At Imagine 4D we are always looking for ways to provide information to our community. Yet, this information is not useful if the words we’re using are unclear. So, we thought we’d de-buzz 10 immersive technology buzzwords for you.

Here are 10 immersive technology buzzwords explained:

Visual representation of VR, AR, MR, RR, and XR's relationship
Extended Reality (XR)

XR is an umbrella term. It describes all computer-generated environments that merge digital and physical worlds. It also describes immersive environments that replace users’ existing worlds. XR includes VR, AR, MR, and Imagine 4D’s new technology, RR.

Virtual Reality (VR)

VR is completely immersive because it replaces the user’s physical world with a virtual one. This total immersion usually requires head-mounted displays. Video games are one arena in which VR is growing in popularity. Industry also has a growing interest in VR applications for business applications, such as training or marketing purposes.

Augmented Reality (AR)

This technology enhances reality rather than replacing it as VR does. AR overlays digital content on top of the real world. It is typically achieved using a smartphone camera, or tablet. Examples of AR technology include Snapchat filters and the IKEA Place app.

Mixed Reality (MR)

MR is the blending of the real world with a digital world. Technology and the physical world meet and interact with each other in a new environment. We can understand it as the midway between AR and VR. Like VR, MR also requires head-mounted displays.

Reflected Reality (RR)™

RR is a proprietary feature of Imagine 4D’s immersive display environment, Station IX.  RR creates a virtual environment with an accurate sense of depth and 3D by using curved mirrors and a curved projection screen. RR is like VR in that an immersive virtual world is replacing the user’s real world. RR is different because it requires no head-mounted displays to view 3D content. RR is thus a more collaborative experience for users. For more information about Reflected Reality™ read our blog post!

This is a timeline of immersive technologies growth and impact on the market:

Immersive technologies timeline


Head-Mounted Display (HMD)

An HMD is a display device worn on the head that allows users to experience VR and MR and interact with these 3D worlds. HMD is also known as VR goggles or a VR headset. Both VR and MR HMD options differ in their abilities to completely block out the real world.

Immersive Digital Environment 

An immersive digital environment is a virtual computer-created, often interactive, world. These environments can represent reality exactly, or be fictitious. There are many factors that can affect a digital environment’s immersive capabilities. These factors include the quality of 3D models, sound, haptic feedback, and field of view. Users must feel as though they are actually in a new environment for them to be completely immersed.

Game Engine

Game engines are a platform on which to build video games. They are also a complex suite of tools used in content creation. They are a platform you can use to build interactive applications, or games.  A game engine’s goal is to read files in, transform them, display them, and add interactive capabilities.  Video games are not the only ones to use game engines. VR applications, simulators, and architectural visualizations also use them. Examples of game engines are Unity and Unreal Engine.

Field of View (FOV)

We can understand FOV as the range of what a user can see. For immersive experiences, FOV is important because a wider FOV allows users to feel more present in the virtual environment. To avoid distracting tunnel vision, immersive environments and VR headsets aim to provide a large FOV. This allows users to feel completely immersed.

Examples of FOV:

  • VR headsets: Typically range from 95-110°
  • MR headsets: Typically smaller than 110°
  • Station IX (immersive environment): Immersive Workstation has a 315° horizontal FOV and the Immersive Theater and Auditorium have a 280° horizontal FOV.

Want an in-depth comparison of the different types of immersive technology? Read our comparison blog post.

2D Versus 3D

The major difference between 2D and 3D is the amount of dimensions considered. Both have lengths and widths, but only 3D presents height.

Here is a chart that explains the difference between 2D and 3D.

Immersive technology buzzwords 2D and 3D explained visually.

Are there more immersive technology buzzwords that we could define? Absolutely! These definitions are a starting point. If you have any XR related words that we’ve used and you don’t quite understand, reach out to us in the comments, or on Twitter.

Keep an eye out for more definitions!

For more information about Station IX, download our brochure, or contact us here.

Imagine 4D

Author Imagine 4D

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