Refocus The Terms of
Anatomy of Experience
As a VR designer/developer I put a lot of thought and effort into delivering the best experience that ultimately leaves my user smarter, healthier, happier after they take the headset off. So it can honestly be frustrating when people – from lack of knowledge or experience – lump all things that look kind of like VR into the same big basket. Helping people grasp the nuances of XR will lead to better uses of the tech, plus go a long way to spreading general tech literacy.
The hype and excitement around the tech can easily lead our focus to the details of a specific technology based on some small set of factors like field of view or delivery device. The simplistic labels of VR/AR/MR are convenient as a shorthand, but even in terms of just the tech they fail to capture so many edge cases that fall in between. Simple example, if I stick a camera on a VR headset that the user can turn on or off do I call that VR/AR/MR? What really matters though is not how many angels are waltzing on that pin.
What matters is the value we deliver to our people. VR/AR/MR are techno-centric ways of thinking that fail to explain much about quality of experience people can expect from them. As an alternative I offer a different take on how to frame and talk about immersive digital tech in human terms.
Add the Human Element
The Internal/External axis exposes the human dimensions of each quadrant.
This matrix describes a continuum on both axis: our devices are good and getting better at bridging the gaps between the poles. We can now mix modalities and approaches on a single platform or bridge experience across platforms. No need to chose just one way of doing things.
The models and words we use have power. Refocusing the words and models from tech to people will give us better digital experiences that make us all smarter, healthier, and happier.