Glossary

Virtual Reality (VR)

A simulated environment that is seemingly real or physical to a person using a head-mounted display. The 360 Video or 3D modeled environments become a VR experience once you put on a headset.

 

Head-Mounted Display (HMD)

Headsets that are used to view virtual reality content. Some examples include Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.

 

Augmented Reality (AR)

Functions by using an app on a phone or tablet. The app is programmed to use the device’s camera to look for certain indicators in its field of view. Graphics, animations or videos can be overlayed into your environment as you look at the camera view on your mobile device.

 

Mixed Reality (XR)

This is a mixture of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. A person wears a headset with a transparent screen, or one that is mirroring what you would be seeing with cameras. Then graphics, animation or videos can be placed over your outside environment just like with augmented reality, but you are wearing a headset instead of looking through your mobile device.

 

Spatial Audio

If a person were to start talking to you from behind, you would undoubtedly turn around to look at them because your bilateral auditory system can localize them. With spatial audio, we are able to replicate this experience with Virtual Reality experiences. Whether it be modelled or 360 video, we are able to record or place the sound so that the experience becomes much more realistic. Spatial audio is a valuable tool to help the viewer become more immersed in what they are experiencing.

 

360 Video

Typically recorded using either a special rig of multiple cameras, or using a dedicated camera that contains multiple camera lenses embedded into the device. This allows for filming overlapping angles simultaneously to create a 360 degree sphere video.

 

Stitching

The process of piecing together a 360 video shot with multiple cameras.

 

Equirectangular Projection

How a 360 video is warped to be viewed on a flat, 2D plane. Imagine a map of the globe, flattened. The forward projection transforms spherical coordinates into planar coordinates. The reverse projection transforms from the plane back onto the sphere.

 

Monoscopic

Refers to a type of 360 video or photo. When viewed in the VR headset both eyes are receiving the same image.

 

Stereoscopic

Refers to a type of 360 video or photo. When viewed in a VR headset your left and right eye receives a different image to create a three-dimensional effect.

 

Photogrammetry

Taking photos of a subject or a room at many different angles and piecing them together to make a 3D model of the room or subject. This can be added into a game engine to create realistic rooms that you can move through, or objects that you can move around and manipulate.

 

Volumetric Video

A 3D model of a room or subject created by filming with many different cameras at a number of different angles. Similar to Photogrammetry.

 

Game Engine

Software that is used to create various types of applications for desktop computers, mobile devices, and VR Headsets.

 

Three-Degrees of Freedom (3DoF)

In a VR experience, you can not move or walk by physically moving your body. You can turn your head left, right and tilt it up and down, and your view will change, but if your body moves forward, you field of view will not be altered. The Oculus Go is a 3DoF headset for example.

 

Six-Degrees of Freedom (6DoF)

In a VR experience (that allows for movement), if you move your body your view will change as you move. If you are standing in front of a desk and move forward, the desk will appear closer to you. This currently can not be achieved with 360 video, only in a 3D model. The Oculus Quest, Rift, and HTC Vive are examples of 6DoF Headsets.

 

Haptics or Haptic Feedback

Simulating the sense of touch. For example, the slight vibrations when you tap on a virtual keyboard on a smartphone.

 

Avatar

A animated 3D model that is programmed to react to stimuli like voice prompts or menu selections. We use avatars to create realistic educational and training experiences.

 

AI – Artificial Intelligence

Computers that mimic the human mind by using algorithms. We use Artificial Intelligence to make our Avatar experiences more realistic and effective in our educational and training experiences.

 

Head tracking

Associated with VR Headsets. This refers to the process of monitoring in real-time where a person is looking, and where they are in 3D space. This is achieved with sensors, base stations and/or cameras. The headsets use that data to accurately represent the visuals and audio based on how the viewer moves their head.

 

Other Information

Only certain video players will allow you to pan around the image so that it appears unwarped (not equirectangular). The best way to view 360 video is with a VR headset, but Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Windows Movies & TV, and VLC player all support 360 video on desktops and mobile devices.