Part 2: Important Terms

Christiane Snyder

Before diving into some of the concepts that impact development in virtual reality, here are a few words you should add to your vocabulary:

360 Video: A video format that allows viewers to rotate and change their perspective of what is being shown.

Augmented Reality: superimposing virtual (computer-generated) content over a scene in reality to create a composite view

Head Mounted Display (HMD): technologies that range from goggles to full helmets. Each one has two monitors, one for each eye, to create a sense of depth in the projected environment. Often, they also include head trackers to track the movement of a user and provide the appropriate output given movement in a scene.

Immersive: generating a three-dimensional image that appears to surround the user.

Field of View(FOV): area of the virtual scene the user can see at any given point in time.

Haptics: Topics relating to the sense of touch and recreating the sensations associated with real world objects.

Omni-directional: a projection model for stereoscopic 360 degree videos designed for use with head mounted displays.

Presence: How much the user actually thinks they are in the simulation. One of the ultimate goals of virtual reality.

Refresh Rate: how often the frame is changed in the viewer

Stereoscopic (stereo): relating to or denoting a process by which two photographs of the same object taken at slightly different angles are viewed together, creating an impression of depth and solidity.

Stitching: joining together individual images to create a more complete view of a space. In VR, is used to create an image of an environment to be projected into a virtual scene.

Virtual Reality: a computer-generated environment that simulates users senses (current technology generally provides sight, sound and sometimes limited touch) to create a seemingly realistic experience

VR video: One step further than 360 video because it creates a sense of depth or a stereoscopic view of a video on top of allowing the viewer to rotate their perspective.