14 Virtual Reality Terms Every Marketer Needs to Know

Across industries, virtual reality is growing more and more in popularity. As a result, the opportunities to use it as a marketing tool are also expanding in interesting and exciting ways. But there are still questions about this fast-growing technology.
Here are 14 virtual reality terms marketers need to know:

1. Presence

This is what VR content creators strive for. They want their viewers to feel as if they’ve actually been transported to a new event or place. When people discuss being present in VR, they are literally talking about how immersive the experience is. Marketers have a significant choice to make when brainstorming their content. How prominent do they want branding and other key elements? These types of additions can, unfortunately, lower presence.

2. Haptics

Haptics refers to tactile response, or what users feel when using virtual reality. To use a hotel experience as an example, this might be the way linens feel to the user’s touch. Or, another example of this might be when a user experiences feeling warm sunshine while virtually traveling to a tropical destination. VR experience don’t necessarily need haptics, but they can make them more memorable.

3. HMD

HMDs, or “head mounted displays,” are what people use to experience virtual reality. Usually this is a headset of goggles, like the Oculus Rift, or it might be a helmet. No matter what, HMDs are close in proximity to your eyes, allowing users to easily view and focus on a VR experience. Marketers should consider what HMD or HMDs they want their experience on. Each VR headset comes with its own pluses and negatives.

4. Interactive Virtual Reality

This refers to virtual reality that is layered and includes multiple ways for people to experience the content. For example, with interactive virtual reality viewers are able to experience several types of media inside a piece VR content and also select how they want to proceed during the experience. In some ways, interactive virtual reality is like a choose-your-own-adventure book.

5. Virtual Visits

Virtual visits are the total number of visitors who watch a VR experience. This is, and will continue to be, important to marketers because it gives insight into how many people view an experience. Marketers will want this information so they can gauge what users are, and maybe aren’t, responding to, especially early on.

6. 360 Video

360 video is the building blocks of any virtual reality experiences and can be viewed even without a VR headset. Some social sites like Facebook and YouTube support 360 videos, which allows people to “look around” the video using a mouse, trackpad, or by physically moving their phone.

7. 4D Virtual Reality

4D virtual reality adds an extra dimensions to an experience. For example, marketers might create a VR music festival experience and then include a rumble pack with it to help people feel the experience. Marriott created a 4D experience when it added a mister to a VR beach experience.

8. Stereoscopic

This term refers to what is done to either an image or a video in order to make it appear three-dimensional. Two photos or videos are captured at slightly different angles, and when viewed together create the appearance of depth. Not all VR experiences are stereoscopic. Marketers can work with a VR company to decide if this is the right choice for them.

9. Stitch

To create a VR experience, a photographer or videographer captures an image or video using several cameras and then “stitch” the images together to create one complete 360-degree experience. A good VR experience should have as few seams as possible. Seams and stitching errors pull viewers out of an experience..

10. Head Tracking

Head tracking means following users’ head movements. In short, head tracking means that when you look around a VR experience, the images or video moves with you.

11. Eye Tracking

Similarly, eye tracking is when eye movement is noted instead of head movement. Some VR hardware follows where users’ look and adjusts the images or video accordingly. In gaming, for example, eye movement might guide where users aim a weapon. But of course, since VR has many applications outside the gaming world, this is only one example.

12. FOV

FOV stands for “field of view,” and refers to how much the human eye sees in its normal field of vision. Based on where our eyes are placed, and because we don’t come equipped with literal eyes in the backs of our heads, we don’t experience life in full 360-degrees. VR does its best to replicate the human experience of FOV. Different VR headsets have various fields of view. Typically, the higher the field of view the better.

13. Latency

Latency, in general, is the lag between a stimulation and a response. In terms of VR, it’s what we call a slight lag between what you see during a VR experience and what would normally happen. Latency was once a problem in VR, but not anymore.

14. Simulator Sickness

Simulator sickness happens when there’s a disconnect between what your eyes are seeing and what your body is doing and feeling. When the two don’t align, sometimes users can feel nauseous. It doesn’t happen to everyone, and it doesn’t happen everytime-but sometimes the brain gets confused when it gets visual cues of movement that aren’t physically registering. Working with an established VR company will drastically reduce the likelihood of simulator sickness.

While this may seem like a lot to learn, the principles behind VR build upon each other. And once you know how to speak the language, the sooner you can use them to market your products and services in a new and exciting way.

To learn more about Virtual Reality contact us for a free consultation.

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