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.”
  • HMD – head-mounted display – aka, VR goggles
  • 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 accelerometers 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)