Virtual Reality

What is VR? How does it work?

As technology advances, there are many options to answer questions such as “what is virtual reality?” or “how does it work?” As technology evolves, new companies emerge to answer these questions in new ways. Developers are also finding new applications in this exciting area.

Virtual reality is generally used in the context of gaming to refer to computer-generated 3D environments. The game context and the way the headset and controllers enable you to interact with it will determine the level of interaction.

We are only scratching the surface of virtual reality in the industry.

VR gaming offers the possibility of deep immersion. It is what makes VR so appealing. How the system balances sensory inputs with different visual stimuli and physical cues will affect how you perceive this impact.

What is VR?

Virtual reality (VR), a new interface, is an entirely different one. It allows a person to experience a virtual environment in 3D, rather than just looking at a screen. Computer-generated imagery, content, and audio are designed to simulate a person’s natural presence using their senses (sights, hearing, touch).

Two main components are required for virtual reality simulation: a source and a device. In other words, software and hardware. These systems include special gloves, goggles, all-directions treadmills, and headsets. The goal of VR tools is to provide realistic, natural, high-quality images and interaction opportunities. Devices rely on measurements such as:

  • Audio/video synchronization
  • Field of view
  • Motion delay
  • Pixel persistence
  • Rate of refresh
  • Resolution of the image

The biggest challenge with VR is convincing the brain to perceive digital content as genuine. It is difficult, and virtual reality experiences are not enjoyable because of this issue. The human visual field is not able to be used as a video frame. We also have peripheral vision.

How does virtual reality work?

VR is a complex technology that requires multiple devices, such as a headset and a computer/smartphone, to create a virtual environment.

In some cases, VR may also require a motion-tracking device. A headset displays content in front of the user’s eyes. At the same time, a cable (HDMI) transfers images from a computer to the headset. Some headsets work with smartphones like Google Cardboard or GearVR. These devices act as both a display and source of VR content.

There are many options for user interaction:

Head tracking

Head tracking systems in VR headsets track your head movements to angles and sides. It assigns the X, Y, Z axis to directions or movements and includes tools such as an accelerometer, GPS, gyroscope, and a circle of LEDs (around headset to enable outside camera).

Low latency is required for head tracking, i.e., Users should expect a latency of 50 milliseconds or less. Otherwise, they will be able to notice the difference between head movements and simulations.


Infrared controllers are used in some headsets to track the movement of your eyes within a virtual environment. This technology has the main benefit of allowing for a deeper and more realistic field of vision.

Motion tracking

Motion tracking, though not yet well-engineered or implemented, would elevate VR to a whole new level. Motion tracking would make VR more immersive, but you wouldn’t be able to move around or look around.

The 6DoF and 3D space are two options for motion tracking. They can be classified into optical or non-optical tracking. Non-optical tracking uses other sensors or devices to track the movements.

Optical tracking typically involves a camera attached to a headset. The majority of devices currently available combine both.

Types of VR

VR has traditionally followed two main development paths: mobile and stationary.


Mobile is easier to access, as it relies heavily on smartphones and their built-in features. If you have a smartphone, you can purchase a Google Daydream View for less than $100 to access short videos, games, and puzzles.

We offer an intermediate design at HP(r) in our wearable HP Z Virtual Reality PC Backpack PC. It allows for a richer VR experience with the mobility of a cordless setup.


Stationary VR technology uses standalone multi-projector setups within a fixed space. These include a headset and motion-detecting technology such as controllers or gloves, depending on their sophistication.

This type of VR is more costly due to the extra components. However, it tends to be more immersive and has more comprehensive applications than the gaming industry. The market is growing and adding new options, regardless of their cost.

Gaming and Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is most commonly used in the gaming industry. The revenue and future forecasts for VR gaming are rising. They are expected to reach $45 billion by 2025. It is challenging to distinguish VR gaming from other VR applications for training and medical purposes.

Software and Hardware for Virtual Reality

The VR hardware produces stimuli that can be used to control the VR user’s senses. These can be worn on or detached from the body.

The sensors used in VR hardware track movements, such as button presses and controller movements like hands, heads, and eyes. Sensors are equipped with receptors that collect energy from the body.

The hardware’s sensors convert the energy from a button press or hand movement into an electrical signal. This signal is then fed to a device or computer for action.

VR gaming technology is the future

Particularly in VR games, there is still a lot to be done for virtual reality to improve.

The VR market has seen a rise in popularity as VR systems become more affordable and common. Multi-projector systems are becoming more popular in companies.

With the technology expanding to sports and athletic applications, you can easily see a return on investment as the user experience is better understood.

Although developers might want to make unique and stand-out games, the ultimate goal is immersion. How to make a game feel complete, seamless, and integrated. This technology is becoming more popular, and developers will see how consumers’ preferences change over time.

The concept of physicality should be developed alongside the more advanced technology already implemented in consoles and gaming PCs. Each feature has its accessories and motion-detecting interactive features. Some even come with their integrated headset.

It is a larger goal to create immersive experiences where gamers can interact with objects and other players.

VR is sure to continue growing in popularity, regardless of what the future holds.

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