XR, VR, AR and 35 other words that no one really has there head around…

robot-books-840x420Ok, so there is this ‘wearable’s’ “thing”… is some what ‘popular’ now days.  Really the only issue I have with this is the fact that no one can make up there mind about what all the words mean.  As far as I can tell here is the vernacular and more or less a consensus about what they mean, this includes XR and related tech buzz words as they are critical to understanding the XR landscape.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Additive Technology that ‘adds’ to your real life experience with digital data. [wiki]

Augmented Reality Markup Language (ARML)

ARML or Augmented Reality Markup Language is an XML based markup language used to define (AR) objects in a scene or environment. [wiki]

Big Data

Collecting data points at scale without relative limits to amount and size of data; collected from sensors, devices, people and more allowing pattern recognition at scale revealing insights that were difficult to get to previously.


Refers to the level of automation and services provided by large computer services allowing for the abstraction of companies and even engineering and implementation from the underling automated computer systems; done in a way that scales automatically, load balances and assigns compute resources on the fly.


Refers to cloud based ability to process information as a commodity for example compute can be tried like oil or other commodity.


A device that captures everything a person’s eye inputs, generally by sitting literally in front of an eye. [wiki]

Head Mounted Display (hmd)

A display that is mounted on one’s head that can include AR, VR or other XR related displays.

Heads Up Display (HUD)

A digital display placed in front of a user that is separate from the user.  [wiki]


A virtual representation of a real world object in 3D which among other things can be overlaid in AR based reality or specialized 3D display or related technology for displaying virtual objects.

Hybrid Reality

Refers to a mixed mode of VR and AR where digital environments are overlaid in AR can refer to ‘Mixed Reality’ [wiki]

Image Registration

The process of collecting visual assets of different kinds and combining into a single coordinate system. [wiki]

Internet of Things (IoT)

The concept of connecting devices, in particular sensors and other sorts of computing and input devices, to the internet to all communicate. This is an important concept when you start talking about the amount of potential data. [wiki] [IoT List]

Mediated Reality

Specifically related to XR is to refer to the process of Computer mediated reality which means that a computer controls what is added to or subtracted from an augmented experience. [wiki]

Mixed Reality

Refers to a mixed mode of VR and AR where digital environments are overlaid in AR can refer to ‘hybrid reality’. [wiki]

Natural User Interface (NUI)

An intuitive ‘natural’, or fluid, human-like method for interacting with a computer based system; which can include things like voice, gesture, touch and motion.

Pinned AR

The process in which an AR virtual element is visually presented as being tied to, or connected to, an element in the real environment.

Spatial Mapping

A term for projection mapping; which means to ‘project’ onto various real world surfaces, creating an augmented experience. [wiki]

Smart Watch

A watch that is a full blown computer device; for example, a watch that is using Android as an Operating System.

Smart Glasses

A set of glasses that is a full blown compute device.

Spatial (Spatial Augmented Reality)

A colloquial term for projection mapping or Spatial mapping; which means to ‘project’ onto various real world surfaces, creating an augmented experience. [wiki]

Sensory Experience (SE)

In terms of XR related technologies, it refers to manipulated input of the various senses through techniques like haptics, or sound and the like.

User Experience (UX)

The concept of a user’s experience of interacting with a system, frequently related to the design of such an experience.

Virtual Reality (VR)

A digital experience that excludes the real world or real world visual input. [wiki]

 Visual Experience (VE)

The experience of what a person sees and can involve much of what the term ‘UX’ refers to regarding a ‘user experience’.

Virtual Retinal Display

The process of projecting display right on to the retina of the eye; also called a retinal scan display or retinal projector. [wiki]


A piece of compute technology that you can physically wear; such as a smart watch or a smart glass or other body sensor and the like.


A general term referring to AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) and related wearable compute technology.

* hero image from http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/fantastical-books-memorable-robot-characters/

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