Top 17+ Books To Learn AR/VR

🕑 9 minute read

BRIOVR has created a list of 17+ books to help you learn more about augmented & virtual reality. Bonus: read exclusive quotes we got directly from the authors!

VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) have become part of a major discussion in recent years. The entire idea of interacting with a different reality seems like an episode out of Star Trek: The Big Goodbye episode where Captain Picard uses the holodeck to relax after his intense negotiation with Jarada.

In some ways, VR and AR are the next frontiers. They will help us “to boldly go where no man (human) has ever gone before.” It is going to open up many opportunities for the way we share ideas, collaborate on the design process, the way we market products and experiences.. We have gathered a list of 21 books that can help you learn about VR and AR, and how you can use it to take advantage of this new frontier.

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Virtual & Augmented Reality For Dummies

With VR and AR becoming more of a mainstream phenomenon, Book for Dummies has done an excellent job summarising the subject. Instead of going into technical details about hardware and software, the book lets you see a broader picture. It helps you look at the entire AR and VR landscape with a bird’s eye view. If you want to just get familiarized with this industry this is a good book to start with.

Augmented Human: How Technology Is Shaping the New Reality

Augmented Human is a book written by Dr. Helen Papagiannis – a world-leading expert in the field. It’s a perfect book for a designer, developer, entrepreneur, student, educator, business leader, artist or a hobbyist to learn the evolution of AR, its opportunities and the direction it’s headed in. The book shows how you can use AR as a new medium.

“The true power of Augmented reality (AR) is a conversation with reality where our environment is contextually responsive and enables a deeper connection to the people, places, and things that surround us. AR can help us to not only see anew, but to touch, hear, and even smell and taste in novel ways. As humans, we move through a 3D world and experience reality with our entire bodies, yet technology often limits us to a 2D plane. Augmented Human is an exploration of this new reality.”

-Helen Papagiannis, Ph.D

The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality

This book talks about the importance of taking the human element into account when it comes to designing virtual reality. There have been massive failures when the human element wasn’t taken into consideration, such as the Nintendo’s Virtual Boy. The Virtual Boy only had two colors available (red and black) and a poor ergonomic design. The book discusses how to take the human element into consideration by understanding perception, interaction and design principles.

Marketing New Realities: An Introduction to Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality Marketing, Branding, & Communications

Written by Cathy Hackl and Samantha G. Wolfe, this book discusses how AR and VR is going to change the way marketers communicate with customers. With this new emerging technology comes new challenges for marketing, branding and public relations officials. This book can be the guide to help marketers use AR and VR to create memorable experiences for customers.

“Brands and businesses should all be looking at where VR and AR will live within their organization because content is expanding. It’s expanding beyond 2D flat surfaces to content that is 3D, 360, augmented and sometimes holographic.”

-Cathy Hackl, Futurist at You Are Here Labs and Partner at Mixed Reality Ventures.


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Introduction to Virtual Reality

VR allows users to navigate and interact within a virtual environment. This book covers topics such as the origins of VR, how it works and how it’s used without going into complex mathematical techniques. By avoiding scientific jargon it allows readers to quickly learn about VR and how it can change the world.


Developing Virtual Reality Applications: Foundations of Effective Design

One of the biggest things VR is going to achieve is changing the landscape for research and development or R&D. NASA is currently using VR to train its engineers and technicians to test out technologies to be used in space. This book talks about how VR can be applied in business, science, medicine, art, entertainment and public safety to cut down cost and improve production.


Learning Virtual Reality: Developing Immersive Experiences and Applications for Desktop, Web, and Mobile

Learning Virtual Reality provides a hands-on guide for VR development essentials for desktop, mobile, and browser-based applications. This book by Tony Parisi explores three platforms; Oculus VR, Gear VR, and Cardboard VR. The book also covers VR development environments, programming tools, and techniques required for UI design, 3D graphics, and stereo rendering. This is a  great resource for experienced mobile development programmers to gain a working knowledge with clear and simple examples.

Defying Reality: The Inside Story of the Virtual Reality Revolution

David M. Ewalt’s Defy Reality shows how businesses are already using VR to revolutionize our world and where it’s headed. Whether you are a technology enthusiast or just interested in learning  about this topic, Ewalt uses his first-hand experience and on-the-ground reporting to show how VR is going to change the way we live and interact with one another.

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Storytelling for Virtual Reality: Methods and Principles for Crafting Immersive Narratives

Storytelling for Virtual Reality helps to build a bridge between media and VR technology. There is no doubt that VR is going to play a huge role in marketing, promotion, and storytelling for many businesses. Author John Bucher examines storytelling and how it can be applied, transformed, and transcended in VR.


Oculus Rift in Action

If you have heard anything about VR, you have probably also heard about Oculus Rift. Oculus Rift is a headset used to engage with virtual reality. Oculus Rift in Action teaches readers how to integrate its many features in 3D games and virtual reality experiences. This is a book for people who have programming knowledge in C++, C#, or another OO language and is a key resource to completely grasp this technology.


Getting Started with React VR: Build immersive Virtual Reality apps for the web with React

Getting Started with React VR teaches readers what VR really is, why it works and how to describe 3D objects. It takes readers on a journey and gets them knowledgeable about VR and React VR. The book teaches practical skills to develop VR experiences, create customized 3D graphics, explore the ReactVR library to create objects and import free models into VR software.


Making Sense of Space: The Design and Experience of Virtual Spaces as a Tool for Communication (Chandos Information Professional Series)

Making Sense of Space explores Virtual Worlds (VWs) and how they have grown in the last decade to shape communication, education, community building, creative arts, and more. The author covers three important aspects of VWs. First is how designers can use VWs for research, performance-making, and audience engagement. Second, how it can be used for educational purposes. And last, how VWs can be used for a new form of communication.


Cardboard VR Projects for Android

If you want to get started with VR right away, but don’t have the budget or the experience to go full pro, Cardboard VR Projects for Android is the best way to get going. This book by Jonathan Linowes and Matt Schoen, talks about how you can use Google Cardboard, a low-cost, entry-level media platform, to experience virtual 3D environments. The book starts with a simple example to help you to get comfortable with your environment. It introduces the underlying scientific and technical principles behind VR, including geometry, optics, rendering, and mobile software architecture. Not to mention, it’s a great way to impress your children and will keep them engaged for hours!

Virtual Reality Blueprints: Create compelling VR experiences for mobile and desktop

If you are ambitious enough to go from being a padawan to a VR Knight, Virtual Reality Blueprints is the book for you. The book begins with Cardboard VR, then it teaches how to create a virtual gallery with Gear VR and finally designing for Oculus VR.


Understanding Augmented Reality: Concepts and Applications

Understanding Augmented Reality teaches readers the elements required for creating augmented reality experiences. The author talks about how it’s important to implement a story with AR so it can be used repetitively, rather than just having one-time consumption value. There’s more value in AR by working on the content of the experience than just building a new toy, otherwise it is a waste of money and time.

Also read our new post on How VR Is Revolutionizing Architecture


The Fourth Transformation

“The current state of VR and AR is that we have a smaller market than expected but companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Apple and Magic Leap are investing billions in a dream that everyone will join immersive computing. Will that happen? We will see a ton of new products released by the end of 2020. I am betting one of them will finally hit with consumers.”

  • Robert Scoble

The Fourth Transformation is about how a VR/AR can change the way we do day-to-day things. Authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel conducted more than 400 interviews with technologists and business decision makers over two years to write about how this new frontier is going to change our lives. It covers a wide range of topics including everything from the mundane to the medical. If you are planning on investing in AR/VR this book will give you the inspiration to start.

Virtual Reality Insider: Guidebook for the VR Industry

Virtual Reality Insider is a very straightforward guide to VR. Whether you are an industry veteran trying to understand how to use VR to come up with new ideas, or if you are a complete newbie, this is a perfect two-hour read.


Virtual Reality and the Built Environment

Virtual Reality in the Built Environment is a book for experienced architects, designers, and built-environment professionals who want to learn about VR and how to implement it into their design process. The book is a guide to the practical usage of virtual design, construction, and management. It shows how you can use a virtual world to collaborate, share design ideas, get feedback and improve modeling.


Augmented Reality: Where We Will All Live

Augmented Reality: Where We Will All Live helps distinguish between AR and other interrelated technologies such as VR and MR (Mixed Reality). The author Jon Peddie takes the readers on a journey from the early development of AR to where it is right now and its future. It also helps readers to realize how perspective is used in perceived reality and how we react to it. The book provides valuable insights for technologists, marketers, business managers, educators and academics who are interested in the field of augmented reality.

Augmented Reality: Principles and Practice (Usability)

Pioneering researchers Dieter Schmalstieg and Tobias Höllerer bring their expertise of AR in Augmented Reality: Principles and Practice. This book shows how to integrate computer vision, computer graphics, and human-computer interaction when it comes to designing AR experiences for users. AR is a fast-growing field and the book summarizes how to carefully balance principles and practice.


In conclusion, immersive technology holds the potential to do many wonderful things. It can help marketers find an innovative way to portray their messages to the masses. With the help of virtual and augmented reality, people will be able to share design ideas with others for criticism and feedback. Few things these books do cover is that not to forget to add the human element of designs that can often be forgotten. These elements can never be underestimated, otherwise, it can have a catastrophic result to the overall outcome. Whether you are a beginner or experienced in the field of virtual and augmented reality, we hope that you will add some of these books to your library.

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