Virtual reality is a technique to simulate an environment through computer technology. Instead
of seeing it through a screen, you can experience it with your 5 senses and interact with computer-generated 3d objects. In laymen’s terms, you feel like you entered the computer and are able to see, smell, hear, and even touch the objects around you. Do not confuse VR to be the same as Augmented Reality, the 3d graphics are seen in the real world. You can say its sort of like a hologram except you can actually interact with it. VR and AR are two sides of the same coin and are said to be the future.
The Basics of VR
The most important part of VR is to perfectly simulate the vision. For this, the headset has a
screen in front of both eyes or 2 for each eye with 2 autofocus lenses between the screen and eye. This eliminates any visual interaction you could have with the real world. Now to create an immersive virtual reality, there are some things that are very important- a minimum frame rate of 60 fps, a competent refresh rate, and at least a hundred-degree field of view. Frame rate is the rate at which the GPU can process images, Refresh rate is the rate of the display to render images while a field of view the degree to which the display can support eye movement. All three are equally important and only when you get right proportions of all 3 can you trick the brain into thinking it’s a 3d world.
Sound effects are an important part of a virtual reality simulation as they support the visual effects making the VR seem more real. It also makes the environment more reactive and affects his mood, for example-playing horror music in a fairy tale movie will put anyone’s mood off. A headphone is used to give the appropriate sound effects to make the user believe the virtual reality.
The last important element to VR is eye and head tracking. If you turn your head but the image
remains the same, it wouldn’t seem real, to tackle this issue an accelerometer is used to detect 3d movement, a gyroscope for angular movement and a magnetometer to judge the user’s position relative to the Earth. Now you can move around, look wherever you want and it would seem like you are moving in another world.
Major IT companies like Google, Microsoft, and HTC are spending billions on researching virtual reality, it is a race and whoever wins will dominate the market and become a leader in innovation.