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The Essential Virtual Reality Glossary for Marketers

01/02/2017

I love reading blog posts that help me out. With so much information whizzing around the web these days, I can’t waste time chasing down every golden nugget of information.

It really helps when you come across a post like The Essential Artificial Intelligence Glossary for Marketers by Megan Conley (@Megan_Conley_) over at Hubspot. This included everything I needed in a digestible form.

As any good marketer would do, I wanted to add a comment and commend Megan on a great job, and while I was there, drop a naughty prod about doing another glossary for VR technology, which I was also looking for.

Then I told myself off for being so lazy!

Virtual Reality is becoming more and more prevalent in our technology-saturated worlds and, with the popularity of AR games such as Pokemon GO!, it is unlikely to slow down any time soon.

So, inspired by Megan’s great article, I set about creating a guide to VR, so that I could share the results with you, our readers, and give all of us a helping hand!

pokemon-go

13 Virtual Reality Terms That All Marketers Need To Know

AR

Short for Augmented Reality, this is where a real, physical environment is augmented (supplemented) by computer-generated sounds, images or data.

Avatar

An avatar is a computer-generated representation of a person in the real world. These can range from lifelike replicas that mimic human features and behaviours, to simple shapes and objects.

Cybersickness

An unfortunate side effect that affects some users of VR technology. The fully immersive motions can cause motion sickness-like symptoms in players after prolonged use.

Cyberspace

This is a bit of a red herring because cyberspace and VR are not intrinsically linked but are often confused for each other, so it is worth adding to this list. Cyberspace simply refers to any communication that happens over computer networks, so it can refer to any action taken on the World Wide Web.

Data Glove

These usually come as a pair and allow the user to interact with objects and environments within the Virtual world.

Gamification

This has been around for longer than VR, but recently the two have started crossing over more and more. Gamification is the application of gaming elements to non-gaming content to make the activity more enjoyable. A great example is Zombies, Run! which encourage more exercise by running around in the real world to collect in game items.

Haptic Feedback

Haptic feedback is when your gaming controller or joystick responds to the player’s actions. This has been around for a lot longer than modern VR technology and is one of the earliest forms used. Early motorbike games in the 1970’s used haptic feedback to make the handlebars vibrate during collisions within the game.

HMD

This means Head Mounted Display and basically refers to the headsets you wear when immersed in VR.

Immersion

When using the term immersion in relation to VR, this refers to being physically present but in a non-physical world, fully immersed in the sights, sounds and sensations of that virtual world.

Sensorama

The very first Virtual reality machine invented by Morton Heilig in 1962. This mechanical device immersed viewers in one of five films, with stimuli such as smells, sounds and sensations triggered at appropriate moments.

Simulated Reality

This is the idea that at some point, a virtual reality could be simulated to such a level that it is indistinguishable from our ‘real’ reality.

Telepresence

Refers to all technology that allows a person to feel as though they were present somewhere other than their current location. The best example of this that we have likely all used in the past is teleconferencing via Skype or Join.me

VR

This is a commonly used abbreviation for Virtual Reality and describes any computer-generated 3D image or environment that can be interacted with by a person using specific technology, such as a VR helmet or gloves.