What is virtual reality and how does it work?
© Photographer: Kenneth Paul | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Headsets like those used by Oculus, Sony, HTC, Samsung and Google usually require three things:
A computer, console, or smartphone,
A headset which holds a display in front of your eyes (which could be the phone's display)
Some kind of input (hand tracking, voice, on-device buttons or trackpads)
VR uses total immersion to create a virtual reality experience so real we forget about the headgear and other accessories.
VR headsets like Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR are referred to as HMDs (head mounted displays). Even with no audio or hand tracking, holding up Google Cardboard to place your smartphone's display in front of your face can be enough to get you half-immersed in a virtual world.
The goal is to create a life size, 3D virtual environment without the boundaries of TV or computer screens.
How does VR work?
VR headsets use two feeds; one for each eye. The headsets are called goggles because there are lenses between your eyes and the display.
A stereoscopic 3D image is created by focusing and reshaping the picture for each eye and angling the two 2D images to mimic how our two eyes view the world slightly differently.
If you need photos for virtual reality projects, articles, or marketing, I've made a lightbox of my VR stock photos at Shutterstock: Stock photos of people using VR headsets