Current virtual reality systems can provide highly immersive experiences and transport users to a different world or reality. Aside from games and applications intended primarily for entertainment, developers commonly aim to create immersive and particularly realistic simulation-like virtual environments that closely resemble the physical world. Similarly, natural movements and gestures guide interaction design. Realism can be a valid design goal, but applications will always lag behind reality in some ways and remain deficient. 

And VR can offer more – a range of work highlights the potentials of interactions that are 'magical', 'hyper-natural', or 'beyond real'. In these approaches, users are virtually augmented and gain abilities that are not very realistic, but enable new experiences and insights, with effects that in some cases extend outside of VR.

In this research seminar, we jointly explore current work in HCI that explores different types of virtual augmentations. We look at theoretical foundations, applications and work exploring effects and impacts. In addition to the work with literature, we test VR applications ourselves and carry out empirical work to further understand the experiences with and effects of virtual augmentations.