Creating Augmented and Virtual Realities

Despite popular forays into augmented and virtual reality in recent years, spatial computing still sits on the cusp of mainstream use. Developers, artists, and designers looking to enter this field today have few places to turn for expert guidance. In this book, Erin Pangilinan, Steve Lukas, and Vasanth Mohan examine the AR and VR development pipeline and provide hands-on practice to help you hone your skills.

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Book Parts

Part I

Design and Art Across Digital realities.

Part II

How eXtended reality is Changing Digital Art.

Part III

Hardware, SLAM, Tracking

Chapter IV

Creating Cross Platform AR and VR.

Chapter V

Enhancing Data Representation: Data Visualization and AI in Spatial Computing.

Chapter VI

Use Cases in Embodied Reality

List of chapters

Art and Design

How Humans Interact with Computers by Timoni West I Head of Research, Unity Pre-Release Chapter on Safari here.

Designing for Our Senses, Not Our Devices by Silka Miesnieks I Head of Emerging Design, Adobe

Virtual Reality for Art by Tipatat Chennavasin, General Partner, the VR Fund, Tiltbrush Artist in Residence

3D Art Optimization by Jazmin Cano User Engagement Manager, High Fidelity


Hardware, SLAM, Tracking

How Computer Vision Makes AR Possible by 6D.AI co-founder and CEO Matt Miesnieks and co-founder and Chief Scientist Professor Victor Prisacariu

Creating Cross Platform AR and VR by Steve Lukas, O'Reilly Co-Editor, Co-Founder, Across Realities

VR Toolkit: Open Source Framework for the Community by Harvey Ball (The Stone Fox) and Clorama Dorvilias, VRTK Founder and VRTK Developer Advocate

3 VR Development Best Practices by Vasanth Mohan, O'Reilly Co-Editor, Founder, FusedVR

Use Cases in Embodied Reality

Enhancing Data Representation in Spatial computing

Data and Machine Learning Visualization in Spatial Computing by Erin Pangilinan, O'Reilly Lead Co-Editor, USF Data Institute Deep Learning Fellow

Character AI and Behaviors by Nicolas Meuleau and Arthur Juliani, Unity, Head of AI Research and Senior Software Engineering

The Fan Experience: SportsXR by Marc Rowley, Founder and CEO, Live CGI

The VR and AR Healthtech Ecosystem by Dilan Shah, Founder and CEO of YUR Inc.

VR Enterprise Training Cases by Rosstin Murphy, STRIVR, Software Engineer and Prototyper


John Maeda

Design Pioneer

“It is rare to find in one volume such a wide range of topics ranging from women in AI, to the latest computer vision tracking systems, to how to bake optimized 3D forms without n-gons, to the dream of the “AR cloud,” to autonomous behaviors in virtual characters, to applications in the sports and healthcare industry, and to realizing vastly improved ways to take employee training to a new level for the enterprise. Both the breadth and the depth of the work shared by the technologists and artists of this movement indicate that the remaining runway for XR is just as vast as the expansive realities that they’ve only just started to unlock for humankind.”

Kent Bye

Voices of VR Podcast

“Creating Augmented and Virtual Realities will help you navigate this developing landscape through foundational concepts and some of the most compelling immersive applications. It will connect you to some of the most bleeding edge technologies and guide you on a cross-disciplinary learning journey”

Tony Parisi

VR Pioneer

“The broad collection of techniques and technologies you read about in this book are here to stay, though over time, the alphabet soup of acronyms will likely be absorbed into a set of core system capabilities that we all take for granted, much the way we do today with developing for web or mobile. At that point, the vexing VR/AR/MR distinction will be a thing of the past, and we’ll all have a common, colloquial term for it. (Who knows? Maybe we’ll be calling it mirrorworld.) Till then, this book was a great place to start. Hopefully it can serve as a guidebook for years to come as you embark on your journey.”

About The Editors

Erin Jerri Malonzo Pangilinan

Lead Co-Editor

Erin Pangilinan is a Diversity Fellow at USF Data Institute’s Deep Learning Program. She is also a proud Silicon Valley native, UC Berkeley alumnus, computational designer, software engineer hybrid, and startup consultant. As lead co-editor and contributor of this anthology, she initially conceptualized this project and contributed a chapter on data and machine learning visualization design and development. In 2017, she was selected as a Diversity Fellow at the University of San Francisco (USF) Data Institute Deep Learning Program. In 2018, she was selected as a fellow in Oculus Launch Pad. Since 2015, she co-founded and scaled two diversity and inclusion non-profit organizations focused on education and professional development, ARVR Academy serving women and underrepresented communities, and Filipino Americans in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts in Math) FASTER.

Steve Lukas


Steve Lukas is the CEO of Across Realities and an account manager in developer relations at Magic Leap. He has served in various capacities throughout the XR industry, from Product Management and Venture Capital at Qualcomm Ventures to forming his own AR/VR company Across Realities.

Vasanth Mohan


Vasanth Mohan is the Founder of FusedVR. Vasanth (AKA Fuseman) started the FusedVR Youtube channel in April 2016 in an effort to increase the number of people excited about creating VR content, specifically with the HTC Vive and Unity. Since then, he has worked at Udacity to develop the VR and ARKit Nanodegree as well as worked with the SVVR community to teach development workshops in and around the Bay Area.

Chapter Contributors

Timoni West

Director of Research, Unity

Timoni West is the Director of XR Research at Unity, where she leads a team of cross-disciplinary artists and engineers exploring new interfaces for human-computer interaction. Currently, her team focuses on spatial computing: how we will live, work, and create in a world where digital objects and the real world live side-by-side. Timoni serves on the OVA board and is an advisor to Tvori and Spatial Studios, among others. In 2017, Timoni was listed in Next Reality News’ Top 50 to Watch. Additionally, she serves on XRDC’s advisory board, is a Sequoia Scout, and was a jury member for ADC’s 2018 Awards in Experiential Design.

Silka Miesnieks

Head of Emerging Design, Adobe

As the Head of Emerging Design at Adobe, Silka is behind many spatial design and AI-related features found in Adobe products and services today. Silka identifies the untapped potential of design tools and services and reimagining the tools of the future with teams throughout Adobe. She comes from a land down-under, with her husband, two sons, and a bottle of whiskey to lower her blood pressure. Previously she co-founded Dekko with a goal of humanizing technology using AR. Always one with an entrepreneurial spirit, Silka also mentors startups and women in tech.

Tipatat Chennavasin

General Partner, The VR Fund

Tipatat Chennavasin is a General Partner of the Venture Reality Fund investing in early stage VR and AR companies. He has experience creating VR/AR content and became convinced of the power of VR when he accidentally cured himself of his real life fear of heights while developing in VR. He has established himself as VR/AR industry spokesperson and thought leader, and has contributed to many publications and presented at various industry events worldwide. He has looked at over 4,500 companies in the space and has invested in 30. He is also a prolific VR artist and Google Artist in Residence.

Jazmin Cano

User Engagement Manager,High Fidelity

Jazmin Cano has been developing 3D content for virtual reality since 2013 with a focus on designing experiences to onboard users who are new to social VR. She is the User Engagement Manager at High Fidelity, leading the team responsible for exploring safety and comfort in social spaces for VR, as well as helping design environments, events, and policies for multi-user experiences. In her free time, Jazmin creates 3D environment art for VR by modeling and texture painting and enjoys gaming. If she's not in front of a computer, she's probably exploring the wilderness for inspiration. Twitter: @JC_3D.

Matt Miesnieks

Co-Founder and CEO,6D.AI

Matt is renowned as one of the AR industry's thought leaders through his influential blog posts. He is CEO of, the leading AR Cloud platform, his 3rd AR startup. He co-founded SuperVentures (investing in AR), built AR prototypes at Samsung, and had a long executive and technical career in mobile software infrastructure before jumping into AR back in 2009. He is on twitter as @mattmiesnieks.

Clorama Dorvilias

Developer Advocate,VRTK (Virtual Reality Tool Kit)

Clorama Dorvilias discovered VR in 2015 researching methods for counteracting harmful social biases for her MA Thesis at University of the Arts London. She has since creating VR experiences spanning across various clinics and institutions including University College of London and Hyphen-Labs, LLC that utilize proven research methods to increase empathy and combat social biases. Her work expands institutions in healthcare, education, public sector and the workplace. She credits VRTK to her success to be able to submit a concept prototype at Oculus Launch Pad in a short time, winning seed funding to launch the app "Teacher's Lens" on the Oculus store and starting her company Debias VR. Debias VR works with fortune 500 companies to create implicit bias testing and trainings, utilizing the unique capabilities of VR to track progress and measure behavioral data.

Nicolas Meuleau

Director of AI Research, Unity

Nicolas Meuleau is a researcher in AI with an expertise in decision making, automated planning, and machine learning. During his 25-years career, he developed and deployed autonomous decision systems in a variety of application domains, including space, aeronautics, automotive and finance. He joined Unity in 2016 as Director of AI Research to promote the development of AI tools in the Unity game engine. Here, he supervises several research projects around game AI and intelligent decision making in games.

Arthur Juliani Meuleau

Senior Software Engineer, Unity

Arthur Juliani is a Machine Learning Engineer at Unity Technologies, and a lead developer of Unity ML-Agents. A researcher at the intersection of Cognitive Neuroscience and Deep Learning, Arthur is also currently working toward a PhD at the University of Oregon in Psychology. Twitter: @awjuliani.

Marc Rowley

Co-Founder and CEO, Live CGI

Marc Rowley is an American inventor and entrepreneur. He is currently the CEO of Live CGI. His inventions and innovations include the Quinstream broadcasting technology, the Tachyon League, the Pylon Cam, SportsCenter Rundown and multiple other sports enhancements. He worked in live sports starting in 1993 at Virginia Tech, then freelance, and later at ESPN from 1998 until 2017.

Rosstin Murphy

Software Engineer, STRIVR

Rosstin Murphy is an Iranian-American VR Engineer. His greatest pleasure in life is to put joy on the faces of the people who use his software. Rosstin started creating XR experiences in IBM R&D, where he spearheaded the development of Immersive Insights. He currently works at STRIVR as a VR Engineer, contributing to the development of STRIVR Creator and STRIVR Player. You can find him on Twitter as @RosstinMurphy

Dilan Shah

Co-Founder and CEO, YUR Inc.

Dilan Shah grew up in Laguna Niguel, CA, and is Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of YUR Inc a Boost VC company where he works on mobile. He is a long-time developer and helped build Unity’s new industrial XR applications training resources featuring projects across ARCore and ARKit, Hololens, Oculus Go, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Dilan is an early adopter of spatial computing (VR and AR), evangelist, and product professional. He is an autodidact and earned degrees in Business Administration and Computer Science from USC. His blog and twitter are, and @dilan_shah, respectively.

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