Augmented Virtuality: Incorporating Reality into VR

Our work in this area examined the potential for incorporating reality into virtuality (i.e. the VR experience as perceived through a VR headset) to ease usability issues when reality is occluded. When wearing a VR HMD, our ability to interact with real world objects, utilize non-tracked real world peripherals, and be aware of those around us is diminished. Whilst incorporating reality can aid these problems, this leads to some significant questions regarding how much reality to incorporate, and when, which we first investigated in a paper published at CHI 2015.


An example of how we can incorporate reality in different quantities based on user need. Left: Minimal blending (reality around user’s hands). Middle: Partial blending (all interactive objects). Right: Full blending (all of reality)


  • McGill, M., Boland, D., Murray-Smith, R., and Brewster, S.: A Dose of Reality: Overcoming Usability Challenges in VR Head-Mounted Displays. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – CHI ’15, ACM, pp. 2143-2152, 2015.  Link.
  • Boland, D. and McGill, M.: Lost In The Rift: Engaging With Mixed Reality. In XRDS: Crossroads, The ACM Magazine for Students 22(1), ACM, pp. 40-45, 2015.  Link.