The concept of virtual reality (VR)--that is, when one’s senses and perception can be shifted to experience something that is not real--has been around for decades. The growth in computing power and display technology over the past 40 years has resulted in the ability for a person to be immersed in a scene that is not real but in many respects feels real. A related concept is that of augmented reality (AR), in which a real scene is displayed with additional features that one would not see with the naked eye. An example might be roaming through a museum and seeing points on a display that one can tap that would present information about whatever object is being viewed. A third type is mixed reality (MR), in which real objects are displayed along with 3D representations, such as holograms, of objects that are not present in the actual location. This could be useful for product design or training on how to maintain a device.
The present book contains a series of research papers presented at the 5th International Augmented and Virtual Reality (ARVR) Conference, held in Munich, Germany, in 2019. The papers cover a broad range of topics from marketing to education and training, city planning, health and wellness, journalism, production and manufacturing, tourism, research, and content creation. Most are fairly short, covering a high-level overview of the topic. All the papers have a significant number of references for those looking for more detail.
The book dates from 2019, which means it covers the state of VR, MR, and AR as they were up through about 2018. While much of the material remains relevant, such as people’s attitudes toward using AR or VR, new technology has superseded older devices, some of which are no longer available, plus wearable devices have evolved, too. The majority of papers are from European institutions and therefore reflect a European perspective. Although the writing in general is quite good, there is the occasional awkward word choice, though this is not a major detriment. One other negative is that the images are relatively small and most are printed in shades of gray, making for difficult readability in some cases.
This book should be of interest to someone looking for an overview of VR, AR, and MR technologies and their applications. The only downside is that the material is now three years out of date.