Special Report: Digital Senses

16 December 2016

Technology that lets people enhance reality or even escape it is quickly evolving. We can experience augmented reality with smartphones and smartglasses and immerse ourselves in different scenarios with virtual reality headsets. Human augmentation technologies such as prosthetics and brain-machine interfaces can restore sensory experiences lost by people with disabilities and can enhance the senses of the able-bodied.

Leading the way in AR, VR, and human augmentation technologies is the IEEE Digital Senses Initiative. The group is working to develop standards, organize events, foster collaborations, and remove barriers to the development and widespread adoption of these technologies.

AR is already starting to change the way we work—headsets can now superimpose repair instructions over machinery and project holograms of 3-D models of construction sites.

We also spotlight VR applications designed to help people better understand the world around them, and even themselves, in ways not possible before. There’s a profile of IEEE Senior Member Yu Yuan, chair of the IEEE Digital Senses Initiative. And we feature IEEE Member Ori Inbar, cofounder of a venture capital firm that focuses on AR-related startups.

Feature Articles


A New IEEE Initiative Focuses on Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Human Augmentation Technologies

IEEE Digital Senses group works to foster innovation in these three areas


How Augmented Reality Will Change the Way We Work

The DAQRI Smart Helmet and the Microsoft Hololens have been tested at construction sites and water treatment plants


Virtual Reality Can Immerse People in News Stories and Prepare Them for Natural Disasters

Its applications can help people feel empathy and give us a better understanding of the real world


More to Explore in Digital Senses

IEEE offers several resources on augmented reality, virtual reality, and human augmentation


Yu Yuan’s Mission is to Improve Lives Through Virtual Reality

The IEEE Digital Senses Initiative chair discusses the possibilities and concerns of immersing ourselves in new worlds


Super Ventures Invests US $10 Million in Augmented Reality Startups

Augmented World Expo founder Ori Inbar’s venture capital firm invested in eight companies this year


The Bionic Body: No Longer a Fantasy

The next generation of human augmentation technologies is in the works


Conferences Focus on Technologies and Applications for Augmented and Virtual Reality

Upcoming events delve into immersive projection technology, virtual storytelling, and navigation in virtual environments



Augmented Reality Can Equip the Unemployed With New Skills

The technology can make it easier for people to make great strides in their field


Augmented Reality Could Contribute to Information Overload, If We Let It

A new kind of operating system will be needed to encourage mindfulness rather than distraction