What is eXtended Reality?

Step into computer-generated 3D environments, experience these with all our senses, and interact within.

What is eXtended Reality (XR)?

XR, means “Extended reality”, is a term referring to all the technologies combining real and virtual environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology.  XR includes the entire spectrum from “full real” to “full virtual” in the concept of the reality-virtuality continuum. XR enables user experiences that combine virtual content and the reality of users.

XR Extended Reality (XR) is an all-encompassing term that includes Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and Virtual Reality (VR).  At ASIL, we structure these into two main pillars of technologies, namely ‘display technologies’ and ‘interfaces for embodied interaction’.

Display technology: 3D immersive, multisensory, and user-centered

XR allows users to step into computer-generated 3D immersive environments, and experience these with all the senses from their own user-centered perspective. Display technologies add multisensory stimuli either “on top of” the physical environment (cf. augmented or mixed reality, AR/MR), or as a full virtual reality (VR). Stimuli may include objects, embodied avatars and computational agents, interiors, landscapes and sceneries of all kinds, which may be experienced through vision, sound, and/or haptic feedback. These elements can simulate what we already know in our physical environment, but can equally create fictional and imaginary worlds. Characteristic for the XR experience is that users may have the feeling of actually being in this environment; typically referred to as the feeling of ‘presence’.

Interfaces for embied interaction: body movement and (neuro)physiological responses

XR experiences are fundamentally grounded in technologies for tracking user behavior and responses; to make displays user-centered, to allow interactions with objects, to let environments adapt smartly to users’ cognitive or emotional state, etc. These technologies function as essential interface between users and their XR environment. XR interfaces become increasingly unobtrusive, direct and latent, tapping into natural embodied interaction behavior of users. Apart from mediating user interaction in XR environments, embodied interfaces can provide interesting scientific research data to better understand user behavior and (neuro)physiological responses in XR environments.