VR Terminology Primer

Written by Keram Malicki-Sanchez. Except where otherwise noted. This is a work-in-progress.

VR Terms

  • 6DoF – “6 Degrees of Freedom” – VR systems that use positional trackers to negotiate a user’s position on the x,y,z axis. Examples include the HTC Vive with its infrared “lighthouses” and the Oculus Rift that uses cameras to measure “depth.”
  • GVS – galvanic vestibular stimulation – a method dating back 100 years to induce a sense of motion by applying electrical stimulus to the areas just below and behind the ears that both connect muscles from the neck and also help to regulate one’s sense of balance and orientation
  • HMD – head-mounted display – aka, VR goggles
  • NED – Near-eye display
  • Roomscale VR – A system that allows a user to move about a virtual space by employing a physical tracking system. This permits for realistic parallax effects and literal or implied spatially advanced interoperability within the virtual system. (see 6DoF)
  • Spherical Video – a rendered video file that plays back in a 360-degree format. The video is “projected” onto a three-dimensional virtual sphere, and then the playback device uses acceleratorometer and gyroscopes to track the position of the user’s gaze to create a sense of persistence and immersion.
  • Tethered – VR systems that have a wired connection to a computer
  • Untethered, wireless – self-contained VR display and playback systems

Spatialized Photography

  • Depthkit – DepthKit is a suite of tools that allows anyone to capture, edit, and publish volumetric experiences.
  • Photogrammetry – Photogrammetry is the science of making measurements from photographs. The output of photogrammetry is typically a map, drawing, measurement, or a 3D model of some real-world object or scene. (source)
  • Volumetric Capture – Volumetric displays create 3D imagery via the emission, scattering, or relaying of illumination from well-defined regions in (x,y,z) space. (source)

Software Terms

  • API – Application Programming Interface
  • IDE – Integrated Development Environment
  • SDK – software development kit

Spatialized Audio Terms

  • ITD – interaural time differences
  • ITDG – initial time delay gap
  • ILD – interaural level differences
  • Motion Parallax – travel speed of sound indicates proximity
  • HRTF – head related transfer function – it’s a filter process (only really practical with headphones)