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Degrees of freedom in VR or XR

Degrees of freedom (DoF) refer to the number of ways an object can move through 3D space. There are six total degrees of freedom.

  • Three correspond to rotational movement around the x, y, and z axes. These are commonly known as pitch, yaw, and roll.
  • The other three correspond to translational movement along those axes. This can be thought of as moving forward or backward, moving left or right, and moving up or down.

Virtual and mixed reality headsets typically offer experiences in either three (3-DoF) or six degrees of freedom (6-DoF). Degrees of freedom are an essential concept in VR and XR that allows human movement to be converted into movement within the VR environment.

  • 3-DoF means being able to track rotational motion but not translational. For headsets, this means being able to track whether the user has turned their head left or right, tilted it up or down, or pivoted left and right.
  • 6-DoF means being able to track both rotational and translational motion. In addition to being able to track head movements, this means being able to detect whether the user has moved forward, backward, laterally, or vertically.

All Varjo headsets are 6-DoF headsets.

6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF)

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