Reality Check: Basics of Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality

Med Ref Serv Q. Apr-Jun 2017;36(2):171-178. doi: 10.1080/02763869.2017.1293987.


Augmented, virtual, and mixed reality applications all aim to enhance a user's current experience or reality. While variations of this technology are not new, within the last few years there has been a significant increase in the number of artificial reality devices or applications available to the general public. This column will explain the difference between augmented, virtual, and mixed reality and how each application might be useful in libraries. It will also provide an overview of the concerns surrounding these different reality applications and describe how and where they are currently being used.

Keywords: Artificial reality; augmented reality; libraries; mixed reality; virtual reality.

MeSH terms

  • Libraries
  • Virtual Reality*