What is Digital Reality?

Digital Reality is a way of describing a wide spectrum of technologies and experiences that digitally simulate reality in one way or another across most of the senses. Typical systems are visual, but other technologies like 3D audio and haptics are starting to combine to create more realistic experiences. Devices to simulate smell, taste and temperature are also now also appearing.

The types of technology for each sense breaks down further. For example with sight, we can completely replace everything we see with computer-generated material (VR) or partially replace what we see with computer-generated material (AR,MR).

There are again many flavours of each type of technology, with VR, for instance, there are those that are flat and 2D and those that are far more immersive and true 3D. There are those that track some of our movements to change what is experienced and those that can track all of our movements.

Digital Reality actually has many terms, some specific some general. Certain companies and people like to use some terms while others prefer alternatives. New ones appear each week and old ones fall out of favour. Many overlap and no agreed definition of any of them really exists.

Here is list of some of the common (and not so common) terms. The most used terms are in Orange

  • AR – Augmented Reality: Overlaying virtual imagery onto your view of the real world
  • AV – Augmented Virtuality: A type of mixed reality which refers to the merging of real world objects into virtual worlds.
  • CR – Cinematic Reality: Coined by Magic Leap, (DISCONTINUED)
  • DR – Diminished Reality: The opposite of Augmented Reality. The study and research into tools that remove parts of the world around us. More info
  • LR – Literal Reality: The real world
  • MR – Mixed Reality: Coined by Microsoft for the HoloLens and now adopted by Magic Leap.
  • MR – Merged Reality: Coined by Intel for Project Alloy.
  • MR  – Mediated Reality: Refers to the ability to add to, subtract information from, or otherwise manipulate one’s perception of reality. More info
  • RR – Real Reality: The real world
  • SR – Super Reality: Coined by Cher Wang, CEO HTC
  • SR – Sensory Reality: Coined by Sensiks
  • VR  – Virtual Reality: Completly immersing your view with virtual imagery with at least 3 degrees of angular head tracking. (3DOF)
  • AVR  – Augmented Virtual Reality: Coined by Oculus CTO Michael Abrash. Similar to mixed reality i.e. VR + AR + AI


Catch-all Terms:

  • Digital Reality: Any type of digitally enhanced reality (as adopted by this web site). See also XR.
  • TR – Transmogrified Reality: Coined by Google, not used.
  • VX – Virtual (Any type):
  • XR –  Extended Reality: Starting to become the most accepted abbreviation for all types of digitally enhanced reality. See also  Digital Reality.



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