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IT & InnovationThe Virtual Reality Glossary

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Johan Hägerström
Posted byJohan Hägerström

Johan Hägerström is the founder of vrsverige.se and a founding member of our Eurostaff Expert community.

In this article I shall discuss the most basic VR terms to ensure everyone is up to scratch with the fundamentals on all things Virtual Reality – it is a good starter point for enthusiasts or those working in technology that want to break in to this market…

When you work in a niche industry it is easy to forget that not everyone will understand concepts and terms related to your industry. 

See this article as a glossary, or at least a reference that you can use whenever you want to look something up that is VR related.

Basic Concepts

VR - Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality and VR was coined as a concept in the late 50s and 60s. It is a visualization technique that creates an artificial environment, and simulates the user's physical presence and user interaction with others. Virtual reality can also create artificial sensory experiences that can include vision ,touch , hearing and smell .

AR - Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality is a visual technique that uses live video which is then amplified or augmenteras of computer-generated graphics. A simple example of this could be a video where you see the nameplates over the heads of everyone attending. Or that you see an artificial list that appears on the fridge on what needs to be purchased. There are also promising applications in distance learning, and help more professionals who need visual aid in their work.  

MR - Mixed Reality

Mixed Reality sometimes called hybrid reality, is a combination of real and artificial worlds to produce completely new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects coexist and interact. The name MR is the newest of the three and consists of a mix of VR and AR.

Headset

The name of the VR equipment you have on your head. Can also be called VR goggles or HMD (Head Mounted Display) contains either fixed screens, or has space to tuck a cell phone. Contains (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, OSVR, PSVR) even technology to detect how you tilt your head. May include headphones (Oculus Rift).

Companies and Brands

Oculus

Oculus VR, the company that started the new VR-boom. Owned today by Facebook and is led among others by Palmer Luckey (Founder), Brendan Iribe (CEO), John Carmack (CTO), Michael Abrash (Chief Scientist)

Oculus Rift 

VR headset manufactured by Oculus VR. The consumer version is called CV1 (Consumer Version 1)

HTC Vive

VR headset manufacturer HTC and develop together with Valve

Valve

Creator of HTC Vive. Do Steam, the world's biggest platform for buying games.

Playstation VR

VR headset from Sony that uses the PlayStation 4. Launched in October, 2016.

Samsung Gear VR

Mobile VR headset from Samsung that uses the Galaxy phone. Developed in collaboration with Oculus

Google Cardboard

Google's low-budget headsets manufactured in cardboard. Over 5 million have been shipped out the last year.

Google Daydream

Google's new massive mobile VR projects, driven by new mobile phones at the end of 2016. Based on the experience we learned of Cardboard.

OSVR

A modular headset that is based on open source for those who want to develop custom hardware solutions. Originally created by Razer.

Platforms and Ecosystems

Oculus Home

Oculus platform to test, experience and buy VR applications. Compatible with the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.

Steam

Valve's platform to test, experience and buy VR applications. Compatible with HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift.

Google Play

Google's platform to test, experience and buy apps. Compatible with Google Cardboard and Google Daydream

Sideload VR

Alternative platform to test, experience and share apps for Samsung Gear VR.

Technical VR terms

Eyetracking

Technology to track what your eyes are watching, through your pupil filmed by small cameras.

Rendering Foveated

Technology to change the resolution of the image dynamically. Used with Eyetracking and results in that only good quality (demanding for computer / mobile) where you look.

Inside-out tracking

Bring to track where in the room your headset is used various external technicians with cameras and laser systems. With the "inside-out tracking" is used instead of a camera on the headset which makes the whole system simpler and has fewer parts.

Gaze control

Using the look in a VR experience to make choices. Watching a button click by holding gaze for a while.

FOV - Field of View.

The size of the field of vision that you see in your VR headset. A man looks about 240-270 degrees, with varying quality. Today's VR headset gives between 90 and 150 degrees.

Latency

Latency means delay or lag and is one of the most important parameters for good WR.The limit for bail latency is 20ms

Exercise to photon latency

Delay it takes from the moment you turn your head in VR, until a new updated and accurate picture appears in your eyes. Must be under 20ms for it to feel good.

VR ergonomics

The important part when it comes to things you have on your head. Weighed in the 90s several kilos, but now stands at 300-600 grams. The lower, the better. The ultimate goal is a VR headset that looks like a pair of glasses and weighs less than 100 grams

360

Video filmed with a special 360-camera that takes up everything that happens around it.Do not need to be operated by a cameraman, but brings new challenges for directors so the image can not be controlled in what the viewer sees. in the current situation mono and lacking depth perception. Can filmed and edited normally and also be live.

360-3D

See above. 3D version of the 360. filmed with two cameras and two lenses. Provides 3D image depth. Can filmed and edited normally and also be live.

Redirected walking

Technology that tricks the user into thinking that it goes in a straight line, when in fact goes in a circle. Allows one to simulate the long-distance transport in small spaces. In the current situation needed a circle of about 40 meters in diameter that you will not feel the difference.

GVS -  galvanic vestibular stimulation

Is a technology for the electrical stimulation, a nerve in the ear to affect the balance. VR can for example make it possible to simulate the sensation of acceleration and moving up and down...

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