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How Does Virtual Reality Work?

Virtual Reality is a technology innovation that has taken the world by storm - it's rise in popularity in gaming has led to its utilisation in events are for businesses.

VR can include 4 of the 5 senses, including vision, hearing, touch and possibly even smell. With this power, VR can can take people for a virtual world fairly easily.

Virtual reality is a computer technology that uses virtual reality headsets, sometimes in combination with physical spaces or multi-projected environments, to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a user's physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment...But how does it work?

The Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML), first introduced in 1994, was intended for the development of virtual worlds without dependency on headsets.

The Web3D consortium was subsequently founded in 1997 for the development of industry standards for web-based 3D graphics. The consortium developed X3D from the VRML framework as an archival, open-source standard for web-based distribution of VR content.

All modern VR displays are based on technology developed for smartphones including: gyroscopes and motion sensors for tracking head, hand, and body positions; small HD screens for stereoscopic displays; and small, lightweight and fast processors.

These components led to relative affordability for independent VR developers, and lead to the 2012 Oculus Rift kickstarter offering the first independently developed VR headset.

Independent production of VR images and video has increased by the development of omnidirectional cameras, also known as 360-degree cameras or VR cameras, that have the ability to record in all directions, or in highly compressed formats for online streaming.

Photogrammetry is increasingly used to combine several high-resolution photographs for the creation of detailed 3D objects and environments in VR applications.

Other innovations in VR technology have led to further interaction and immersion - such as Data Gloves, Haptic Suits, Motion Sensor Seating and Joysticks.

How is VR used?

The most recent virtual realities are displayed using either a computer screen or by using smart phone technology combined with either a cardboard headset or a more complex, electronic based headset.

The immersive environment created by these technologies can be similar to the real world in order to create a lifelike experience for the user.

VR can also be used for things that are significantly different to real-life scenarios, and it's commonly used for gaming.

There are more and more low-end headsets that are being developed with gaming in mind, making it possible for gamers to feel as though they are fully immersed in a video game simply by wearing a headset and headphones.

Guide to Virtual Reality

As the industy is evolving so fast, there are many other industries that are seeing its potential and utilising it to their advantage, including: