  • 3DoF allow the viewer to change their view using three kinds (‘degrees’) of movement. (Three Degrees of Freedom i.e Yaw, Pitch, Roll).
  • 6DoF allow the viewer to change their view using six kinds (‘degrees’) of movement. (Six Degrees of Freedom).

I would expect they could be combined. E.g. a 360 Video 6DoF experence. Typically 6DoF camera capture light fields and point clouds. Below is a graphic from Facebook on 6DoF.

 Above is video given at the Facebook developer conference in April 2017

Above is video given at the Facebook developer conference in April 2017

*The CTA reality working group includes member companies Amazon, AMD, Dolby Laboratories, the Fox Innovation Lab at Twentieth Century Fox, GoPro, HTC Vive, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Reverge VR, Samsung, Sony, STRIVR, Technicolor, and Translink Capital.

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