Virtual Reality Glossary | Pole to Win

Virtual Reality Glossary

What to expect from virtual reality in 2016?

Virtual reality is undoubtedly one of the hottest topics when it comes to technology. It has widely been heralded that 2016 will be THE breakout year for this exciting technology. Now, there are murmurings that augmented reality will pack a bigger punch. But what does it all mean? Browse our VR glossary to help guide you through the terminology and let you make up your own mind.

Acclimatization: the time it takes for the user to get used to the sensory changes.

Augmented reality: using technology to enhance the perception of reality in real-time. It overlays the real world with digital information or media.

Augmented virtuality: merging physical elements into virtual spaces.

Computer mediated reality: using technology to manipulate what is seen in reality. The manipulated image is what is presented to the eyes.

Cybersickness: when a VR environment causes symptoms similar to motion sickness by disorientation.

Field of view: how much of the observable world is seen at a given time.

Google Cardboard: low cost head mount for use will mobile phones designed to encourage interest in VR. Viewers cost from $14.99.

Google Daydream: to be used in conjunction with ‘Daydream ready’ phones. The material Daydream View headset will launch in November 2016 and will cost $79.

Haptics: a form of interaction involving touch. Haptic devices sense the body’s movement.

HDK 2 dev: Created by Razer in conjunction with Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR). Costs $400.

Head mounted display (HMD): technology which is worn on the head and presents visuals to your eyes and peripheral vision.

Head tracking: technology which tracks where the users head is. Can be used with hand tracking.

HoloLens: Microsoft’s self-contained holographic computer. Development edition is available first.

Immersion: the perception of being present in a virtual environment.

Latency: time delay between movement and response.

Mixed reality: physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. Mix of augmented reality and augmented virtuality.

Oculus Rift: Oculus, now property of Facebook, developed its own hardware. Costs $600 and requires a compatible PC to use it with.

Play area: the area size in which the experience can occur in relation to the technology. If the user exits this area, the experience will halt.

Playstation VR (aka Project Morpheus): Can be used with a PS4 and a Playstation Camera. It costs $399.

Project Alloy: Intel’s virtual reality solution. Will be offered as an open hardware platform in the second half of 2017.

Samsung Gear VR: works with Galaxy smartphones. Costs $99.99.

Social screen: a separate screen which allows an audience to see some of what the user sees.

Virtual reality: using technology to send information to the brain and senses to create the illusion of presence in a virtual environment.

Vive: developed in partnership by HTC and Valve costs $799. Requires a PC running the Steam Client and a free Steam user account.


(Originally published in June 2016. Updated in October 2016.)