Virtual Reality can be easily referred to as immersive multimedia or computer-simulated reality. Definitions for both ‘virtual’ and ‘reality’ combines to make ‘virtual reality’. Virtual can be defined as near and reality is what we experience as human beings. Therefore, ‘virtual reality’ can basically mean ‘near reality’.
When it comes to defining ‘virtual reality’ in technical terms, it comes to, a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by human beings. The person becomes a part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment, and while he is there, he is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.
How it really works
The real question is, how virtual reality works, how it makes you feel as you are on Mars, although you are about to bump into your kitchen counter. Virtual Reality is basically achieved by using headsets in first place. The headset setup is being used by Sony, Oculus, Google and Samsung, and usually requires three things- a PC, a console or smartphone to run the app or game, a headset, which generates a display in front of your eyes, along with some kind of inputs, such as – controllers, head tracking, hand tracking, voice-on-device buttons or trackpads.
Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus are some of the VR headsets which are often referred to as HMD’s, i.e. Head Mounted Displays. The goal of such hardwares is to generate a life size 3D virtual environment beyond the limits we usually associate with our TV or computer screens. These screens follows you wherever you look.
The video is sent from the console or computer to the headset via HDMI cable in the headset’s case such as HTC’s Vive and the Rift. And in the case of Google Cardboard and the Samsung Gear VR, it’s already on the smartphone, which is slotted perfectly into the headset.
A Virtual reality headset uses either two feeds sent to a single display or two LCD displays, one for each eye. There are also lenses which are placed between pixels and your eyes, which is why the devices are often called goggles. These can be adjusted in some instances to match the distance between your eyes, which can vary from person to person.
These lenses reshape the picture by refocusing for each eye to create a stereoscopic 3D image by defining angles for two 2D images to mimic how each our two eyes views the world a slight differently. VR headsets can increase the immersion by increasing the field of view, i.e. how wide the picture is. Displaying 360 degree graphics would be too expensive and unnecessary. Most high end headsets have a field view with 100 or 110 degree’s that is wide enough to do the trick.
The Bottom Line
The graphic quality in Virtual Reality plays a very important role. Thus, continuous advancements are being carried out to make the graphics and pictures clearer generating high quality graphics. For this, headsets are still needed to be hi-resolution displays avoiding the effect of looking through a grid. Additionally, what our eyes focus on, needs to look lifelike as far as it is possible.