The MannGlas "Digital Eye Glass" welding helmet uses cameras and high-dynamic-range imaging to augment the user's view in dark areas and diminish it in bright areas.
Art installation illustrating the mediated reality concept. First we display what's really there, and then this allows a computer to be inserted into the "reality stream" to modify it.
Mediated Reality application running on Apple iPhone

Computer-mediated reality refers to the ability to add to, subtract information from, or otherwise manipulate one's perception of reality through the use of a wearable computer or hand-held device[1] such as a smartphone.

Mediated reality is a proper superset of mixed reality, augmented reality, and virtual reality, as it also includes, for example, diminished reality.[2]

Typically, it is the user's visual perception of the environment that is mediated. This is done through the use of some kind of electronic device, such as an EyeTap device or smart phone, which can act as a visual filter between the real world and what the user perceives. Computer-mediated reality has been used to enhance visual perception as an aid to the visually impaired.[3] This example achieves a mediated reality by altering a video input stream light that would have normally reached the user's eyes, and computationally altering it to filter it into a more useful form. It has also been used for interactive computer interfaces.[4]

The use of computer-mediated reality to diminish perception, by the removal or masking of visual data, has been used for architectural applications, and is an area of ongoing research.[5]

The long-term effects of altering perceived reality have not been thoroughly studied, and negative side effects of long-term exposure might be possible.[citation needed] Short term effects have been demonstrated with the eyestrain caused by computers.[6]

As a seeing aid

In the 1970s and 1980s, Steve Mann introduced the Generation-1 and Generation-2 "Digital Eye Glass", initially as a vision aid to help people see better, as a welding helmet,[7][8][9][10] and as a general-purpose seeing aid for everyday life as outlined in IEEE Technology & Society 31(3)[11] and the supplemental material entitled "GlassEyes".[12]

In this sense, mediated reality is a proper superset of mixed reality, augmented reality, and virtual reality, as it also includes, for example, diminished reality.[13]

Window managers

One common window manager in mediated reality is the "Reality Window Manager".[14]

Wireless mediated reality

With wireless communications, mediated reality can also become a communications medium among different communities.[15] For example, Bluetooth devices are often used with mediated reality.[16] With the use of EyeTap, such interaction is called "seeing eye-to-eye".[17]


See also: Augmented reality § Applications

Applications of mediated reality include devices that help people see better, as well as devices for gaming and equipment repair, telemedicine, remote expert advice interfaces, and wayfinding. Mediated reality is also used in robotics[18] and drawing applications such as the "Loose and Sketchy" drawing package.[19]

One key application of computer-mediated reality is healthcare and medicine, which has become a popular research area, specifically beginning in the 1990s with the field growing larger over time.[20] Common research topics include applications of computer-mediated reality in surgery, diagnosing diseases generally, and aiding care of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's.[20] In surgery, studies have shown that the use of virtual reality simulations can be used to reduce error, improve efficiency, and be used generally as training.[20] Other applications in surgery include modeling, which allows for more extensive planning of surgeries prior to the procedure that can also be more personalized to the patient, and image-guided surgery, in which machines and overlays would allow for more accuracy in the surgical processes.[20] There have even been complete telesurgeries, where the surgeon operates on a 3D model of the patient while a robot executes the actions.[20] This has been used for basic surgeries on swine and more advanced surgeries on swine and humans.[20] With neurodegenerative diseases, virtual reality has been used to simulate situations that train memory but aren't reproduce in a standard treatment environment.[20] Virtual reality may also be used for interfacing with a patient in their home, with data sent directly to the physician, or creating games that would encourage these exercises.[20] Virtual reality has also been used to aid those with a fear of heights, anxiety, depression, and autism.[20] It has also been used to reduce patients' pain.[20]

A widely implemented development of computer-mediated reality in medicine is the invention of electronic consultation, such as services like Teladoc.[21]

Within video games, the most common form of computer-mediated reality is virtual reality headsets, such as Oculus Rift.[22] These are devices that attach to the user's head and immerse their field of vision solely within the game world.[22] Controllers used for virtual reality games range from traditionally designed controllers to controllers designed to track the motions of the user.[22] However, alongside the uses previously mention in medical fields,[20] virtual reality has gained notoriety with Meta, formerly known as Facebook,[23] and the introduction of their "metaverse."[24] The metaverse is intended to be designed in a similar fashion to massive multiplayer online games, where users can interact with each other in an interconnected virtual space.[23] It has already been subject to controversy, as a woman claimed she was assaulted in the Metaverse.[25] In addition to virtual reality, augmented reality has also been used for video games. The most prominent example is Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game for mobile devices where Pokémon creatures are displayed through the phone to appear as if they are part of the real world.[26] Other examples of AR games include Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Ingress, which was developed by the same developer behind Pokémon Go.

Augmented reality technology has similarly been applied with social media applications such as Snapchat. These lenses range from adding 3D digital objects to pictures to altering the appearance of those in the photos.[27][28][29] One of the most common types are beauty filters, which digitally alter the user's appearance to make the user appear more "beautiful."[30] Beauty filters have been correlated to lower self esteem.[31]

Related concepts

Mixed reality and augmented reality are special cases of mediated reality.

Mediated reality is related to other concepts such as augmented reality (which is a special case of mediated reality), virtual reality, mixed reality, etc.[32]

See also


  1. ^ "Wearable, Tetherless, Computer-Mediated Reality", Technical Report #260, M.I.T. Medial Lab Perceptual Computing Section, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1994
  2. ^ Mann, S., & Fung, J. (2001). Videoorbits on EyeTap devices for deliberately diminished reality or altering the visual perception of rigid planar patches of a real world scene. Proceedings of the Second IEEE International Symposium on Mixed Reality, pp 48-55, March 14–15, 2001.
  3. ^ Video mediation
  4. ^ Grasset, R.; Gascuel, J. -D.; Schmalstieg (2003). "Interactive Mediated Reality". The Second IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, 2003. Proceedings. ISMAR 2003. pp. 302–303. CiteSeerX doi:10.1109/ISMAR.2003.1240731. ISBN 978-0-7695-2006-3. S2CID 2007012.
  5. ^ See, for instance, here and here Archived 2005-11-30 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "How to Avoid Eye Strain Caused by Increased Screen Time Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic". Retrieved 2022-06-03.
  7. ^ Quantigraphic camera promises HDR eyesight from Father of AR, by Chris Davies, SlashGear, Sep 12th 2012
  8. ^ IEEE Spectrum
  9. ^ IEEE Computer
  10. ^ A magical welding helmet that lets you see the world in HDR–in real-time
  11. ^ Through the Glass, Lightly, IEEE Technology & Society, Volume 31, Number 3, Fall 2012, pages 10-14
  12. ^ "GlassEyes": The Theory of EyeTap Digital Eye Glass, supplemental material for "Through the Glass, Lightly", IEEE Technology and Society, Vol. 31, No. 3, Fall 2012
  13. ^ Mann, S., & Fung, J. (2001). Videoorbits on EyeTap devices for deliberately diminished reality or altering the visual perception of rigid planar patches of a real world scene. Proceedings of the Second IEEE International Symposium on Mixed Reality, pp 48-55, March 14–15, 2001.
  14. ^ Mediated Reality, by Steve Mann, Linux Journal, Article No5, Issue59, 1999march01, ISSN 1075-3583
  15. ^ Guo, Z.; Zhu, J. J. H.; Chen, H. (2001). "Mediated Reality Bites: Comparing Direct and Indirect Experience as Sources of Perceptions Across Two Communities in China". Int. J. Public Opin. Res. 13 (4): 398–418. doi:10.1093/ijpor/13.4.398.
  16. ^ Mediated Reality Bluetooth Device Locator Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine by S Parikh et al., IEEE CSIDC 2002
  17. ^ Tang, F.; Aimone, C.; Fung, J.; Marjan, A.; Mann, S. (2002). "Seeing Eye to Eye: a shared mediated reality using EyeTap devices and the VideoOrbits Gyroscopic Head Tracker" (PDF). Proceedings. International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality. ISMAR’02. pp. 267–268. CiteSeerX doi:10.1109/ISMAR.2002.1115106. ISBN 978-0-7695-1781-0. S2CID 707231. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
  18. ^ Daniel Suarez: Daemon: Bot-mediated Reality Archived 2010-03-27 at the Wayback Machine (discussion of Mediated and Augmented Reality, bots, etc.)
  19. ^ Haller, M.; Landerl, F.; Billinghurst, M. (2005). "A Loose and Sketchy Approach in a Mediated Reality Environment". Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques in Australasia and South East Asia. GRAPHITE '05. pp. 371–379. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/1101389.1101463. ISBN 978-1-59593-201-3. S2CID 2899320.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Yeung, A., Tosevska, A., Klager, E., Eibensteiner, F., Laxar, D., Stoyanov, J., Glisic, M., Zeiner, S., Kulnik, S. T., Crutzen, R., Kimberger, O., Kletecka-Pulker, M., Atanasov, A. G., & Willschke, H (10 February 2021). "Virtual and Augmented Reality Applications in Medicine: Analysis of the Scientific Literature". Journal of Medical Internet Research. 23 (2): e25499. doi:10.2196/25499. PMC 7904394. PMID 33565986.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ "Telemedicine Technology _ Medicwell Telemedicine Platform". Medicwell: Reducing Coronavirus Spread Blog!. 2021-06-10. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  22. ^ a b c "The complete guide to virtual reality – everything you need to get started". the Guardian. 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  23. ^ a b "Facebook announces name change to Meta in rebranding effort". the Guardian. 2021-10-28. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  24. ^ Ravenscraft, Eric. "What Is the Metaverse, Exactly?". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  25. ^ Sparks, Hannah (2021-12-17). "Woman claims she was virtually 'groped' in Meta's VR metaverse". New York Post. Retrieved 2022-06-03.
  26. ^ "How "Pokemon Go" Took Augmented Reality Mainstream". Knowledge at Wharton. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  27. ^ Newton, Casey (2017-04-18). "Snapchat adds world lenses to further its push into augmented reality". The Verge. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  28. ^ "Snapchat introduces World Lenses – live filters for just about anything". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  29. ^ Lavanya (2021-08-30). "An Ultimate Guide on Snapchat Lenses | How to Enable & Use Lenses On Snapchat? List of Best Snapchat Lenses Codes". Version Weekly. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  30. ^ Shein, Esther (November 2021). "Filtering for beauty". Communications of the ACM. 64 (11): 17–19. doi:10.1145/3484997. ISSN 0001-0782. S2CID 239770270.
  31. ^ "Is that really me? The ugly truth about beauty filters". the Guardian. 2022-01-01. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  32. ^ Mediated Reality with implementations for everyday life Archived 2017-08-02 at the Wayback Machine, Presence Connect, MIT Press journal PRESENCE: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, Date Posted: 2002 August 6