What Is VR And How Does It Work?

VR or virtual reality is a computer-generated world that feels real. When wearing a VR headset, we enter a kind of simulation or artificial world, which is completely different from the environment around us.

Through VR, users can artificially see, hear, touch, and sometimes even taste something.

Even if you have experience using VR, many people don’t know how the technology works. In this article we will try to know some basic things about VR technology. At the same time, I will try to understand how to experience the real world through VR headset.

Everything you need to know about VR.

The primary function of virtual reality is to create scenes. The goal of every VR headset is to make the scene as realistic as possible. That’s why the headset has two separate screens for one or sometimes both eyes.

When wearing a VR headset, nothing outside is visible. There are two autofocus lenses between the screen and the eye. The function of this lens is to focus with the screen according to the eye movement and position. VR headsets can usually be connected with mobile phones. Besides, it can also be connected to PC with HDMI cable if desired.

Whether or not the image will look realistic through a VR headset depends on a few factors. Framerate, refresh rate and field of view are some such factors. Framerate is a measure of how many images a GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) can process per second. Again, the brightness of the image in VR depends on the refresh rate. And the measurement of how much area the display can provide viewing experience with the movement of the viewer’s eyes and head is called Field of View or FOV.

If the framerate and refresh rate are at least 60 fps (frames per second) and the field of view is at least 100 degrees, then VR looks like reality. However, the user gets the best experience if the field of view can be set to 180 degree angle. Usually, if the framerate is higher than the refresh rate, the quality of the scene is degraded. That’s why the framerate is kept within the monitor’s refresh rate. The method of adjusting framerate and refresh rate is called vertical sync or vsync.

Companies that make VR devices take framerate and refresh rate matching seriously. Because, if there is no match between these two things, the desired scene cannot be seen easily. This kind of incoherence is also called cybersickness.

Again, when an action or action takes place and when it is seen on the screen, the time between these two is called latency or asymmetry. The human eye cannot perceive a gap or asymmetry in the brain if it sees two frames at least 20 milliseconds apart. That is, if any one of the framerate, refresh rate and field of view does not work properly, then latency is created during viewing.

Everything else matters in VR technology.

In addition to imaging, several other aspects are emphasized in VR systems to give users a realistic and lifelike experience. For example:

  • • Use of sound

Adding sound to the scene gives users a more realistic experience. So VR technology uses 3D sound effects through headphones. However, it is important that the sound is compatible with what the user wants to see through VR. For example, if horror music is used in a video based on a fairy tale, the audience will not like it.

  • • Eye and head movement tracking

Laser pointers, LED lights or mobile sensors are used to track eye and head movements. Accelerometers are used to detect three-dimensional movement in mobile VR applications. Again gyroscope is used to detect angular movement. Magnetometers are also used to determine positioning with respect to the ground.

To get a more perfect experience through VR, the camera and sensors need to be permanently installed in the room where the VR headset will be used. However, the cost of creating such a setup is also very high.

Overall, the VR industry market is growing at a very fast pace. The total market value of VR devices worldwide this year is close to USD 5 billion. However, according to experts, its market value will increase to 12 billion dollars by 2024. From consumers and manufacturers to the virtual reality based gaming industry will also benefit from this advancement in the VR industry.

Photo credit: Craig Russell/Shutterstock.com

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