Slides From Presentation at AWE 2023 on Optical versus Passthrough MR

At AWE 2023, I gave a 25-minute presentation on Optical Mixed Reality (MR) versus Passthrough MR. I received many requests for a copy of the presentation. I had enough information on the 38 slides for a 2-hour presentation on the topic, so I had to go through them rather quickly and pick and choose what was discussed, so I decided to publish the slides (link to a PDF copy of the sides). In the next week or so, AWE should publish the recorded video.

If there is any takeaway from the presentation, it should be that while both Optical and Passthrough MR headsets are worn on the head, the type of applications they support are mostly very different. Optical MR emphasizes seeing the real world and adding to it. Passthrough MR is augmenting the virtual environment.

This subject is particularly pertinent with the expected Announcement by Apple on June 5th, 2023, of a passthrough AR headset. Certainly, Meta thinks Apple is about to announce as Meta pre-announced the Meta Quest 3 on June 1st to get ahead of Apple’s expected Announcement. BTW, for a humorous take on the Apple and Meta announcements, I recommend watching or listening to the June 2nd Vergecast, particularly Adi Robertson’s take on the subject, which is both insightful and humorous.

Additionally, SadlyItsBradley published a video with me discussing the same subject about a year ago. This video caused AWE to ask me to present on the subject. There were a few common slides and information, but the AWE presentation had many new slides and discussions. Below are a view excerpts from the AWE presentation.

Karl Guttag
Karl Guttag
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3 Comments

  1. great resource Karl. when will your share your thoughts on Apple Vision Pro. eagerly awaiting your analysis.

  2. We can compare Karl’s slide with reports from those journalists who tried the Vision Pro. They all had around half an hour, so none commented on long term comfort etc. Most commented that text, virtual and that passed through from reality, was sharp and easy to read.
    From Karl’s slide: —
    Passthrough MR

    – Seeing the virtual world is top priority High image quality with high contrast

    – Immersion with extremely wide FOV

    – Usually with controllers in the hands

    – Peripheral vision is gone

    – Must be in a “safe” location

    – Ignores social issues with wearing headset
    — end —
    The need for controllers has been removed for many activities, the Vision Pro interface is driven primarily by tracking the user’s gaze. A ‘tap’ of thumb of forefinger then acts like a mouse click. The user can also use the keyboard of a Mac or an iPhone to interact with their virtual environment.
    On safety, one reviewer noted that he stood from a sofa and walked around a real coffee table without hesitation.
    Apple certainly haven’t ignored social issues with the headset – representing the wearer’s gaze on the outside if the headset, for example, or not displaying virtual content over real people – though of course it’s too soon to judge how well their workarounds work.

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