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Virtual and Augmented Reality: A Subject Guide  

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Scope Note

This subject guide is a resource for students and members of the general population interested in learning about virtual and augmented reality.

It contains a general description of the concepts, a brief history of the subject, as well as the most recent research and current news on the topic. 


LOC Subject Headings

 Virtual reality.

Virtual Reality Alliance of Students and Professionals

Virtual reality--Bibliography.

Virtual reality--Case studies.

Virtual reality--Comic books, strips, etc.

Virtual reality--Computer programs.

Virtual Reality Conference, IEEE

Virtual reality--Congresses.

Virtual reality--Databases.

Virtual reality--Dictionaries.

Virtual reality--Drama.

Virtual reality--Economic aspects.

Virtual reality--Economic aspects--Juvenile literature.

Virtual reality--Encyclopedias.

Virtual reality--Exhibitions.

Virtual reality--Fiction.

Virtual reality--Forecasting.

Virtual reality--Handbooks, manuals, etc.

Virtual reality--Health aspects.

Virtual reality in aeronautics

Virtual reality in archaeology.

Virtual reality in archaeology--China--Dunhuang Caves.

Virtual reality in archaeology--Congresses.

Virtual reality in archaeology--Data processing--Congresses.

Virtual reality in archaeology--Spain--Jaén (Province)

Virtual reality in architecture.

Virtual reality in architecture--Congresses.

Virtual reality in architecture--Exhibitions.

Virtual reality in architecture--Netherlands.

Virtual reality in architecture--United States.

Virtual reality in art.

Virtual reality in art--Catalogs.

Virtual reality in art--Congresses.

Virtual reality in art--Exhibitions.

Virtual reality in early childhood education.

Virtual reality in education.

Virtual reality in education--Congresses.

Virtual reality in education--Cross-cultural studies.

Virtual reality in education--Research.

Virtual reality in education--Research--Congresses.

Virtual reality in education--United States.

Virtual reality in education--United States--Case studies.

Virtual reality in engineering.

Virtual reality in engineering--Congresses.

Virtual reality in geography

Virtual reality in higher education.

Virtual reality in higher education--Africa--Case studies.

Virtual reality in higher education--Argentina--Buenos Aires (Province)--Case studies.

Virtual reality in higher education--Brazil.

Virtual reality in higher education--Congresses.

Virtual reality in higher education--Cross-cultural studies--Congresses.

Virtual reality in higher education--Peru.

Virtual reality in higher education--Venezuela.

Virtual reality in literature

Virtual reality in literature--Congresses.

Virtual reality in management.

Virtual reality in management--Congresses.

Virtual reality in management--Examinations--Study guides.

Virtual reality in management--Forecasting.

Virtual reality in management--Germany.

Virtual reality in management--Government policy--Germany.

Virtual reality in management--Handbooks, manuals, etc.

Virtual reality in management--Technological innovations.

Virtual reality in mass media.

Virtual reality in medicine.

Virtual reality in medicine--Congresses.

Virtual reality in medicine--Fiction.

Virtual reality in medicine--United States.

Virtual reality in paleontology.

Virtual reality--Industrial applications.

Virtual reality--Industrial applications--Congresses.

Virtual Reality International Symposium

Virtual Reality International Symposium, IEEE

Virtual reality--Juvenile fiction.

Virtual reality--Juvenile literature.

Virtual Reality Laboratories

Virtual reality--Law and legislation.

Virtual reality--Military applications

Virtual Reality Modeling Language (Computer program language)

Virtual reality--Moral and ethical aspects.

Virtual Reality (Musician)

Virtual reality--Periodicals.

Virtual reality--Philosophy.

Virtual reality--Philosophy--Congresses.

Virtual reality--Philosophy--Drama.

Virtual reality--Poetry.

Virtual reality--Political aspects--United States.

Virtual reality--Popular works.

Virtual reality--Psychological aspects.

Virtual reality--Psychological aspects--Congresses.

Virtual reality--Psychological aspects--Periodicals.

Virtual reality--Religious aspects.

Virtual reality--Religious aspects--Buddhism, [Christianity, etc.]

Virtual reality--Religious aspects--Christianity.

Virtual reality--Religious aspects--Christianity--Congresses.

Virtual reality--Religious aspects--Congresses.

Virtual reality--Religious aspects--Judaism.

Virtual reality--Research.

Virtual reality--Research--Directories.

Virtual reality--Research--History.

Virtual reality series

Virtual reality--Social aspects.

Virtual reality--Social aspects--Congresses.

Virtual reality--Social aspects--Germany.

Virtual reality--Social aspects--Periodicals.

Virtual reality--Social aspects--Research--Methodology.

Virtual reality--Social aspects--United States.

Virtual Reality Society

Virtual Reality Society of Japan

Virtual reality--Software.

Virtual reality--Study and teaching--Congresses.

Virtual Reality Systems Inc.

Virtual reality--Technological innovations--Congresses.

Virtual reality--Technological innovations--Forecasting.

Virtual reality--Technological innovations--United States.

Virtual reality technologies for health and clinical applications

Virtual reality--Terminology.

Virtual reality therapy.

Virtual reality therapy.

Virtual reality--United States.

Virtual reality--United States--Equipment and supplies.

Virtual reality--United States--Equipment and supplies--Directories.

Virtual reality--Vocational guidance--Juvenile literature.




Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is a form of human-computer interaction in which a real or imaginary environment is simulated and users interact with and manipulate that world. Users travel within the simulated world by moving toward where they want to be, and interact with things in the world by grasping and manipulating simulated objects. In the most successful virtual environments, users feel that they are truly present in the simulated world and that their experience in the virtual world matches what they would experience in the environment being simulated. This sensation is referred to as engagement, immersion, or presence, and it is this quality that distinguishes virtual reality from other forms of human-computer interaction. 

When a user interacts with a virtual environment, the computer-generated graphics display must be updated with each turn of the head or movement of the hand. The virtual environment must be able to generate and display realistic-looking views of the simulated world quickly enough that the interaction feels responsive and natural. Initially, use of the technology was limited to those applications where the cost of high-performance computer graphics hardware could be justified, such as in flight simulators. The decreasing cost of such hardware has made it possible to experiment with applying the technology in many other areas.

Baker, M. Pauline. (2014). Virtual reality. In AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Education.


Augmented Reality

On the spectrum between virtual reality, which creates immersive, computer-generated environments, and the real world, augmented reality is closer to the real world. Augmented reality adds graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists. Both video games and cell phones are driving the development of augmented reality. Everyone from tourists, to soldiers, to someone looking for the closest subway stop can now benefit from the ability to place computer-generated graphics in their field of vision.

Augmented reality is changing the way we view the world -- or at least the way its users see the world. Picture yourself walking or driving down the street. With augmented-reality displays, which will eventually look much like a normal pair of glasses, informative graphics will appear in your field of view, and audio will coincide with whatever you see. These enhancements will be refreshed continually to reflect the movements of your head. Similar devices and applications already exist, particularly on smartphones like the iPhone.

Bonsor, Kevin. (2001). How Augmented Reality Works.


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