Virtual Reality 360 Glossary!

So I figured that with so many new terms being introduced when it comes to emerging technology, particularly for virtual reality, augmented reality, and 360 video – it might be helpful to create a little glossary that you can reference.

This list is not entirely complete but I will be adding to it! Feel free to send me any suggestions! Cheers.

Augmented reality (AR)

Augmented Reality (AR) refers to technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.


An Avatar refers to an image or figure representing individual users within a VR environment. It is particularly important when we progress into social interaction within VR.

Eye tracking

Eye tracking is similar to head tracking, but matches where the user’s eyes are looking.

Field of View (FOV)

Field of view is the angle of degrees in user’s visual field within a headset. Having a higher field of view is important because it contributes to the user having a feeling of immersion in a VR experience. The bigger that angle is, the more immersive it feels.


Haptic feedback is basically tactile feedback. In VR, it refers to users feeling like they’re touching something that’s not really there.

Head mounted display or HMD

HMDs are the current form of hardware delivering VR experiences to users. It’s typically in the form of goggles, strapped to your head. Integrated with either a mobile phone (Gear VR) or display, and custom lenses, it is through the headset that you can view different VR content.

HEAD tracking

Head tracking refers to the sensors that keep up with the movement of the user’s head and move the images being displayed so that they match the position of the head.


Judder is a significant shaking of the visual content within the Head Mounted Display.


Latency refers to how quickly the visual keeps up with the movement of your head within the HMD. The higher the latency (or lag), the easier it is to break the sense of immersion within a VR experience. High latency is one of the most common complaints about VR experiences.

Light Field

The light field is a vector function that describes the amount of light flowing in every direction through every point in space. The technology and image processing behind 360 surround is based on lightfield.


The Metaverse is a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet.


In 360 capture, Nadir refers to the camera(s) that captures the bottom of the sphere.

Positional Audio

Positional audio or “binaural” sound allows you experience sound in 3D, where every sound in your environment has its own position and orientation.


Presence refers to the scale of immersion felt in a VR experience. Simply put, presence is achieved when users feel like they’re there, wherever that immersive world is.

Refresh rate

The refresh rate is how fast images get updated in the Head Mounted Display. Higher refresh rates means less lag, and a smaller likelihood of feeling simulation sickness. It also enables a more responsive experience. Oculus CV1 has 90 hz refresh rate.

Simulation sickness

Simulation sickness is a subset of motion sickness. It is often the result of perceived discrepancies between what your brain and body think they’re doing. It can be induced without actual motion. Symptoms of simulator sickness include discomfort, apathy, drowsiness, disorientation, fatigue, and vomiting and we recommend removing a VR headset if you begin to experience such discomfort.

6DOF a.k.a Six Degrees of Freedom

Degrees of Freedom (commonly abbreviated as DOF) refers to the movement of a rigid body inside space. It could be explained as “different basic ways in which an object can move”. The six degrees of freedom: forward/back, up/down, left/right, pitch, yaw, roll.


Stereoscopic refer to the ability to view object in a Head Mounted Display with the illusion of depth. It is usally achieved through different processes by which an object and/or environment is captured with different angles (representing left and right eye) are viewed together, creating an impression of depth and solidity.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR) refers to computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted within a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a Head Mounted Display.


In 360 capture, Zenith refers to the camera(s) that captures the top of the sphere.