How Do Virtual Reality Headsets Work?

An awe-inspiring simulated world awaits you if you are looking to get into virtual reality gaming, design, travel experiences, or even training programs. As to what you will experience, you can expect to be plunged into a 3-dimensional computer-generated realm that feels nearly as real as actual reality.  

Beyond its recreational impact, virtual reality (VR) technology is now helping several industries to leap forward. It is currently being used to improve key areas of the construction, healthcare, and business factions. Thus, VR may help you in your studies or career.

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As technology is quite progressive, you do need to spend some time getting to know how to work your headset for the best experience. We have put together some VR basics:

1. The Visual Component 

For the exhilarating VR experience, you will need a virtual reality headset and either a computer, console, or phone to transmit VR imaging. The computer sends the VR video stream to your headset for you to experience virtual reality.

VR headsets can use one LCD component per eye, or two feeds sent to one display. Sometimes laser pointers or mobile sensors can be used as well, especially in a room where VR experiences are set up.

Additionally, there are lenses situated between the eyes and the headset screen. These help to shape and focus the streamed images for both eyes. The lenses help to make a stereoscopic 3D picture by adjusting the 2D images that are displayed to each eye at the right angle.

Make sure the headset you purchase has a frame rate of at least 60 per second and a good refresh rate, or else you may experience vertigo and car sickness-like reactions to the virtual reality stream. This is known as cybersickness, and an inconsistency causes it in the VR headset’s reactivity. 

The latest headsets have much higher frame rates – up to 90 per second or even 120 per second. You will also need to make sure the field of view on your headset is at least 100 degrees, ideally 180 degrees.

2. Head Tracking

Head tracking is another factor that impacts the virtual reality experience. You will be moving your head around to take in the virtual world you are immersed in, and the headset needs to allow for the picture to follow your movements properly.

VR sets use the six degrees of freedom system to read your head movements effectively. Headset mechanisms to monitor head movements also include a magnetometer, gyroscope, and an accelerometer.

The time of head movement to display ratio, or latency, needs to be good as well, or the VR just won’t feel real enough. The latency should not be more than about 20 to 30 milliseconds for a VR experience to feel like it is real.

3. Motion Tracking

Some headsets come with wireless controllers to give you the impression you are manipulating what is going on in your VR recreation. The sensors will pick up motions like waving and pointing. You can also get smart gloves, voice controls, and treadmills to give you an even more authentic-feeling VR experience.

4. Sound

To get the full VR experience, you will need to incorporate sound. To do this, you must use a headset with 3D sound properties. The most important thing you will need to experience a computer-generated reality is a good VR headset. There are two main kinds of headsets – head-mounted displays and smartphone-dependent headsets.

  • Head-Mounted Displays. A head-mounted display sets work by being placed over your face and especially the eyes. When you move your head with the set on the screen will follow. Brands of this type of set include the Oculus Rift and the PlayStation VR.
  • Headsets for Smartphones. With headsets like the Google Daydream or the Samsung Gear VR, you will need to plug the headset into your phone. The video stream will play through the phone to your headset. You will need to check if your phone is VR compatible. If not, you can try Google Cardboard to bridge the gap.

Beyond the Headset

While the headset allows you to be plunged in the virtual world, in most cases, you do need to attach the headsets to a computer or a console to feed information to the headsets for you to perceive an alternate reality. You will also need to have the right VR software installed, and an HDMI cable to connect your computerized device and headset.

Last Thoughts

Experts predict VR is going to revolutionize modern life, changing the way we do business, talk to each other, and enjoy leisure time in the near future. So doing your research and getting to know your way around this technology can only be a good idea.

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