Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

June 18, 2019

A Guide to Understanding How Virtual Reality Technology Works

At the moment, virtual reality (VR) is a hot buzzword in the tech industry. Big tech companies like Google and Sony have invested a lot of time and money into VR technology with products like Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream. Many people are becoming excited about experiencing new advancements in this product category, but many people don’t quite understand how it works. Here is a brief explanation.

What is VR?

Virtual reality is a visual technology that completely immerses the participant in a computer-generated world. VR usually provides visual and audio immersion, but it can also include other sensory input such as touch and smell. A VR experience can be created with relative ease these days, but the challenge to penetrate the market right now is in the price and the hardware requirements.

Google is addressing this issue with solutions such as Google Cardboard and the Daydream ecosystem. However, high-quality VR experiences are not currently possible without purchasing new-generation hardware at mid or high-tier performance levels. This might change when the new graphics cards of today fall significantly in price.

How does it work?

Virtual reality tricks your brain into thinking you are in a three-dimensional world when you are in fact looking at two separate two-dimensional images. The human eye perceives a sense of depth, the third dimension missing from 2D images, because of the slight difference between the angles of objects when viewed from each eye. The headgear in a VR set also completely immerses your field of vision so that you get a sense of being in a different place. Other factors also come into play when creating a sense of depth such as parallax that makes more distant objects appear to move slower.

In order for a VR experience to appear real, it’s important to have sufficient resolution so that images don’t appear artificially rendered and provide detail level that real-world objects have. It’s also important that the frame rate and refresh rate of the displays are fast enough so that your eye only perceives the motion of your head or the objects in the virtual world without noticing the frame-by-frame drawing that is done by the software engine.

In order for VR to provide a good experience without motion sickness, it’s also important to eliminate other technical problems such as field of view and latency. The provided field of view of the display ideally should match what the human eye is capable of in the real world, and there needs to be no latency in drawing the images when moving about in the world.

Virtual reality seems to finally be making its big move into the mainstream market with the latest advancements in hardware that are becoming more affordable. VR is possible because of a combination of clever technologies working together. As new 3D experiences become available, consumers have some great things to look forward to in the gaming and cinematic world.

Spread the love