How Does Virtual Reality Work?

how does vr work

Some of you might have known virtual reality (VR) for a while today, but how does virtual reality work?

Well, virtual reality is quite a novelty, but it has been around longer than you think.

What is Virtual Reality (VR)?


Virtual reality is a type of technology that uses a computer system to immerse someone into a virtual world. It will take you to another realm without actually leaving the place where you stay. The creation of VR headsets proves that the demand for this technology is there.

While wearing a VR headset, it feels as though you’re transported to a new world, which is hard to tell from the real world due to the immersive experience. Besides, all your senses are affected, which further detaches you from reality. That’s why this technology requires headphones because the device aims to get you immersed in the experience.

Virtual reality doesn’t mean that everything will look real. The graphics, while advanced, can still resemble graphics of modern games. This technology just borrows physical properties of the real world and let you see them in the first person perspective.

This is How Virtual Reality Works


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There are a few elements that make up VR. The first one is a virtual environment, which refers to a computer-generated world to provide the user with an immersive experience.

The second one is immersion. Once the environment is created, the user needs to dive deeper into the immersion. The supporting elements need to affect the user’s mind, so that he can stay focused on what he’s seeing and forget about the real world for a while. There are two approaches used for this, namely psychological immersion and physical immersion. And then, sensory feedback also matters.

Since the objective of VR is to take someone to a VR world without him actually leaving the location, his senses need to be taken to the environment, too. VR isn’t just about visuals. Aural sensory is equally important. Imagine when you’ve been transported to a near perfect virtual world, but your ears can still hear the background noise because they are left uncovered.

There would be a clash in perception between your visual and auditory senses. It would mess with the immersive experience. To create a perfect VR, multiple senses need to be involved in the process.

Virtual Headset


A VR headset is one of the major components of virtual reality. It’s basically a set of goggles that serve to display a virtual environment. A VR headset may come with dedicated headphones to deliver the sound of content right into your ears.

They help block out ambient noise, so your attention doesn’t get distracted. Despite looking simple from the outside, there are quite a lot of components that make up this device, such as:

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1. Housing

This refers to the frame that holds a Smartphone. The housing is typically made of reinforced plastic to keep it as lightweight as possible. Other parts that come with the case are straps and padding.

The straps hold the headset in place, while the padding provides comfort, so that you don’t feel pain on the face due to the pressure.

2. Sensors

Sensors are placed within the housing. They help provide information about location and movement.

The data will later be used to boost the immersive experience.

3. Screen

The screen is located at the back of the housing, used to display VR content. However, it’s worth-noting that not every headset comes with a display. There are Smartphone VR headsets.

These ones don’t include a screen because your Smartphone will take that role. It will be the unit to display VR content. Since this part is omitted, these type of headsets are usually more affordable.

If you want to buy one, please choose one that matches your Smartphone size because VR headsets are made for various phones.

4. Lenses

Lenses are another essential part of a VR headset. They are positioned between your eyes and the screen. Lenses can create a fully immersive view.

With that in mind, this should be a factor to consider when choosing a headset. There should be some type of adjustment to increase image clarity and sharpness.

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5. Headphones

Headphones are designed for your auditory sense. As said before, an immersive experience wouldn’t be perfect if this aspect is abandoned. VR content has its own music. The purpose of headphones is to deliver it to your hearing.

For those unaware, headphones don’t always come as built-in feature. Some have them ready, while others only provide 3.5 mm audio jacks to connect to external headphones or earbuds.

All these components are put together to form an intact VR headset. A headset is fully covered, so you can’t look elsewhere but the content. Each eye can be controlled independently through software.

In a standalone headset, the display isn’t different from that of a Smartphone display. It’s able to produce HD images. Meanwhile, if you’re wondering about the 3D effect this glass creates, it’s in the lens. The set of lenses have the ability to turn 2D images into 3D quality.

Final Thoughts on VR Systems


Virtual reality is a proof that digital technology has developed in leaps and bounds. Although this concept has been around for quite a while, it’s becoming more advanced nowadays. Virtual reality uses technology to create a three-dimensional environment. It gives an immersive experience to the user.

To enjoy it, you must first obtain a VR headset. There are plenty of them, but in general, they’re classified into 3 main types, standalone, PC-based, and Smartphone based, all of which have distinct traits. If you want an inexpensive VR headset, a Smartphone-based one is a good pick. It comes with a housing to hold a phone in place. It uses the phone’s screen to display VR content.

Meanwhile, a standalone headset has all the resources to work independently. Everything is built into the system, so you can use it right out of the box. If you want to see content in very high quality, a pc VR headset is the right substitute. It’s more reliable than a standalone headset although the latter has an edge in portability.

With a PC headset, you need to stay close to a desktop computer to make it work. The dependence on PC is what keeps people from buying. Besides, it often utilizes wires for connection, which may limit your movement.

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